Arkansas House District 93: Dotson and Neal

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 149 views 

The primary battle for the GOP nomination to the Arkansas House of Representatives District 93 pits candidates Jim Dotson and Duane Neal against one another in a competition of business experience (Dotson) versus government experience (Neal).

In pushing their qualifications, Dotson cited his conservative values and his desire to see less government regulation and lower taxes, while Neal touted his eight years of experience in Benton County government as a quorum court member.

Concerning the biggest issue the 89th General Assembly will face in 2013, Dotson and Neal noted the Medicaid shortfall as a major cause of concern.

Both candidates participated in a political survey from The City Wire. Full responses are listed below.

Jim Dotson
• Why are you the better candidate for the position?
I am Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage, Pro-Family, Pro-2nd Amendment, and I am Pro-Business. As an active part of our business community for many years, I've had plenty of opportunities to talk with business owners about their needs. Over and over, they say they need less government regulation and lower taxes. Business owners are a key driver of our economy. We must enact legislation that lowers the regulatory burdens on businesses — especially small businesses in Arkansas. This will create an environment for and encourage investment in our state. The economic boost from that investment will create jobs in Bentonville as well as the entire state of Arkansas.

• What is the number one issue within your district?
That will largely depend on who you talk to. But one of the major challenges that we have is keeping up with the infrastructure needs as we grow. Although growth has slowed in recent years, it has not stopped. We will continue to be challenged to keep up. As a member of the City Council in Bentonville for the last several years I have helped oversee a more than $114 million dollar annual budget. Through fiscal discipline we have not only had a balanced budget each year, but came in under budget each year, creating a budget surplus.

• What is the top issue the 2013-2014 Arkansas General Assembly will face?

I have heard many talk about a projected "$300-$400 million dollar shortfall in Medicaid,” and while that will be a significant challenge we will be facing, I believe we may not yet know what the top issue next session will truly be. It will in large part depend on what the Supreme Court rules on "Obamacare" this summer or who is elected President this fall, what new challenges may arise. That is why it is important to understand how I will go about making decisions regardless of whatever challenges come up. I am an American with a strong sense of patriotism.

Duane Neal
• Why are you the better candidate for the position?
I believe that I am the better candidate for State Representative, District 93 since I served on the Benton County Quorum Court for 8 years and as Interim Benton County Treasurer for 17 months. I served as Chairman of the Quorum Court Finance Committee for 4 years. My experience in Benton County Government, particularly in the area of budget preparation and fiscal management, has prepared me to “hit the ground running" in the State Legislature. I will not require a lot of time to “get up to speed.” I am retired so I will have the time necessary to study the issues and can attend meetings concerning the issues.

• What is the number one issue within your district?
Based on comments from voters in the Bentonville/Centerton Area most are concerned about the efficient use of our tax dollars and the need to curb wasteful spending in Little Rock. Our Republican Constitutional Officers, elected in 2010, have reduced expenditures in their offices.

• What is the top issue the 2013-2014 Arkansas General Assembly will face?
Based on estimates from our legislators we will be facing a $250 to $400 million shortfall in funding for the Medicaid programs in Arkansas in the next Legislative Session. This is a staggering shortfall that will require major cuts in all departments and agencies if we are unable to get relief in the Medicaid procedures and practices.