Governor candidate outlines views on education, waterways and guns

Democratic governor candidate Dr. Woody Myers spoke Monday at North Christian Church in Columbus.

Indiana’s Democratic governor candidate, Dr. Woody Myers, drew applause from local supporters for his stances against school testing, for improving teacher pay and for cleaning up Indiana waterways.

Myers took questions from about 75 local residents at a town hall meeting Monday night at North Christian Church.

Myers is unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in the fall.

Myers was asked whether he would roll back charter schools and vouchers and he said he would. The issue, he said, is that 93 percent of Indiana children go to public schools, but public schools are not getting 93 percent of the financing, nor are public school teachers getting the financial support.

Myers said that due to recent changes in Indiana law, the next governor will have the ability for the first time to appoint the state public schools superintendent — that used to be an elected position. He said that the superintendent would be responsible for making sure that taxpayer money is spent appropriately, not wasted on charter schools engaged in fraud.

On a less serious subject, Myers chuckled when he vowed to take Indiana back to single class basketball high school championships.

Myers was asked whether he supported a proposal to increase the age limit for those seeking to buy long guns in Indiana. He prefaced his answer by stressing that he has a long history of gun use through hunting and target shooting. But he said he supports tightening loopholes that allow anonymous gun show sales, and prohibiting sales to those with mental illness.

Myers was asked about the dangers that polluted rivers cause for those who eat fish from Indiana waters. Myers clarified that there are only certain places where consuming fish is dangerous.

But he also pointed out he danger of high lead levels, especially for young children who are exposed. He said if elected governor, he would ensure that state agencies work closely with federal agencies. He pledged

Myers has served as Indiana State Health Commissioner, an attending physician at Wishard Hospital Emergency Room, and as a business executive in the health care industry.

Monday night’s event was sponsored by the Bartholomew County Democratic Party, Bartholomew County Democratic Women and Bartholomew County Indivisible.