Friday, March 30, 2012

District 37: Driskell vs Huston

The other night, I went to a candidate forum at Fishers Town Hall featuring the two GOP candidates for the new State Representative District 37 seat, which is comprised of about 80% of Fishers.  (Speaker Brian Bosma has the rest, Geist and some other areas).  The two candidates are Debbie Driskell, long-time Delaware Township Trustee and long-time GOP insider Todd Huston.

I listened with interest, as one of these candidates is likely to be the new State Representative from this district, which I live in.  The Democrats have no announced candidate, although they have some time to remedy that, and it is predominately Republican, as is most of Hamilton County.

Driskell and Huston did not disagree about a lot.  Until they got to education, and in my opinion, Huston really stepped in a big mess.  The state's schools are all graded, not just by performance, but by how well they improved from previous years.  Well, Hamilton Southeastern Schools are among the best in the state, so how much can they improve each year?  This resulted in Fishers High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School getting "C" grades (they nearly failed, but it was appealed), and Huston served on the State Board of Education.  To pretty much everyone's shock, Huston DEFENDED this system, and Driskell jumped all over that, in the biggest disagreement of the night.

Now if a local person with a long involvement in education defends a system which is so obviously wrong for our excellent local schools, something is wrong with that picture.

Driskell and Huston either agreed or dodged other issues, including their position on the city-town debate that has been raging in Fishers for the last few years, stating it was a local decision, and not a state issue, and both stated they would support whatever the voters decide.

As one of about 2 Democrats in a room full of Republicans, I found that I would disagree with both candidates about plenty of things.  But Debbie Driskell struck me as more practical, and Todd Huston more ideological.  I don't vote in the GOP primary, so this may be a moot point for me, but some might find my observations interesting.