A closer look at 50th District Assembly race

Just two days away from the election local candidates are making their final plea to gain voters' support.
A closer look at  50th District Assembly race

Just two days away from the election, local candidates are making their final pleas to gain voters’ support. In the 50th District voters have a big decision to make re-elect Republican Ed Brooks to a fifth term in the State Assembly or try something different with Democratic challenger Art Shrader.

“I do have experience. He’s never had an elected position,” Brooks said of his opponent.

It’s his nearly eight years in office that Brooks said sets him apart from Shrader. In those years, he said he’s helped pass legislation born out of local issues,  like making driving on roundabouts safer and supporting area servicemen and women. Right now, roads are a big issue the 50th District. If re-elected, Brooks said he wants to secure more transportation funding, but wants raise it in ways other than borrowing.

“We may have to take a look at increasing fees. Hadwe continued indexing, I think our gas tax would be a nickel higher. It would add about $150 million a year or $300 million for a biennium.

Shrader said the quality of poor rural roads is one of the reasons the long-time banker first decided to run. He said he’s open to a number of solutions, including taxes.

“There’s an economic opportunity here as well as an opportunity to do right by the people in the 50th Assembly District to get these roads fixed.  Ed Brooks has had 8 years in office and he still hasn’t done anything about that,” Shrader said.

Brooks said Schrader is trying to spend money that just isn’t there, but Shrader believes the way the Capitol is operating now needs to end.

“All this dark money that is flooding into our state by unaccountable groups, Ed Brookshelped make that happen, and I think it’s time to account for those decisions,” Shrader said.

Brooks has not publicly supported either of the presidential candidates. Shrader, however, endores Hilary Clinton. Both agree though it’s time to focus on the local issues.