NORWALK - Incumbent Republican Congressman Christopher Shays and newcomer Democrat Jim Himes faced off in the first two of seven debates Tuesday.

Shays handed an 88-page book touting his accomplishments to voters. Hayes continued with his message of linking Shays to the Bush Administration.

The candidates faced off on a variety of topics including the Iraq War, immigration and taxes. The economy proved to still be the main topic on most voters' minds.

"I believe the fundamentals of our economy are sound," said Shays. "We need to trust that the American worker, ingenuity and industrial, agricultural base and so on will move up with it."

"My opponent said, and said again today, the fundamentals of our economy are strong - that's just not true," retorted Himes. "Not true because we are coming through a period in which we have been fiscally insane."