MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Several candidates running for statewide offices spoke Tuesday afternoon at a forum. Alabama Retired State Employees’ Association and Alabama Public Employees’ Advocacy League held the forum at its conference.
Here are what some of the candidates said:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox, the mayor of Tuscaloosa, spoke at the event and focused on expanding medicaid.
“If we do not expand medicaid, rural hospitals in Alabama will continue to close and if you don’t believe me go look at the six that have closed since our failure to expand medicaid,” Maddox said.
Maddox also wants to use a lottery to help fund education.
“The next workforce is going to have to be more technology driven and savvy than any other generation in American history,” he said. “Ninety percent of the jobs created since the recession require either a skill learned at a two year institution or a degree at a four year school.”
Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Dr. Will Boyd talked about keeping the cost of living low.
“Make sure we work with labor. Make sure we work with educators to marry the two together to make sure that people not only have continuing education, dual credit program but that they can also look at going into the trades,” Dr. Boyd said.
Boyd also said he wants to make sure everything is in place so people do not see their benefits cut.
“You also need somebody that’s going to make sure that he fights or she fights for your health care,” Boyd said.
Rep. Will Ainsworth is the Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate. He touched on expanding the economy.
“We’ve got to continue to recruit new industry, but we have to help existing industry expand,” Ainsworth said.
As a businessman, Ainsworth said developing the workforce is important.
“We’ve got to make sure we are getting people job ready, and one of my number one goals as lieutenant governor is to make sure we are job ready,” he said. “And so the economy is doing well and what I want y’all to know is I’m going to work hard to improve the economy and give people opportunities to work here in Alabama, and that’s going to have a direct impact on your retirement.”
Gov. Kay Ivey was not at the forum, but will speak at the ARSEA/APEAL convention Wednesday morning.