JAMES ISLAND — Republican incumbent Rep. Peter McCoy and petition candidate Carol Tempel agreed that the No. 1 issue in their District 115 House race is jobs. They disagreed about how best to create them.

McCoy, who is seeking a second two-year term, vowed to reduce regulations and taxes, while Tempel, a retired educator, said the key to creating well-paying jobs is improving the state’s public education system.

Today’s debate was the first face-to-face forum in the district, one of the Lowcountry’s few Legislative seats that has seen competitive elections in recent years.

Both talked about how their work experience would shape their approach to the job. McCoy, an assistant prosecutor, talked about crime bills he has backed, such as increasing penalties for home break-ins during daylight hours, which currently are far less than break-ins at night.

Tempel brought the crime issue back to education, where she has spent much of her career. “I really believe we need to support good education so people have good jobs and they don’t have a reason to commit crimes,” she said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.