Smucker, King clash on immigration in final debate for 11th district

Written by Marie Cusick | Oct 30, 2018 11:16 PM

Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker debated his Democratic challenger Jess King Tuesday in York County.

(Wrightsville)-- Incumbent GOP Congressman Lloyd Smucker is looking to fend off his Democratic challenger Jess King in a race for the newly redrawn 11th district, which covers Lancaster County and the southern half of York county.

The pair met for their third and final debate Tuesday night at Eastern York High School in Wrightsville. The event was hosted by WGAL and the York County Economic Alliance. 

Smucker, a former state senator, is wrapping up his first term in Congress and hoping to head back to Washington.

King is on leave from her job leading ASSETS, a Lancaster city-based nonprofit that encourages entrepreneurship.
Smucker touted the robust economic picture--including a nearly 50-year low unemployment rate and high consumer confidence. He said people are better off than they were two years ago, thanks in part to the recent GOP tax cut.

King has shunned corporate PAC donations and says she wants to work to get big money out of politics.

She said despite the country's polarization, she believes people have more in common than they may realize, and contentious issues such as gun control and healthcare are too often driven by monied special interests, rather than what citizens want.

One of the tensest exchanges of the night came after the candidates were asked about whether they'd welcome in a group of Central American migrants who are heading north toward the U.S.

"I don't think anything speaks more clearly for a need for a wall than a caravan of seven to ten thousand people coming to our country," said Smucker.

King said she believes the country does have control of its southern border and noted that seeking political asylum is a legal way of entering U.S.

"We're distantly related," she said to Smucker. "Our ancestors were religious refugees to this country a couple hundred years ago. We have experienced this. We know who we are a community and playing into this fear is un-American."

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