Rep. Marc Rhoades of Newton faces a Republican primary challenge from Barbara Bunting, a Newton school board member.
Rhoades, a college instructor online, has been a state representative since 2007. He says growing private sector business and jobs, while maintaining core services, is the biggest issue facing the state.
Bunting says the biggest state issue is adequately funding schools.
Rhoades served four years as the chair of the House Appropriation Committee, which oversees budget negotiations in the House. He stepped down from that job in March, saying the House leadership’s funding plan for schools was unsustainable and did not tie spending to measurable education outcomes.
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He later voted for a different school funding bill that included some education reforms. He called that bill the Legislature’s best decision this year in response to an Eagle voter guide question, writing that it included “policy pieces to begin to begin addressing adequacy (of school funding), which is now tied to outcomes versus dollar amounts.”
Bunting, in her voter guide response, called that bill the Legislature’s worst decision: “When faced with a court order to equalize funding for our schools, rather than simply get to the task, they loaded the bill up with controversial policy matters that could not stand on their own. Many policies that survived in the final bill had no hearings.”
To learn more about the candidates, go to Page 7A.