Dr. Janie Hydrick talked values and education while Sen. John McComish defended his record and explained plans for the future during a candidate forum at Mountain Pointe High School on Wednesday night.
The forum between the two candidates running for Arizona Senate, put on by students in K.R. Scott’s advanced placement government class, lasted an hour and a half. Questions from the crowd covered topics from Prop. 204 to illegal immigration and everything in between.
Hydrick attacked McComish’s voting record and tried to show how her values and the values of the district do not match up with his.
“You can speak about anything you want but it’s your voting record that says where you stand on every single issue,” Hydrick said. “The fact is that although John is not vitriolic and he doesn’t wave little pink guns at anyone, his voting record has hurt kids. It has hurt education. It has hurt women, health care and our environment. All you have to do is look at the voting record.”
Hydrick argued for education-driven economics. As to how she would move the money around to provide more funding for education, Hydrick said she’d start by cutting HB 2815 that will have a cumulative $2 billion corporate welfare benefit.
McComish defended his votes and warned of half-truths. He said his experience is what’s needed to get things done in the Legislature.
“I have a much broader experience in many of the areas we get involved with in the Legislature when developing public policy,” he said.
McComish added that he believes education deserves more funding and has fought to make that happen. He said he would also focus on the budget, health care and the tax code. He was assigned by Gov. Jan Brewer to a task force to take a deeper look at the state’s tax code.
When asked about immigration, both candidates agreed that the Dream Act should be passed by the federal government and that there is a need for a guest worker program within the state. Hydrick and McComish also agreed on the need for bipartisan work in the Legislature and the need for more people to vote.
During the course of the debate McComish mentioned a letter from Arizona State University President Michael Crow, thanking him for his help keeping guns off campus, though McComish’s record shows he did vote for the guns on campus bill, HB 2729. The bill was ultimately vetoed by Brewer. McComish accused Hydrick of exaggerating and using half truths in her statements.
“You want to be careful about some of these bills and what I have voted for and what I haven’t,” McComish said. “You want to be careful of the half truths. You might have the wrong half… My values are I think what the values of our district is. I doubt they’re much different from Janie’s, though she is trying to portray that. The real difference is our experience.”
McComish and Hydrick are running for Arizona Senate for Legislative District 18. Election Day is Nov. 6.
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