LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Incumbent Sheila Klinker who represents the 27th district at the Indiana State House is running for her 20th term, but she has a challenger for her seat, James Hass. Both candidates have been part of the greater Lafayette community for years, and both would like to see education be a priority during the next legislative session.
"We have a shortage of teachers and we have s shortage of subs,” said Sheila Klinker the Democratic incumbent of District 27. “If we were able to pay a little bit more and give them some incentives to start or maybe help them through their college education. "
"I would like to see education funding be stable and grow over the years," “said James Hass the Republican running for district 27. "That was we do not have episodes of great optimism where we raise it quickly and then tragedy where we have to cut it."
Klinker feels COVID-19 needs to be a focus for legislators in the upcoming session.
"I think we have to deal with COVID-19 and the job losses that have been created because of it as well as the health care situation,” said Klinker. “I think that's number one thing on people’s minds."
While Hass agrees health care needs be a focus he thinks other issues need to be at the forefront as well.
"Improving health care and education are the big priorities,” said Hass. “Improving criminal justice and making sure that the laws are not more stringent than social practice."
When it comes to social issues both candidates say the topic of medical marijuana needs to be discussed.
"I think it's a situation where people are going to other states surrounding Indiana and they are getting anyway,” said Klinker. “We are missing the dollars and cents that are going to other states."
"Medical Marijuana is something we need to look at," said Hass. "I'm not saying we are going to but most polls show there is a lot of public approval."
Klinker says, she will continue to fight for the people of the Greater Lafayette Community.
"If you can't achieve this year you go back and you try it again and running every two years is a challenge I agree with that,” said Klinker. “I love people I love this community they know that I care about them."
While Hass says, he will be able to be more done, because of the supermajority Republicans hold in both the house and the senate.
"You have to be able to talk to the people that are making the decisions the people who have the power the people who have the influence and right now that isn't the democratic party,” added Hass.
The 27th district represents Lafayette and a portion of West Lafayette. Klinker has represented the district since 1982.