LYNN (AP) - Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney and his Republican challenger Richard Tisei wrangled in their first debate over who would be more independent if elected to represent Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District.
Tierney said Tisei would be beholden to "extremist" Republican leaders, pointing to the financial support Tisei has received from national GOP groups.
Tisei said he's "independent-minded" and reached across the political aisle to work with Democrats during his more than two decades in the legislature, including opposing former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney on gay marriage, which Tisei supports.
Tisei said it's Tierney who's beholden to the political action committees who have poured hundreds of thousands into his campaign.
Tierney said he's also stood up to his party, including pressing Democratic President Barack Obama to do more on housing.
Libertarian Party candidate Daniel Fishman also participated in the debate.