By MARGUERITE DUFFY
Republicans Jon Hare and Rebecca Kubacki are seeking the nomination for State Representative District 22 in the primary election on May 8.
Hare is a lifetime resident of Kosciusko County. He lives in Milford with his daughter, Kiana, a high school freshman.
He graduated from Wawasee High School in 1989 and attended Northwestern Business College in Ohio. He is a field technician for Walsh & Kelly, an asphalt contractor.
Kubacki, the incumbent, came to Indiana as a young child with parents who were migrant workers. She moved around a great deal as a child explaining that her parents moved to wherever there was work. They finally settled in Pierceton.
Kubacki went to Pierceton High School where she met her husband, Mike Kubacki, who is now Lake City Bank president and CEO. They have been married for 38 years and have two adopted children – Matt in Indianapolis and Katie in Warsaw – and two grandchildren.
The candidates were asked the following questions. Here are their answers:
1. Why are you running for State Representative District 22?
Hare: One of the main reasons I am running is that I’ve tried to contact my legislator in the past and did not get a response. When you are elected to represent your district, you represent the whole district, not just certain people. I also feel it is important to listen to both sides of an issue — everyone needs to be heard. If elected, I would respond to all constituents in a timely manner.
Kubacki: I was elected in 2010 as state representative for District 22 and still believe there is a lot of work to get done in the Statehouse. I am on the Ways and Means Committee and get to look closely at the state’s budget. As a freshman representative, I was very interested in how money was distributed and budgeted. Being on that committee gave me an overall picture of how money is distributed in the state. I am a fiscal conservative and believe we have got to put a stop to spending money we don’t have. As we do in our personal lives, we stop spending when the money is gone. Government needs to do the same. Prioritizing what’s most important should be translated into the way money is spent at the state level.
2. What do you think are the three most important issues facing the state?
Hare: “Funding for education — teachers should be paid higher salaries and more money should be used for educational materials. I understand this as a father who has a daughter who is a freshman in high school. Isn’t lottery money supposed to pay for more educational items?
Roads and infrastructure in the state — roads need to be fixed correctly, you just don’t put a band aid on the problem, you need to do it right. If repairs are done right, they will last longer.
I am concerned about the way lottery money is used. How much is brought in? Where is it going? How is it being distributed? Wasn’t lottery money supposed to be directed to educational funds in the state?
Kubacki: Job creation is extremely important. Indiana can lead the nation in job creation and economic dynamism, but we have to create a climate that encourages small and large businesses to invest in their location, expanding and staying in the Hoosier state.
Unemployment is still a problem in Indiana. We need to get people back to work. I hear from many people who are having unemployment issues. The passage of the right to work bill was huge. This can bring more jobs to the state.
Education is also key. Education is linked to people getting jobs. If you can’t read, you will have a harder time getting a job.
3. If elected, what will you focus on first?
Hare: First I want to get familiar with what is happening at the Statehouse. I am extremely interested in the money situation and distribution of funds. I am interested in understanding the formulas used for budgeting.
Kubacki: Lowering the unemployment rate in Indiana. Having a job is extremely important to provide for your family. It is the basic foundation of the family. Kids need to see adults get up every morning and go to work. It sets a good example. Fathers and other caregivers need to be employed.
To read more from the candidates, see this week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.