The candidates for the 2nd Essex District state Senate seat, which represents Salem, Peabody Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield, sat down with Salem Now! host Leo Jodoin on Tuesday night at .
Present were Democratic candidates , , and , who answered questions submitted by viewers.
The lone Republican candidate, Richard Jolitiz of Beverly, did not attend the program and Jodoin had some words for him.
"As far as I'm concerned I know one candidate not to vote for," Jodoin said at the beginning of the program. "Shame on him…I don't want to thank Mr. Jolitz for not showing up," he said. Jodoin said if Jolitz wants to come after the election "I'll deal with you then."
Voters will hit the polls on Sept. 6 for the primary.
The following are highlights from the evening's discussion by candidate as shaped by viewer questions.
- Wants to create a where is currently located.
- Wants to clean up welfare by providing job training and getting absentee "fathers back to repay the system."
- Says as a result of his experience as a sheriff's deputy, he's in favor of tough penalties on violent offenders.
- Called Melissa's Law/three-strikes legislation "the dumbest thing," and believes violent offenders are given plenty of chances early in life.
- Thinks restrictions are too tough on fisherman.
- Supports gay marriage, calling it "part of America. We need to have "a little understanding of each other. That's what America is for, it's why the pilgrims came here."
- Looks to education and sees places like Enterprise Center as "incubator[s] for growing small business."
- Is a proponent of "good, affordable public education."
- Has spoken with the district attorney about the use of bar codes to make sure those on welfare are purchasing appropriate items, and believes deadbeat parents need to be held accountable.
- Would be a "full time state senator" if elected, and would cease her law practice except for a few clients for which she is a guardian or conservator.
- Believes there should be one strike for sex abuse involving a child. She says she has a personal connection to this issue and has "zero tolerance" for anyone who harms a child in this way.
- Supports Rep. John Keenan's efforts with State Sen. Fred Berry . She says she has received positive words from residents in the district happy that she's willing to take a proactive stand and is not willing to let it stall for several years.
- Has roots in Gloucester, and wants to work to make sure fisherman can make a living and do so in a safe manner.
- Is in favor of gay marriage and benefits that go with it.
- Wants to remove restrictions on mom-and-pop businesses.
- Says she's a "big believer" in public education and thinks education can "lift" people up from whatever class they are in. She also believes ELL (English language learning) programs are key for adults.
- Says she's "willing to make the tough choices and cuts to make sure we have a viable public education system."
- Believes we need better control over the welfare system so people don't cheat the system. By doing this, she says people who properly use the system can be better served.
- Thinks there is still "fat and waste" in the budget.
- Is the "bread-winner" of her family and would continue her law practice if elected.
- Says she would support strong measures against sex crimes especially crimes against children.
- Says fishing is dangerous for fisherman as a result of restrictions that force them further and further out to sea. She says she wants to investigate ways to do "economic gardening" so that more parts of fish can be used to make more products for profit.
- Is a proponent of gay marriage.
- Is interested in supporting and funding our community colleges to train the work force.
- Says he'll vote to cut costs to make public education and community colleges more affordable while maintaining quality of teachers, equipment.
- Calls education "the great equalizer."
- Believes welfare and transitional assistance are necessary to helping people get back on their feet but said job requirements or educational requirements are necessary.
- Says state has "pretty much cut spending to the bone."
- Thinks the "advent of Footprint" in place of Dominion at Salem Harbor Power Station is good for the taxpayers of Salem, ."
- Would scale back law practice if elected but continue to practice.
- Supports strong measures for sex and child abuse crimes as well as other crimes, citing his support of the assault weapons ban.
- Says issues facing fisherman are primarily within federal jurisdiction, but says he would be happy to work to help these middle class workers and their families to help them "thrive."
- Supports gay marriage and says his record has been "clear on this."