“I believe we need to take a conservative, common sense approach to legislation,” Mayfield said. “I think we need to get the job done rather than playing politics for our respective parties.”
The range of questions offered Thursday night were wide, from gay marriage to economic development to the financial impact of switching to K-2 and 3-5 grade schools.
Both said they supported marriage as between a man and a woman, and opposed abortion, though Reed allowed exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother is in danger.
“This is a personal matter, a private matter, between a doctor, a mother and her faith,” Reed said.
Mayfield said there hasn’t been any pro-life legislation brought to the House floor in eight years, and is long overdue.
“Issues need to be brought to the floor and given an up or down vote, “ she said. “I believe we need to get it on the House floor for a vote.”
When asked about bringing quality jobs to the district, Reed and Mayfield took different paths with Mayfield advocating tax reform and Reed pushing for better education.
“I know we have an unemployment rate right at the state average,” Mayfield said. “(The current tax code) has been in place since the 1950s. Our personal and property taxes are too high.”
Reworking the tax code, she said, would make the state more attractive to businesses.
“We need education, then we need jobs,” Reed said. “Train our young people, get them educated and have good jobs waiting for them.”
Mayfield said she supports right-to-work legislation, which would allow workers to choose whether or not to join unions in the work place.
“There are companies that would have located here and chose not to” due to the lack of a right-to-work law, Mayfield said. “We need that here.”
Reed simply said she supported what would be best for employees.
Both acknowledged there is a significant local controversy over schools, both said there were bigger issues than how the grades are divided.
“I’m not sure where that will go,” Mayfield said. “I know there is a great controversy about it. I really don’t think that finance is the biggest issue.”
“The bottom line needs to be what’s best for our children,” said Reed, a former teacher. “We have children coming to school hungry and children taking backpacks home on weekends to make sure they have enough to eat.
“We need to meet them where they are and take them as far as we can.”
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.