House District 60 candidates discuss key issues

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    By Dee Giles

    Education is a key issue for candidates in the race for House District 60.

    Democratic candidate Lonnie Baird and Republican incumbent Katherine Bryson both agree education is an important issue to the people in Utah.

    “Education is always key in Utah because 25 percent of Utahns are children,” Bryson said

    Baird said education needs to be a priority in the government.

    “We need to make sure teachers are well qualified and properly compensated,” Baird said.

    Baird said he would also like to see a change in the laws for campaign finance and lobbyists.

    The current laws about campaign finance and lobbying are some of the most relaxed in the country, and that these laws permit special interests to hold too much power, he said.

    One issue Bryson would like to have changed is where government money goes.

    “I believe that local government knows best. We need to get money down to the local governments.” Bryson said

    Both candidates agree that family values are important to the people in Utah.

    “My goal to preserve the family is always in the back of my mind,” Bryson said

    Baird said it is important that the state government do more to keep Utah’s youths away from tobacco and alcohol.

    “Over the last decade the smoking rate in Utah has increased by over 50 percent,” Baird said.

    Bryson said she feels she is best qualified for this office because of her knowledge of the issues, and her experience.

    “I believe I am representing the beliefs more closely,” Bryson said. “I think people can look at what I’ve done, what I believe, what I stand for. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.”

    Bryson’s effectiveness as a legislator is an issue that is seen differently by Baird.

    “She has not proven effective in the legislature. In the last two years, only 35 percent of her bills have passed,” Baird said

    Baird said people should not look at how many bills a representative sponsors, but look at the percentage of bills they support. Those bills that pass give an indication of the representative’s effectiveness in office.

    Baird said part of the reason for the low percentage of her bills passing is because Bryson is not in touch with the issues.

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