Mike Amodeo, Democratic candidate for the New York State Senate’s 60th District, was clearly victorious over incumbent Republican Mark Grisanti at a debate this morning at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo.

“I believe my opponent has tried to mask his record over the last two years in office,” Amodeo said. “He painted a rosy picture of bipartisanship and job creation today when that’s simply not the case. The truth is that Grisanti has voted with Senate Republican leaders 99 percent of the time and job creation has been stagnant in Western New York during his term. His statements at today’s debate were disingenuous to the voters.”

Throughout the debate, Amodeo outlined several concrete ways to move Western New York forward: mandate relief for municipalities, investment in public education and job creation through strategic economic development. Meanwhile, Grisanti faltered from his stump speech to admit that his signature piece of legislation, the SUNY Empowerment Act, has not created a single job and that he wants to reduce education funding.

“Grisanti can keep repeating that’s he about people, not politics, as much as he wants, but that doesn’t make it true,” Amodeo said. “The fact of the matter is that a man who supports Mitt Romney for President is not a man who should be representing the working and middle class families of the 60th District. By taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from downstate special interest groups, Grisanti has shown that he is part of the problem in Albany, not the solution.”

Grisanti has also refused to participate in a second debate with The Buffalo News scheduled for October 31. Amodeo has called for Grisanti to attend this debate to provide an open forum for voters to ask questions important to them.

“I agreed to the debate with The Buffalo News because I feel that it’s important for candidates to be an open book,” Amodeo said. “People want to ask straightforward questions to their next State Senator and receive straight answers. My opponent was given several chances to accept, but he said no every time. Voters deserve a chance to hear about the issues that matter most to them, including minimum wage increase, legislator pay raises, hydrofracking and more. It’s an insult to the voters that Grisanti would hide from their questions.”