THE GOSHEN NEWS
Age: Not provided
Occupation: Conductor and train engineer for Norfolk Southern
Education: Political science at Ivy Tech Community College, law enforcement training at Owens Community College and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and attended Vincennes University from 1994 to 1995.
Related experience: Chairman, treasurer, field auditor and legislative representative for United Transportation Union. Army Reserve and U.S. Army military police with deployments to Iraq, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and U.S. posts.
Occupation: District director for U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Education from Indiana University South Bend
Related experience: Current state senator
Republican incumbent Indiana Sen. Carlin Yoder of Middlebury is being challenged for the District 12 seat by Democrat Jim Ball, Middlebury. Election Day is Nov. 6.
The Goshen News asked the candidates to answer the following three questions.
What will be your priority in the coming General Assembly session if you are elected?
BALL: My priorities in the upcoming session will be to sort out the education reforms passed recently, getting Hoosiers in District 12 properly trained and back to work, finding common ground with my colleagues in the Senate and working to get Indiana moving forward in a more balanced direction that benefits all constituents of District 12.
YODER: My priorities will be to continue working to bring high quality jobs to our community and stay committed to keeping Indiana fiscally strong by maintaining a truly balanced budget without raising taxes on Hoosiers. I will also remain focused on reforming the Department of Child Services so that our most vulnerable children are protected and given the help they need.
Should the General Assembly consider a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in Indiana? Please explain why or why not.
YODER: I support allowing the voters of Indiana to decide whether or not there should be a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. I personally support traditional marriage defined as between one man and one woman.
BALL: I feel that the state of Indiana and District 12 have a lot more pressing issues that require our full attention. However, The Declaration Of Independence tells us “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I believe that means every citizen. Alternatively, my Catholic faith tells me that it’s a sin and is not condoned. It’s a difficult question and I would have to see a bill on the subject before rendering a decision.
Education reform has been before the General Assembly the past few sessions. Are there still areas of education reform that need addressed in Indiana?
BALL: I believe we’ve done too much too fast. Moving too fast makes it very difficult to measure success accurately, what may have worked else where may not work here. Our Children’s education is far too important to experiment with. These reforms should have been implemented on a much more gradual bases, scrutinized heavily by our educators and adjusted as we proceed. Our educators haven’t even been involved in the process. I would like to see reform done in a more common sense fashion.
YODER: While Indiana has been at the forefront of education reform, we need to ensure that the new policies are correct and working as intended. I think better communication is needed between all interested parties in education so that our kids get the best education possible. We need to revisit the A-F grading of our schools to ensure they are accurately represented. Finally, we need to provide funding for stronger trade and tech programs in our schools to help students prepare for careers after high school.