Candidates vying for political office met at the Dublin Rotary Building on Sept. 18 to meet with voters and answer questions.
Incumbent Sid Miller (R) and Democratic nominee Ernie Casbeer (D) are campaigning for a spot in the State House of Representatives, District 59. Casbeer was selected to speak first.
Casbeer, a schoolteacher, said he is running because the area has not been well represented.
He said Texas insurance rates are some of the highest in the nation and the common man is being hurt. He also said dairies in the district are very important and he would work to protect them from other areas like Waco.
“I’m asking to be sent to Austin to be a public servant,” Casbeer said.
Miller is running for his fifth term in the Texas State House of Representatives.
He said the Texas economy is doing well. Over the year, more new jobs have been created in Texas in all other states combined and he will work to keep the local economy strong.
District 59 includes Bell County, home to Fort Hood. Both candidates addressed the needs of veterans.
Miller said the district representative should have a good understanding of veteran affairs. He is working on a voucher program to allow veterans to receive treatment at local agencies such as MHMR, not just at the VA hospital in Temple.
Casbeer said veteran’s health is handled on the national level, but that the state must keep the pressure on.
“We don’t need to do Washington’s job in Texas,” Casbeer said. “We need to make sure Washington does their job.”
Each candidate also addressed questions about the public school system.
Miller said he did vote against two bills for a school voucher program because the vouchers would have only gone to failing schools. He believes that if a school is failing, then it needs to be closed.
Instead, he supports charter schools for at-risk children.
Casbeer also said he did not support the voucher system because they hurt the public school system.
“Part of the cost of a democracy is paying taxes. Part of what made our country strong is the public school system,” said Casbeer.
Miller was asked about disposal wells in the district. He said he is working on a bill that would require notifications to run in the newspaper closest to the well site. The bill would also require companies to notify elected officials and area landowners.