Election 2020: 33rd Representative District

Name: Charles S. Postles Jr.

Charles S. Postles Jr.

Party: Republican

Age: 71

Family: Married to Janet, three kids, three grandkids, two great-grandkids

Residence: Milford

Occupation: Farmer

Name: Rachael King

Party: Democratic

Age: 37

Family: Did not answer

Residence: Magnolia

Occupation: State auditor’s office

Why are you running for this seat?

CP: I want to continue serving the citizens of the 33rd District by working on issues not completed due to the shortened session caused by COVID-19: protecting families, helping businesses recover from the economic shutdown and improving education outcomes.

RK: I am running for state representative for the 33rd District because like many in the 33rd, as a single mother I have personally experienced the struggles families face to find decent jobs and provide for their families. This has become my motivation, and my source of internal strength.

Our district faces a leadership void. I strongly believe that our district deserves a leader who is willing to talk to constituents, considers multiple viewpoints and is inclusive of all our residents. We need representation that will listen to the voters, focus on creating jobs, expand educational options for our kids and make health care cheaper for families.

It’s time to move past ideology and find solutions that will help all the middle-class families of this district. I come from a solidly blue-collar family who worked hard every single day to ensure a better life for my sister and I. People who know me know that I will give a voice, and a listening ear, to each person in the 33rd District.

What do you see as the major issues for this district?

CP: The major issues for this district are maintaining a viable agricultural industry and improving employment opportunities, including the development of the employment districts associated with the South Frederica and the Little Heaven interchanges.

RK: Our district has had an absence of leadership involvement. We need a leader who will answer calls when constituents reach out. We need representation for our diverse population and someone who is open to all perspectives. Successful leadership is the ability to bring different perspectives together by making ethical decisions to solve an objective.

I feel our current leadership represents a narrow perspective. I believe in equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, race or background. Our district needs to focus on growth of jobs and restoring business to our local businesses.

Our leadership needs to be out in the community asking questions to our local fire services, fishing industry and businesses. We need to ensure our seniors are getting the full property tax credit and addressing affordable living for all. Our district, like so many, is developing at a consistent rate. As your representative I will focus on the safety of our community and roadways.

What is the biggest problem facing the state, and how would you solve it?

CP: Even before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Delaware businesses, the biggest problem facing our state was the lackluster economy. In an effort to relieve some of the regulatory burden to businesses, I introduced House Bill 167, which would have required state agencies to perform an Economic Impact Statement for each new or modified regulation. It also would have mandated that all state regulations be reviewed and evaluated at least once every five years to ensure they were still needed, effective and fair. While the bill did not get the attention it deserved in the 150th General Assembly, I plan to reintroduce in the upcoming session.

RK: I keenly understand the challenges and struggle of raising a child during this unique and difficult time in history. It is critical to ensure a quality education and ensure access to educational, extracurricular, cultural, recreational and athletic programs. Education is at the top of my priority list. I feel education trickles down into every political policy.

Our nation is facing three major crises occurring simultaneously: a global pandemic, economic recession and racial injustice. Our state needs to make education along with health care top priority. Educating our youth and working class with the best possible programs to help strengthen our economy and build successful futures for our children.

The pandemic has created a burden on everyone, including the state’s budget. We need to ensure the state’s budget is streamlined and used appropriately, eliminating fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers dollars to ensure such programs can be provided. As an auditor for the state, this is an area I am certified and experienced in.

What would you like to see Delaware do differently regarding coronavirus?

CP: The governor has used his State of Emergency powers to issue orders — shutting out legislators and citizens from having any role in the decision-making process. This has resulted in COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines that have often been applied unfairly and inconsistently.

For instance, during the spring, many big-box stores were allowed to operate, while local retailers (selling much the same merchandise) were forced to stay closed. We now know a lot more about the virus and can control its spread using prudent protocols. I would like to see this State of Emergency end and for citizens to have a greater voice in any future COVID-19 actions. I also believe all state offices should be reopened, observing the same proven measures used by retailers, so state services can fully be restored.

RK: When the coronavirus broke out in March we were dealing with an unknown situation. We were not prepared to address this dangerous global pandemic. It is easy to judge now looking back what should have or could have been done. However one thing is for certain, there was not an emergency plan in place to follow for such conditions. We need to ensure going forward we have policies and procedures in place for a state shutdown. Our health care and essential workers, our businesses and schools were all thrown into an unknown with no guidance. School districts were scrambling to address the upcoming school year while our essential workers were left working in vulnerable working conditions.

Policy and procedure is not always foolproof, however it gives guidance and assistance when questions are asked. Going forward, Delaware needs to ensure we have guidelines to follow should the state have to shut down for an extended period of time.

How should our health care system change in response to coronavirus?

CP: COVID-19 has taught us some difficult lessons. I think health care professionals can adopt some of the techniques and practices to protect staff and patients from the transmission of future contagions. Some steps were taken during the COVID-19 crisis to cut red tape and improve access to doctors and nurses. I think it would be smart to consider making some of these changes permanent.

RK: Our essential workers; health care and first responders must be a priority for the state. I will always be an advocate for our police and firemen/women. We need to ensure our health care workers have the resources they need to efficiently do their job while taking all precautions to protect themselves. The global pandemic has challenged the policy and procedures of our health care system and changes need to be made going forward.

What do you believe schools should do to educate students while keeping people safe from COVID-19?

CP: Certainly, there are students who are able to succeed in virtual learning. And there are students in vulnerable situations that should continue using this option. However, many students are being shortchanged and disadvantaged by being forced into distance learning. Most students — especially those in early formative years — learn better in a structured classroom environment.

With good sanitation practices and good planning, we can and should reopen schools. A recent study released by Brown University affirmed this, finding little additional spread of COVID-19 among 200,000 students attending classes in 47 states. If daycare centers can be safely operated, and scholastic sports conducted, we can carefully commence classroom instruction.

RK: It is extremely important to have our children back in school and learning. Our schools have been under a great amount of stress to address the safety of our children while ensuring a successful learning strategy. Children need to be in school for educational and social development.

Unfortunately for many children, school is the only place they are guaranteed two balanced meals. Each day as we all navigate the effects of an unknown pandemic, schools are continuously adjusting their processes to keep children safe and learning. Offering families a choice of either hybrid or remote gives an option which is best for them.

What should the state do to help both businesses and workers right now?

CP: All state offices need to be fully open and fully functioning. There are still delays in unemployment claims, permit reviews, inspections, issuing licenses and other citizen services.

RK: Did not answer.

What do you think of the current level of state spending?

CP: I think the current level of state spending is adequate. There should be some reallocation of resources, and continued effort to reduce fraud and waste.

RK: The global pandemic has created extreme economic distress on our citizens and businesses. The state’s spending needs to focus on providing support and relief to individuals in this difficult time. Budgeting needs to be prioritized to help people survive and keep businesses open. I believe there needs to be ongoing reviews to ensure goals are met and services are relevant and required. Cuts can be made where needed considering the current situation but we must protect programs for our seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

Would you support gun control measures?

CP: I do not support any additional gun control measures. I believe that individuals committing gun-related crimes need to be fully prosecuted under existing laws that hold them responsible for their actions. Too often, state prosecutors are dropping gun crime charges as part of the plea-bargaining process. This practice needs to end.

RK: I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, however I believe in sensible gun control. I feel sensible gun control measures are appropriate and needed to ensure safety of our society, children and law enforcement. Sensible gun control such as banning 3D printer guns is a necessary gun control measure.

What changes are needed to policing and the criminal justice system?

CP: Overall, our law enforcement community does an outstanding job under difficult conditions. I applaud them for their dedicated service. Police officers who commit reckless, biased or illegal acts must be held accountable for their conduct.

RK: One of my top priorities is education. I feel education trickles down into every public policy, including confidence in our law enforcement and criminal justice system. There has been an organizational leadership gap between law enforcement and the community for a long time. We need to educate and train police officers not only to serve and protect but have the tools to bridge the social gap between law enforcement and society. Continual training on excessive force and racial profiling is a must.

We also need our communities to have faith and trust in law enforcement. It’s a process where both law and enforcement and communities need to work together. Educating both our communities and our officers on organizational behavior will help assist in confidence in law enforcement. I also believe in addressing reforms, which include internal reforms with law enforcement and the department of justice.

What do you make of the state of race relations in the U.S. and particularly Delaware?

CP: Human relations in general are at an elevated level of uncivility. This is no doubt exasperated by the fear of COVID-19 and the economic and social disruption it has caused. In this time of crisis, it is incumbent on each of us to focus on mending fences, not building walls.

RK: Racial inequality is a real existing issue. I believe education can greatly address racial inequality in Delaware. There is a lack of education in Black history and the civil rights movement. Having open, honest and difficult discussions need to happen to address the racial inequality. People can have a closed perception or bias within themselves they do not recognize, causing inequality. However it is never too late to learn and educate others. Schools, businesses and organizations can address racial inequalities by educating students and staff and through curriculum, policies and procedures. We must ensure opportunity is available to everyone regardless of gender, race and/or background.

Do you have any additional thoughts you wish to share?

CP: I hope you will continue to place your faith in me and allow me to continue working on behalf of our district.

RK: Did not answer.