Voters focus on jobs, economic growth, and education

Voters listed the economy, jobs, and education as their top priorities when considering who to vote for governor, according to our Gray Television poll. Source: (KNOE)
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana voters listed the economy, jobs, and education as their top priorities when considering who to vote for governor, according to our Gray Television poll.

Sue Nicholson, President and CEO of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, said businesses want a candidate who can create a stable economic atmosphere for the state. She mentions fewer regulations and tax reform as policies that are appealing to business.

"Taxing policy can also influence stability if you don't know what the state's going to do, and Louisiana has actually gotten some bad marks on that in the past for not having a stable taxing environment," said Nicholson.

She said a business-friendly candidate would focus on jobs and economic growth, and crucial to both of those is building the state's workforce.

"The better job we can do as a state preparing people to go to work, the easier it is to attract economic development projects here to Louisiana," said Nicholson.

Sandie Lollie, President of the Monroe Federation of Teachers and Educators, said the "educator's candidate" would prioritize getting school workers proper pay. She said John Bel Edwards' track record proves he's right for the job, but she said Congressman Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone also seemed tuned in to education-related issues.

Lollie suggested guaranteeing educators a regular pay raise as a way to incentivize educators to stay in the area.

"We would like to have something on the books to say that every year there is some kind of incremental increase for teachers' salaries, not just for teachers though, for employees of education, period," said Lollie.

However, some students said they just wanted a candidate who would take care of their community.

"We've got a lot of things going on in our community, the shootings, the drugs in the community, and there's not a lot being done about it," said Christina, ULM Senior. "There's very little being done about the things that really need to change here."