Q&A: 8th Representative District candidates address issues

Rep. Quinn Johnson

Name: Quinn Johnson

Party: Democratic

Office seeking: 8th Representative District

Age: 49

Occupation: Small-business owner

Family: Wife, Julie

Elective experience: Elected to the district in 2008

Name: Dan Zitofsky

Party: Republican

Office seeking: 8th district state representative

Age: 46

Occupation: Business owner, real estate investment banker

Family: Wife, Dawn, and three children (Ashley, Johnny and Alexis)

Elective experience: No prior experience as a candidate but helped on multiple prior campaigns

Why are you running for this office?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: I see the need for a change after living here over 14 years. Education has gone down while cost per student and taxes have gone way up. There is a lack of quality jobs in the area causing families to separate. Crime and opiate use has gone to an all-time high. Infrastructure is lacking with over development. I decided the only way to have the voiced heard in Dover is to get involved.

What would be your top priority if elected?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: Quality jobs where people could afford to work and live in Middletown.

If you could change one state policy or law, what would it be?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: The way we choose to structure the budget in the state. We should be looking at a long-term plan to effectively budget as Treasurer Ken Simpler proposed in the budget-smoothing bill. We’re currently spending when we have excess funds and cutting when we’re in a budget shortfall. This is not an effective way to maintain a balanced budget for years to come. There was an attempt to fix it and unfortunately there were members of the Democratic Party that didn’t want to move forward with the proposal. The governor was even behind this, but the Democratic Party shut it down as it didn’t help them with their special projects.

What are your plans to boost economic development?

QJ: Did not answer.

Dan Zitofsky

DZ: Tax incentive for health care and banks to relocate to Middletown so people could afford to live and work here.

What, if anything, should be done to increase revenue for the state or cut spending?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: We need to increase the quality of education. Currently we are 38th in education. Being this low, major corporations refuse to locate here as they want to recruit the best employees. This brings QUALITY job growth and revenue to the state.

Do you support the legalization of marijuana? Why or why not?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: Yes, 100 percent for medicinal. For recreational, I am open to reviewing this further. I would need to see the following for recreational use: How it would be regulated, how the money is being used for rehabilitation centers and whether the money is being used to increase correction officers’ salaries. I am all for rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

What, if any, gun laws would you change?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: None. I am pro-Second Amendment.

Would you vote for legislation reinstating the death penalty? Why or why not?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: Yes, I would review the death penalty for heinous first-degree murder crimes should the courts deem the person ineligible to be changed or a productive member of society. First-degree murder is a conviction where the person committed a murder with the intent to do so. This is the only case I’d be open to the death penalty for.

Do changes need to be made to the state’s employee health care structure? Why or why not?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: Currently the state of Delaware is Delaware’s biggest employer. We do need to review this as its causing the biggest burden on our budget at this time. I am also opposed to rescinding benefits of state employees and their families after retirement.

What should be done to combat Delaware’s drug crisis?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: We need to educate and rehabilitate. There are no quality rehab centers in Delaware. We can’t treat addicts for seven days and kick them out. This causes a revolving door. We also need to hold doctors, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies accountable for prescribing and filling scripts they shouldn’t be doing. Pharmaceutical companies should be held to foot the bill for much of the education and rehabilitation centers and most of all should be outlawed from donating to political campaigns.

Is there anything else you think is pertinent?

QJ: Did not answer.

DZ: Did

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