BOSTON (CBS) – The seventh congressional district includes the cities of Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, and Somerville, 70% of Boston and about half of Cambridge and Milton. It is the state’s only majority-minority district as far as residents go, albeit with white voters consistently in the majority.

Michael Capuano has been their congressman for years, but Ayanna Pressley – the first woman of color ever elected to the Boston City Council – is out to upend the status quo.

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Capuano is a 66-year-old veteran of two decades in Congress and is running TV ads that tout his incumbency with the tag line: “Keep him in the fight.”

Pressley is 22 years younger and running an online video in which she declares: “It is my fundamental belief that the people closest to the pain should be the people closest to the power.”

Tuesday, their battle was joined in a lively debate co-sponsored by UMass/Boston, the Boston Globe, and WBUR Radio. And unsurprisingly, Capuano emphasized the benefits of his experience.

Ayanna Pressley and Michael Capuano. (Photos by Kris Connor/Getty Images for EMILY’s List and WBZ-TV)

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“It’s…a matter of what you bring home,” said Capuano. “It’s a matter of bringing home money to do Ruggles Station, the Whittier Street housing project, to redo almost every single community health center in our district. Those are the kinds of things that do take time to learn how to do.”

Pressley countered by offering herself as the candidate of the underrepresented.

“It matters because it informs the issues that are spotlighted and emphasized, and it leads to more innovative and enduring solutions, that’s why it matters,” she said. “You cannot have a government for and by the people if it is not represented by all of the people.”

After the two candidates agreed on several issues, Capuano said, “The votes on the floor of the House are for the most part going to be the same. The effectiveness of what’s behind that vote, I argue, will be different.” That drew a rejoinder from Pressley, who said, “What I reject is the notion that because we live in a deep blue district, and the people vote the right way that things are A-OK.”

This debate featured some of the most passionate exchanges yet between these two, but what really matters in this race is the passion of the voters.

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Whose supporters will be most energized to show up and vote the day after Labor Day? The answer to that is the key to the outcome.