HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The 1st Congressional District includes 27 towns and cities in Connecticut. From Hartford, Bristol, Torrington, and Manchester to West Hartford, the district looks like a hook.

Democratic incumbent John Larson has held the seat since 1999. He is being challenged by Republican Dr. Larry Lazor, a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology at Hartford Hospital.

Lazor is endorsed by centrist Republicans and not former President Donald Trump.

“Larry isn’t, you know, he isn’t an extreme Republican by any stretch, and nor would I ever say that,” Larson said of Lazor. “He is boned up. He is concerned. I think it’s a credit that he’s running.”

Lazor says it’s time for a change.

“John’s been in there for 24 years,” Lazor said. “When I ask people in Hartford, ‘Are things better? Is the economy better? Is health care better? Is education better? Is crime better?’ And universally, people say no.”

The two recently went head-to-head in their only debate. Inflation and spending dominated the conversation. Specifically, on how to fix social security for nearly a million Americans.

“We call him a bad Santa because John, you don’t tell people when you give them the money that you’re raising the debt, you’re raising taxes, you’re raising inflation,” Lazor said during their debate.

“It is about helping people in need,” Larson responded. “You have amnesia when it comes to the Republicans’ idea of help. You did not mention, at all, the $2 trillion tax cut that was given out during the Trump administration.”

Larson added, nationally, Republicans want to hold the federal budget hostage to cut social security. Lazor said it is about reigning in spending while providing help to those in need.

“And you go down the main street in Hartford from where it intersects Pratt Street, all the way down to the West Indian Social Club, you don’t see any medical offices,” Lazor said. “I think politicians need to stand up and say, ‘why are we doing that?'”

Larson said it is up to the community to decide that.

“In the American Rescue Plan, we sent money back to every single community in the district, including Hartford. They got $547 million,” Larson said. “There are a number of plans out there, but community health centers, which there could be one there, that is up for the community to decide.”

Larson and Lazor each support a woman’s right to choose abortion.

Later this week, News 8 will take a look at the candidates vying for the 4th Congressional District seat.

News 8 is your local election headquarters. Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. News 8 will bring you up-to-the-minute results once polls close at 8 p.m and live team coverage on air and online.

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