ELKHART — With Election Day nearly here, the three District 48 Indiana House hopefuls met at a forum, focusing on economic and education issues.
They largely stuck to previously stated views, with many similarities between the three — Doug Miller, Adam Bujalski and Jesse Bohannon — and only a few differences. Americans for Prosperity of Indiana, a conservative group that calls for low taxes and less government, hosted the gathering of the three Republicans on Wednesday, April 30, at Christiana Creek Country Club.
First, some of the differences:
Bohannon, instructor at an alternative school, zeroed in on his conservatism.
"We don't just need another Republican down there, we need a true conservative," he said. The nation, he said, is in an "ideological battle" for its future against the "darkness of liberalism."
Bujalski, manager of a bank branch, said he doesn't want to open the state's school voucher program to each and every student. If that happened, he worries private schools would potentially face increased federal government scrutiny and control as they receive more and more government funds.
He expressed support for the limited system, as is.
Bohannon said he's a "huge fan" of vouchers. He called for "true school choice," expansion of the system so that state education funds would even follow children who are home-schooled. As is, the program allows diversion of state education funding to eligible children who attend certain private schools.
Miller, who runs a home construction firm, focused on his business background and his prior work at the statehouse lobbying on behalf of home builders.
On the flip side, the three candidates, responding to queries put to them by the moderator, expressed support for Indiana's right-to-work law, approved in 2012. The three also similarly expressed support for getting rid of rules requiring licensing in certain low-risk professions and support for more locally crafted educational standards in lieu of national Common Core guidelines.
About 15 spectators attended Wednesday's gathering. No Democrats are running for the District 48 spot, to be vacated by Rep. Tim Neese, who isn't seeking re-election.
The District 48 candidates and hopefuls for several other posts gather for a forum Thursday hosted by the Elkhart County Young Republicans. That event, at First Baptist Church, 53953 C.R. 17, starts with a meet-and-greet session at 6 p.m. followed by a more structured forum starting at 7 p.m.