Eau Claire (WQOW) – The candidates running to represent Eau Claire in the 91st District Assembly faced off at UW-Eau Claire on Thursday.
Local education organizations hosted the forum. Democrats Jodi Emerson, Eric Larsen, Rich Postlewaite and Thomas Vue were in attendance. Republican candidate Echo Reardon was invited, but did not attend.
Overall, the candidates agreed on many of the education questions posed by the panel. During public question and answer session, the topic of road funding and maintenance was discussed.
Emerson said it needs to start at the state level. "My answer to any budgetary issue right now is, Scott Walker found the money for Foxconn, so it’s about priorities," she said. Emerson said her fix is to raise capital levy limits to put the power back into local hands.
Larsen and Postlewaite had a different idea, to implement a gas tax.
"If we’re going to have good roads you got to pay for it, you have to pay for it. and it’s not acceptable to just keep borrowing money that our grandkids are going to have to pay back," Larsen said.
"The only way to pay for these projects is gas tax indexing," Postlewaite added.
Vue mentioned the gas tax would be his last resort. "We have to look at our population, our people, to see if they can afford an increase in gas tax," he said.
These four Democrats will face off in the primary election on August 14.