Republicans enjoy time together before last-minute campaign rush
A crowd of Republicans and their friends filled the meeting room of the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department Saturday night for the party’s annual BBQ and Pie Auction to raise money and support for candidates.
The meeting began with fellowship and the opportunity for local candidates to introduce themselves under guidance of Clay County Republican Party Chair Patti Foxx.
Following the dinner, a pie auction was held featuring a variety of flavors the Republicans hope will contribute to the sweet taste of victory in the general election on Nov. 6.
The Brazil Times spoke with a number of Republican candidates and asked their outlook on the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
District 42 State Rep. Alan Morrison: “It’s a budget year coming up so obviously one of the top issues we’re talking about here in Indiana is K through 12 funding. It’s 52 percent of our biannual budget so it always takes up a lot of the air in the room, which it should.”
School safety was addressed last year but, “You’ll see that conversation continuing.”
He also sees high speed broadband as an issue facing the General Assembly.
”I’ve been on the utilities and energy committee the last six years and it’s something that, certainly for the last four, we worked on,” Morrison said. “It is a tricky issue because we’re dealing with private companies, publicly held companies, that are trying to get to as many customers as possible” but it has to be handled in a way that makes financial sense.
Morrison said it’s an important issue for rural Indiana because it affects education, the economy and public safety.
“The governor has signaled he intends to use part of that $100 million from the toll road rate increase for broadband and I think that’s a great move,” Morrison said.
State Sen. Jon Ford:
District 38 State Sen. Jon Ford — “It’s always going to be about economic development, workforce development, and education,” Ford said. “It’s what folks here want. Folks want improved wages, they want better opportunities and I think that all kind of ties in together. We know there are lots of jobs here in Clay County that are going unfilled and employers are struggling to find people but we have people here so it’s a matter of matching up the work skills to get them into those spots.
“I look forward to the last month of the election and having a good dialogue.”
Beau Baird, District 44 — “My primary focus if elected is rural broadband,” Baird said. “I truly believe that there’s no single sector in District 44 that’s not affected by lack of access to rural broadband whether it be home health care, which is what I operate in. If we had the ability to have “telehealth” we could provide more care, better care, higher quality of care in rural Indiana.”
Baird said agriculture has the capability to use high speed broadband.
“There’s data streaming off these tractors every second, every day,” Baird said and farmers need to have ability to use that data by connecting to the Internet with high speed broadband.
“Also, I think we need to stand with the governor as he tries to have an international focus,” Baird said. “District 44 is uniquely positioned with a unique set of assets from educational institutions to the airport being not very far from the district, the low cost of building infrastructure, we are uniquely positioned to have an international focus, having businesses relocate here.”