The state House District 39B candidate forum Oct. 4 was alternately informative, hilarious and frustrating. For the most part our candidates answered questions with their own differing opinions, but I was increasingly frustrated and incredulous at incumbent Rep. Kathy Lohmer’s insistence that there is no gridlock at the Capitol, regardless of the government shutdown we suffered through last year.
Lohmer consistently claimed that legislators at the Capitol get along all the time and that the media hide it from us — a suggestion laughable at best. Governments don’t go into shutdown when everyone works together. She had a choice to reach across the aisle and work with the other party to reach a budget that was palatable to all. Instead, she chose to borrow $2.2 billion from our schools to balance the state’s budget. She chose to act with her party and force a budget bill through that not a single Democrat voted for — the exact opposite of compromise.
Equally absurd was Lohmer’s claim that she voted in a bipartisan manner 90 percent of the time. This from the woman who two years ago not only said she would “never vote against her party,” but who lived up to that promise and never once voted against her party line over the course of two years.
The last thing we need in this district is a legislator who is either in denial or actively attempting to deceive her constituents into believing we have no issues at the Capitol. The stakes are too high, and we have already begun to see the cost of it
We must put our economy back on track and strengthen our schools. It’s time to move forward with someone who will gladly work across the aisle, someone who knows what it is to balance a budget and build a business, someone who isn’t tied down to party politics. From what I saw, that someone is teacher and small business owner Tom DeGree.