Candidates Tackle Issues In House District 31 Race


By Alabama News Network

Residents in Wetumpka are getting ready for the state's next special election coming up next month. 

Candidates met for a forum at the Wetumpka Civic Center.
It's now less than two weeks until voters go to the polls to decide who will represent House District 31 here at the Alabama State House. Candidates are focusing on standing out from each other. 
The signs littered the room as the candidates covered topics from medicaid to the budget. 
It seems that the biggest problem is that voters like all of them.
"It's hard to vote now. We've got four and I'd be comfortable with any of them," said Warren Aaron, who plans on voting next month.
Many in the audience wanted to know how the candidates would work with, or against, the expanding casino in Wetumpka. Tallassee lawyer Michael Griggs doesn't want a casino in the district.
"Gambling to me is a blight just as alcoholism is a blight on society, gambling is a blight on society. To me if we had all the people that are lined up to go to the gambling casinos if they go to churches I think we'd have a lot different aspect on the situation," said Griggs.
All of the candidates supported Governor Robert Bentley's stance on not participating in the Affordable Care Act. Wetumpka business owners Frank Bertarelli and Jimmy Collier says it's about keeping the budget balanced.
"When you get money from the federal government, a lot of people don't understand how that works. But you can get that money for up to three years, but after three years you have to start matching some of those funds and where does that money come from? The general fund," said Bertarelli.
"We've got too much federal government in our business now. We need to stay away from the federal government. It used to be that they would help you along but now it's gotten where they want to take over and control everything you do," said Collier. 
Mike Holmes, a retired business owner from Wetumpka, thinks he knows one way to help fix the budget.
"I see the way to fix it like our neighboring states and states all over the country have gone to one budget so that whatever growth taxes there are are equally spread. Then we'll solve some of the issues we're talking about here," said Holmes. 
The primary is scheduled for December 3. In the event of a runoff, that will take place on January 28, two weeks into the legislative session.
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