Democrat gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers stopped by Warrick County recently during a campaign tour stop.
Myers, 65, who is running against Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) in 2020, hung out at Newburgh Town Hall in the morning and Boonville City Hall in the afternoon on Friday, Oct. 18, where he gave an exclusive interview to The Warrick County Standard about his stance on some of the major political issues facing the state today.
Dr. Myers said he is a third generation Hoosier and there are a lot of problems that need to be fixed in the current state legislature.
“I am sorry to say the current guy in the office is just not doing the job the way it needs to be done,” he said. “We’ve got issues in education and health care. We’ve got issues
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with jobs and our environment. There are just a lot of of problems that we as Hoosiers have got to get our arms around, in a much better way and much faster, in order to make our state what it truly could and should be.”
Myers said many of the issues today have been caused by his generation, and he wants to help correct that.
“My generation ought to fix those issues, so our kids can solve new, bigger, better problems,” he said. “Because they are going to be the most technologically oriented group of folks to walk this planet and I want them to have full access to all of the resources they need to take us further and faster even along where we should be as a Hoosiers.”
As a physician, Myers said he know what it takes to run a small business.
“I have worked in both small business and large business,” he said. “I have been a public servant as Health Commissioner of the state of Indiana and of the City of New York. I have been in the private sector for half of my career, so I have touched this elephant in every different direction and I know there are so many things we could do to improve how we spend the state’s money and how we bring services to people.”
One of the big things he would want to change in Indiana is the state’s minimum age level.
“For a decade, it’s been $7.25 an hour,” he said. “That’s $290 bucks an hour before tax. That’s impossible today, to get a two bedroom apartment and raise a family on that kind of money and we’ve got to change to make those kind of jobs payable and to bring those high tech-jobs to our state.”
The gubernatorial candidate said he also wants to work on the way the education system is run in Indiana.
“We know that the teachers in our state make far less than they should,” he said. “We are number 51 of 50 states, counting the District of Columbia, in terms of advances in teacher pay over the last 15 years. We know we’ve wasted millions of dollars on I-STEP. We wasted millions of dollars on I-LEARN. We’ve wasted millions of dollars on Indiana virtual schools, all of which were inventions of the Republican leadership of the legislature and the state, non of which have done what they’re suppose to do.”
Myers said he has no interest in wasting the money of taxpayers if he is elected.
“I want to make those tax dollars work for the people of this state,” he said. “I want to bring us the kind of jobs we need in order to advance into the new economy.”
He also said he wants to be apart of making sure that health care services provided in Indiana are top-notch.
“Our infant mortality rate is far higher than it should be,” he said. “We are far higher in maternal morality, those are deaths of women at the time they are giving birth. And at the other end of the scale, the cost for our seniors of prescriptions drugs, especially those with diseases like diabetes, is horrible today. The cost of insulin has almost doubled. In fact, it’s trippled in the last ten years.”
Myers said those are all solvable problems.
“Every Hoosier ought to have access to great health care services, and to the drugs he or she needs in order to help live,” he said. “Every Hoosier ought to have a great shot at life right out of the shoot. We have to change our approach in all of these important health care issues and I’m the guy to make that happen.”
Myers himself just turned 65, meaning he can qualify for Medicare.
“And so, I am proud to now have my Medicare card, and that’s going to give me access to a lot of services that a lot of people don’t have,” he said. “Why shouldn’t we make Medicare more available to other folks, so that they can get access to the care they need as well. I am not saying we should have Medicare for all, I’m saying we should have healthcare for all. Medicare for more, Medicaid for more, and private insurance for more as well. We have to expand in all three areas so that everybody gets the services they need in order to stay healthy. And to get the best insurance, you have to have a great job and to get a great job, you got to have a great education, so they all work hand in hand.”
Myers said he had a wonderful time during his visit to Warrick County, which he estimated to be around his 25th stop during his eleven week campaign tour thus far.
“Indiana is a state made up of communities like those here in Warrick County,” he said. “We’re in 92 counties, in a state that has a lot of rural areas apart of it. There really is only about 12 truly deeply urban counties and the rest of the state is very much like Warrick County. And if I’m going to win this race, and I very much do intend to do that, I’ve got to visit as many as these counties as quickly as I can. My goal of course is to get to 92.”
And after reaching all counties, Myers said he plans to head back to several.
“Because I promised to come back to hear even more about the problems, and get into an even deeper dialogue about what it’s going to take to solve them,” he said. “So, I’m really happy to be here in Warrick County. I’m really happy to meet the great folks that are down here and doing the best they’ve got going on here politically. We’re going to turn this county blue. Yeah, I know that’s a tall order, but I truly believe that given the angst this country is feeling today with those that are in charge, at the federal, state level and even at the local level, there is a need, a hunger for a different approach than what we’re doing today and that’s the approach that I want to bring to the state of Indiana.”