Candidate Q&A: Senate District 39

Special Election 2020

Our public education questionnaire was offered to legislative candidates in the September 22 special election. A runoff election will be held October 13 between Jason Barrett and Bill Sones. Search for candidates’ responses below.

Jason Barrett (RUNOFF)  ●   Beth Brown   ●   Cindy S. Bryan   ●    Mike Campbell  ●   Josh Davis

Ben Johnson   ●   Michael Smith  ●   Prentiss Smith  ●   Bill Sones (RUNOFF)

Jason Barrett

Advanced to October 13 runoff election

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? Prior to becoming a family law, city, county and youth court attorney, I worked in the boilermaker industry and then was a public high school teacher and coach for four years. I taught 9th grade world geography and 11th grade U.S. history, and coached football, softball and middle school track. My family is filled with educators. I am a former public school teacher, my wife, the former Brandi Edwards of Monticello, was a public school teacher for 20 years and to this day works in education. My brother teaches welding at a public school, his wife is an elementary public school teacher, my mother-in-law, Karen Kay Young Edwards, retired as a teacher with the Lawrence County School District, and my father-in-law, Mike Edwards, was a public school teacher prior to working for Georgia Pacific. During law school, the educational law courses I took provided me with the foundation I have used to represent our local teachers and local school districts and participate in school board hearings. As a supporter, I have volunteered my time, experience, and money to local public schools for mock trial teams, athletics and educational needs, including the “Lawyer in Every Classroom” program. Please hear me. Teachers and staff need a trusted voice. Educators need someone to fight for them at the capitol and not just agree with the mainstream because that is the easy thing to do. Parents, grandparents, and legal guardians also need a trusted voice at the capitol to ensure that all children receive a quality education. Education has always been, and will continue to be, something I will fight for. Let me fight for you, your children, and our teachers.

2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why. The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information. Yes. As a former public school teacher and coach with a family filled with public school educators, I have a unique understanding of the education system. I wholeheartedly believe that public schools should be adequately, not moderately, funded. I will closely review the statutory formula and framework for the funding of MAEP, as well as the state’s budget, including designated lottery funds for education, to help ensure the formula works to fully fund education and funds reach the classroom. Effective education requires sufficient funding, responsibility, and accountability. The bottom line is that I want our schools to flourish, prepare students for success, and provide teachers with promised pay raises.

3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? Through fiscal responsibility and reevaluating sources of revenue and the state budget, I believe legislators can find the funding needed to offset certain department and program shortages. In Southwest Mississippi, small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities and good jobs are necessary for the health and well-being of our families. We need to reopen the economy and continue to strengthen workforce development through programs like ReSkillMS as part of our economic recovery plan so that we emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before. A renewed focus on economic development through growing existing businesses and bringing in new businesses and industries, as well as building upon our natural resources, will help provide the tax base and revenue to provide needed services for our citizens.

4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Yes, I oppose vouchers with the exception of students who have disabilities or other health impairments who cannot receive an effective, adequate education to meet their special needs through their local school district. We should help vulnerable children with special needs reach their highest potential, not create more obstacles.

5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? Yes. I believe in responsibility, accountability, and transparency.

6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes, I agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded each year and that school districts should be held accountable for providing an effective, adequate education and qualified teachers for students who have disabilities, other health impairments, or special needs. We must help ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential for success. I will need to review the special education add-on program, possible other add-ons, available grants, designated lottery funds for education, and state budget funds to determine the best approach to full funding.

7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes. I believe it has many benefits and can produce lifelong advantages for our students.

8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children? It will take many groups, including educators, legislators, concerned citizens, parents, churches, healthcare workers and community leaders working together with a common goal to find effective solutions to help alleviate those barriers. Schools are often a safe haven for many of our children by providing structure in a nurturing environment for the development of self-worth and a positive self-esteem. The part of each legislator is to be accessible to hear the concerns of our teachers, listen to their suggestions since they are on the front lines every day in the classroom, continue funding for free meal programs, help provide new ideas and fresh perspectives to give hope for the future to our students and their families. Each student is unique. We should consider reexamining different learning methods to help each reach their full potential. Nowadays, teachers are required to do more than simply teach. They wear many hats including that of a personal counselor. In order to provide teachers with a better understanding and the necessary knowledge to effectively handle these barriers, it may prove beneficial for them to be trained through professional development courses offered by a licensed psychologist specializing in student/family dynamics and learning and psychological problems. While the economy and jobs are at the hub of poverty, we need real solutions today. We cannot wait on future economic development to address these barriers.

9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants?
Yes. It is my opinion that teachers are not sufficiently compensated for the hard work and time they devote to our communities and our society as a whole. After all, our economic development, infrastructure, public safety and health, and future leaders are direct products of quality education. As a former teacher, I have participated in many preplanning meetings with my fellow teachers, prepared for numerous classroom open houses, and welcomed parents and anxious students into my classroom. I have stood at a chalk board teaching and have sat late into the night at my school desk after coaching a game to grade papers and enter grades. To speak frankly from personal experience, it was difficult to raise a family and make ends meet on two teachers’ salaries. I had to drive a school bus some mornings, work on the school’s maintenance crew during the summer break, and coach a sport each season to make extra money to help ends meet. That should not have been the case and the situation was not isolated just to me; however, it is still very commonplace to see teachers finding ways to earn additional income. Our teachers and teacher assistants deserve, at a minimum, to be paid at the same level as our neighboring states.

10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes.

11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? I want our citizens to have real-time input at the capitol on issues that matter to them. I will seek input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students throughout District 39 before introducing or supporting a bill affecting public education. I also want parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, custodial staff and all residents to know that I am uniquely qualified to serve because as a former teacher I have an understanding of education from ground zero, and as a current family law, city, county and youth court attorney I have the education and knowledge required to understand and interpret Mississippi law, especially our education laws, as well as the language that should, or should not, be placed in a bill. Often only one word or one sentence can completely change the meaning of a bill and make a difference to it passing or failing.

12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure? I am dedicated to servant leadership and being a strong, trusted voice for the people in District 39. I am not a politician and am not running for office to climb the political ladder. You can count on me to listen to you, help you, and serve you—our residents, small businesses, local officials and communities. You can count on me to make tough decisions and not straddle the fence. I have a strong resolve and will always be honest with you because my word is my bond. I will not be pressured by any means to voting in a way that is not favorable for my district. I have not accepted money from PACs throughout my campaign and I do not owe favors to any special interest groups. If elected, what I will owe is fair and transparent leadership for all residents throughout the district with no hidden agenda and no false promises. I am running for office to make a positive difference in helping build a better Southwest Mississippi for the livelihood of our families and future of our children, and to help families and small businesses keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pocket where it belongs, not lining the pockets of others.

Beth Brown

Defeated in September 22 special election

Cindy S. Bryan

Defeated in September 22 special election

Mike Campbell

Defeated in September 22 special election

Josh Davis

Defeated in September 22 special election
 
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? I attended school in the Lincoln County Public Schools. My wife and both of my daughters did as well.
 
2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why. The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information. Yes, I believe it should be fully funded, the reason I’m told that it is not fully funded is we don’t have the money to do so. If this is true we need to find a way to get the money to do so.
 
3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? Missisippi is a poor state, or that’s what they have always said anyway. We could use more of the Lottery money, or find out where all the Casino money is being used at. Education should be our number one priority.
 
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Yes, I will oppose them. I believe in school choice, but Public School money should not fund other schools.
 
5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? Yes, if they are using Public School money the should be held to the same standards.
 
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes, everyone should have the right to a good education. Again, it goes back to following the money and putting education first.
 
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes, everyone should have access to it.
 
8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children? As a parent if a High Schooler, I have seen more stress on the students. This stress is mainly because of State Testing. End State Testing! The pressure to do good in these test trickles down from the board to the students. It causes stress for the teachers , the students, and the families trying to see the student succeed.
 
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes, to both. Most legislators in Mississippi call their position a part-time job and most say they don’t make much money, but their pay is about the same as the average teacher pay. We have to raise their pay or pretty soon we will lose them.
 
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes.
 
11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? Yes, I have been in touch with principals and teachers to find out what they need and I would continue to reach out to them.
 
12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure? I will not give into pressure, threats, or incentives. I will vote for what is best for the people of my district.

Ben Johnson

Defeated in September 22 special election

Michael Smith

Defeated in September 22 special election
 
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? My wife and I educated our children in the public school system in Brookhaven, MS. Our children successfully graduated high school and continued their education. Each of them completed a college degree. We have relatives with children who have educated their children in the K-12 public schools. I support the Public Schools and believe our schools can adequately educate our children. I will fight for higher wages for the teachers of the state of MS.
 
2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why. The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information.  I agree that the MAEP should be fully funded every year. Fully funding education will ensure that our children will receive the education they deserve and will need to have a successful future. When elected, I will work diligently with other senators and representatives to develop resources that could be used to fully fund MAEP.
 
3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? My vision is to grow MS by bringing new industry and businesses to MS. New business will provide a tax base which will increase our tax revenue. Creation of new jobs will provide an increase in tax payers. As a result, we will have the revenue to sufficiently provide services to Mississippi citizens.
 
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? No, I will not oppose vouchers that send taxpayers dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools. Each parent has the right to choose how their children will be educated. Freedom of choice and civil liberties are cornerstones in our nation. The parents are taxpayers and they should have a choice. Each school should have standards and a system of checks and balances to ensure sufficient provision of K-12 education.
 
5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? Yes. I agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayers dollars, including voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide using the same accountability measures as public schools. This will ensure all children will have quality education and will be adequately equipped to succeed in future endeavors to become productive citizens.
 
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes, I agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year. Fully funding special education should be a part of fully funding all education. All our children deserve the best education available. Our teachers work hard and they should be provided adequate salaries. Our children should attend good schools and have sufficient books, supplies, equipment and buildings to attend schools. I will examine our current resources and work to grow our economy and tax base.
 
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes, I agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide. We are one Mississippi and all our children should be provided quality early childhood education. Early childhood education is the foundation for a child’s future. It is critical for a successful education.
 
8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children?
I would promote using programs already in place, make resources aware to our communities and provide adequate funding. I would be willing to research how to address these barriers to work toward resolution. During this time of Covid 19, we have learned that there is family stress, poverty, and psychological problems due job losses, unprecedent number of Covid 19 cases, and the changes we have encountered in our day to day living with Covid19. As children return to school, there is widespread uncertainty. Each school system is working diligently to ensure the safety of everyone.
 
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? I do support raising teaches salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states. Teachers are our foundation and is vital to the growth our families, communities, state and economy. Teachers produce our lawyers, doctors nurses, physical therapist, musicians, welders and the list goes on. We gain vital knowledge and learn skills in school from teachers. Many teachers have taken on second jobs in order to provide for their families. We should raise the salaries to keep teachers who love their jobs in the classroom teaching our children. Teachers work hard and they are educating our future leaders.
 
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes. Retired educators and other retired state employees have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They would be some of the better problems solvers due to the first hand experiences that they would bring to job. They have relationships with vital leaders and educators. They understand the problems that face our communities.
 
11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? Yes. All the above. In my field as a lobbyist, I have worked with teachers, principals, superintendents and parents of public schools. It is important to know the issues facing our students, parents, teachers, school staff and administrators. These people know first hand.
 
12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure? As a lobbyist, I have seen those pressures put on legislatures. I will not bend to them. I believe in doing what is good for the people and I value the will and opinions of my constituents. It will be my policy to have an open door to my constituents and to be transparent. I would respond to the pressure of state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists by listening attentively and doing research on the bills. I will talk with citizens to make sound decisions for the good of the citizens I represent.

Prentiss Smith

Defeated in September 22 special election

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? I attended school in the Mobile County Alabama Public School System. My wife, Isabel, attended the Brookhaven Public School System from 2nd grade through high school graduation. My 11 year old twins have attended the Brookhaven Public School System since 1st grade and are currently in the 6th grade at Lipsey Middle School in Brookhaven. My 4 year old daughter is in the K-4 preschool program at Mamie Martin Elementary in Brookhaven.

2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why. The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information.  Yes, I agree that MAEP should be fully funded every year. The full funding of our public schools is legally mandated, and we don’t have a legislature that respects that. I will vote to fund our schools as required by law.

3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? First, we need to evaluate every current revenue stream and ensure that our public education is receiving priority treatment with available dollars. For instance, I would have insisted that a reasonable percentage of the revenue brought in by Mississippi’s new lottery be earmarked for education funding. At some point, we will have to address our available budget shortcomings and decide how we make our budget bigger. If we do that, the conversation turns from budget cuts to how we spend our budget surplus.

4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Yes, I will oppose vouchers to any institution that is not a public school. Our tax dollars should be used to fund the public schools that serve our entire state. Parents have the choice of where to send their children, but the state does not have a choice when it comes to the allocation of funds.

5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? Yes, if an institution receives government funding, that institution should be held to the same standards that all government funded institutions are, regardless of the dollar amount received.

6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes, special education services should be fully funded. I think we need to reassess how current state revenue streams are earmarked. At some point, though, we have to face the fact that this isn’t a question of budget reallocation, but a question of budget expansion. We can never forget that education should be our top priority.

7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes. Pre-K should be accessible to every Mississippi child.

8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children? In terms of child well being, Mississippi ranks 48th in the United States. This means we have a very large percentage of children in our public schools living below the poverty line. If Mississippi ever hopes to break its history of cyclical poverty, we will have to use our schools to do it. If we want our children to be well-adjusted and dependable members of society, we have to start guiding them at the earliest point possible. Each district in the state should be employing at least one, if not more, mental health professionals who are equipped to help students navigate the external challenges that end up effecting their education.

9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes. Our teachers in the public school system should have salaries that are competitive with all neighboring states. Teachers’ salaries in Mississippi should be an incentive to those called to education, not an obstacle to overcome.

10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes. Mississippi educators are underpaid yet still pay into PERS their entire careers. If an educator reaches retirement, they should be able to hold any job after retirement and it not effect their PERS distribution. Our public schools would likely be in better shape if more educators were in our legislature, so we should not discourage them from service.

11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? Yes, I will commit to seeking guidance from qualified educators and administrators before ever voting on legislation that impacts public schools. During my campaign, I have met with every superintendent in my district, countless teachers, and many principals. I will look to these individuals to advise me on all education policies.

12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure? When I win this election, it will not be because of special assistance from PACs or lobbying groups. I believe outside influence should have no place in our schools. Education should not be a partisan issue. Anyone that truly wants Mississippi’s economy to thrive understands that public education is an integral piece of the foundation that makes economic success possible.

Bill Sones

Advanced to October 13 runoff election
 
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? I grew up in Mississippi Public Schools and graduated from Eupora High School. We chose the Brookhaven School District to educate our children. All five graduated from Brookhaven High School. Now I have a grandchild in every school in our school district. Where your children are, your heart is also. Throughout my career as a banker, we have committed strong support of our schools. When you travel our area, you can see the evidence of that on scoreboards, fundraisers, and with our presence at events. Nobody in this race has been a more vocal advocate for our city and county schools than me.
 
2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why.The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information.  Yes. My vote will be to support full funding. I am looking forward to examining the state budget to get a thorough understanding of funding.
 
3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? I have been extremely involved in economic development in Southwest Mississippi during my entire career. I know that having an educated workforce is the key to recruiting and maintaining the businesses and industries that provide the tax base and revenues for our state. I will work diligently to prioritize education while also working to provide a favorable business climate.
 
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? I oppose vouchers! Maybe with a possible exception in extremely limited circumstances for children with severe handicaps whose needs cannot be met by their local school district.
 
5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? Yes.
 
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes – my vote will be to support funding for special education. I am looking forward to examining the state budget to get a thorough understanding of funding.
 
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes.
 
8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children? Economic Development has been a lifelong goal of mine. Improving our economy with better and higher paying jobs relieves stress in families struggling to feed themselves and their children. This is an important first step in relieving these obstacles for our children.
 
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes.
 
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes.
 
11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? I intend to seek advice from teachers, administrators, and parents before voting on or introducing a bill that could affect public education. We are in this together.
 
12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure? I am an experienced businessman with strong convictions, accustomed to dealing with pressure. I will steadfastly represent our district. I will be a champion for public education, just as I have always been for my whole life.