The Times will be publishing candidate information over the next few weeks for contested races. The Times is also offering virtual forums for select races: state House District 29 and 30 and U.S. House District 9. Learn more at gainesvilletimes.com/timestalks.
Barr: He said he would like to continue working on health care reforms, working in partnership with state Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, who has been the Hall delegation’s lead on reforms. That includes looking at prescription costs and generally “looking out for transparency in our health system. It touches everybody.”
Marshall: He supports Medicaid expansion, which he believes will add jobs and give more low-income people access to health care. “If we want to have a healthy population and we want people to work full-time, we have to improve these medical situations as best as we can.”
Barr: “If the economy continues on an upward trend, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to do any more than (10% cuts) and maybe we’ll be able to add back some. The budget is going to be top priority next year — to get us going back again and getting folks back to normal and feeling comfortable with where we’re at.”
Marshall: The state needs to look at ways of increasing revenue without raising taxes. One possible way is through allowing gambling in designated areas throughout the state, which “would bring more jobs, higher wages and fully fund education.”
COVID-19 pandemic response
Barr: A No. 1 priority is making sure there are checks and balances concerning the governor’s use of executive orders, such as the state of emergency during the pandemic. “No matter who’s in the governor’s chair, they cannot continue to sign an executive order to water down the (state) constitution. I think we’re doing a good job as a state, but the legislature has given the power of our COVID-19 response to the governor.”
Marshall: He believes COVID-19 should be prioritized to get the economy back on track, that the two are linked. “We have to eliminate it or have it in such a small remission that people are not afraid of getting sick." And he’s not against mask requirements. “If you don’t wear (a seatbelt) and they catch you, you get fined.
Law enforcement issues, reforms
Barr: “One of the things a lot of agencies are going to are body cameras, and that’s a huge accountability. It’s a safety for officers. I’ll be first to defend (police), but I’ll also be the first to (address) an issue that needs to be fixed. I don’t see a systemic problem that needs to be fixed in our area.”
Marshall: “There needs to be more training and another group that’s created that deals with mental issues. You can’t get de-escalation if you’re scared. If you’re scared, you’re going to do what you need to do to be alive, even though you’re the only one who has the gun.”Candidate profiles