Story on the District 31 race from Page 4 of the Arkansas section of today's Democrat-Gazette...
Focus in District 31 on education, taxes
In House bid, candidates shun attacks
By PAUL QUINN
Friday, October 29, 2010
LITTLE ROCK — In the final days leading up to Tuesday’s election, candidates for Arkansas House District 31 have been working day and night to reach as many of their potential constituents as possible.
The District 31 seat was vacated by Republican Dan Greenberg after he decided to run for state senator for District 22. Greenberg lost to Jeremy Hutchinson in the Republican primary.
Democrat Debbie Murphy and Republican David J.Sanders, both of Little Rock, won primary elections to vie for the district that encompasses west Little Rock, western Pulaski County and much of rural Saline County.
Both say a key priority should be to cut spending in order to fill budgetary shortfalls.
The main task for staterepresentatives is to help create and approve a budget that will continue to keep government offices operating.
Murphy said she would not be opposed to raising taxes if elected.
“I believe there are wasted resources right now, and I would like to make sure those issues are addressed,” Murphy said via e-mail.
She said she would try tofind creative ways when approaching the budget, “while reserving raising taxes as the last option.”
Sanders said he signed a pledge that he wouldn’t raise taxes.
He added that Arkansas already has “the highest tax rates in the region.”
Sanders and Murphy have experience in education and said it is one of the areas they would focus on if elected.
Murphy said in a phone interview that school districts should be able to offer tax incentives to small businesses who volunteer at schools.
She also thinks charter schools in Arkansas help the educational system.
“High standards are important,” he said. “Academic excellence always precedes academic excellence.” *** (see below)
Abortions rights is one issue where the two differ.
“We should do everything we can as a state to protect innocent life - be it the unborn or elderly,” Sanders said. “I am the only pro-life candidate in the race.”
Murphy said that more should be done to address unwanted pregnancies, but that abortion is a personal decision between a woman and her physician.
Though the candidates represent competing parties who commonly attack each other, neither has engaged in any “mudslinging.”
Both said they agreed after winning their respective primaries that they would run their campaigns on the issues without attacking each other.
Arkansas, Pages 14 on 10/29/2010
*** mis-quote- The quote should have been "Expectations for academic excellence always precedes academic excellence.”