The Robert’s memorial building in Keosauqua, Van Buren County, was the setting of a candidate’s forum Thursday, August 3rd, as candidates for the house district 82nd special election took questions from residents of the district.
One common theme present in the forum was the feeling of disconnect from Des Moin. “I want to represent rural Iowa, I think sometimes folks forget that we’re part of the state of Iowa south of highway 34,” Republican candidate Travis Harris says.
The candidates talked about mental health, all claiming that their district did not provide sufficient services for mentally unhealthy residents.
“I think we have a huge problem with mental health in our area, and we use the justice system to handle it, and we need a better way. I don’t know if that’s reopening facilities, or find more opportunities to have one on one time with people who need help,” Republican Harris says.
“We need to start by not getting rid of any more beds that can be used by patients who have mental health problems. What has been done to address mental health problems in the last two years has not been enough, we need to do more to help people with mental health issues.” Democratic candidate Dr. Phil Miller.
The candidates also talked extensively about education, with republican and democratic candidates Harris and Miller being against school vouchers, while libertarian and constitutional candidates Joshua Miller and Edward Hee III support school vouchers
The election for the 82nd house district will take place on Tuesday, eighth of August. Polls will be open between 7am and 9pm.