Candidates vying for contested seats in this season’s political races met Tuesday night for the Faulkner County Political Forum.
The forum, which took place at True Holiness Saints Center in Conway, included candidates from state representative races, the 20th Judicial District prosecuting attorney race and the race for Faulkner County sheriff.
Representatives of Democratic Sen. Joyce Elliot and Republican Tim Griffin, vying for U.S. Congress, District 2, spoke on behalf of the two, who where unable to attend.
A representative of Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln spoke in a two-minute address, saying she would continue to uphold the values of the nation’s military and veterans.
Candidate for 20th Judicial District prosecuting attorney Cody Hiland was unable to participate in a question and answer forum scheduled with incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden, according to David Keith, moderator, due to a medical emergency. Keith said Hiland was driven to an emergency room by his wife, and he did not know the nature of the emergency.
Candidates for state representative of District 45, Democratic Rep. Linda Tyler and Republican Justice of the Peace Jimmy Bryant faced off over issues such as the Arkansas Highway Department’s funding and road maintenance need, incentives for drawing new business, the limit of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s scholarship funding and immigration.
The race’s forum ended with candidate’s comments on federal health care and "government corruption."
Tyler stood by the scholarship lottery, citing its successful issuance of scholarships to 29,000 Arkansas students.
Bryant said University of Central Arkansas teachers have told him they feel a promise was made by the commission and not kept.
Tyler replied that funding was limited, and funds should be given as they become available.
"We’ve done a good job implementing the scholarship lottery to date," Tyler said.
Federal health care, Tyler said, would be "effectively regulated" to be implemented successfully.
Both candidates agreed pressure would be put on small businesses.
Bryant called federal health care an "expensive and inappropriate" measure by the federal government.
In closing, Bryant expressed that he would stand against corruption in government by refusing to accept lobbyist contributions or funds from Political Action Committees.
Tyler said her opponent claimed to have not received campaign contributions from PACs, but to her knowledge, he has accepted funds from republican committees.
Candidates for state representatives for District 46, Democrat Steve Magie and Republican David Meeks covered unemployment, funding in higher education and transparency in government.
Magie said the key to improving Arkansas’ economy was to better educate its students, while Meeks said the tax structure should be reorganized for attracting and maintaining business.
Sponsors of the event were the Faulkner County Leadership Institute, the Faulkner County Republican Women, the Faulkner County Democratic Women and True Holiness Saints Center.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)