With party control of the Iowa Senate at stake, national groups involved in the same-sex marriage debate have gotten involved in a state senate race in eastern Iowa. The two candidates who are running, however, never mentioned gay marriage in a public forum last night at Linn-Mar High School in Marion.
Republican candidate Cindy Golding, a farmer and businesswoman, argued getting government out of the way would allow the “true genius” of Iowans help the state grow and prosper.
“The approach to encouraging economic development, encouraging education, encouraging business is getting some of the regulatory red tape out of the way so Iowans can pursue the excellence that this state has been known for,” Golding said.
Democrat Liz Mathis, a former TV anchor in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, argued state policymakers must do a better job of setting priorities and providing incentives to jump-start the economy. “Support companies that hire new Iowans, new Iowa hires, and you give them a $2000 tax credit to do that and that will stimulate growth,” Mathis said.
Both candidates said they support cutting property taxes and neither support raising the state gas tax. A man in the audience last night shouted at the end of the forum, asking the candidates for their stand on same-sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriage are running ads, passing out fliers and planning a national bus tour stop in the district two days before the special election.
One Iowa, a group which supports same-sex marriage, has emailed supporters, warning this race has become a “referendum” on the issue. The two candidates will meet on stage again tonight for their second forum ahead of the November 8th special election for the senate seat that includes with city of Marion and other areas of Linn County, but not Cedar Rapids.
The Democratic senator who had represented the area quit so Governor Branstad could appoint her to the Iowa Utilities Board.