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House District 10: Five questions for Marilyn Lands

Voters in Alabama House District 10 will head to the polls next month for a special election.

Democrat Marilyn Lands faces Republican Teddy Powell to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of former Rep. David Cole.

256 Today posed five questions to each candidate on concerns facing voters. The special general election is March 26.

These are the five questions and responses from Lands.

  1. Why should you be elected?
    I will champion healthcare access, public schools, and small businesses. With a background in economic development and as a mental healthcare provider, I will bring a unique and desperately needed perspective the legislature. I will also bring some much-needed balance to Montgomery. Alabama has had supermajority rule for too long, and we would be better served by having a more thoughtful discussion when passing legislation. Lastly, I have deep roots in this community, having lived here all my life. I best understand the nuances of District 10, which includes the diverse communities of Madison, Triana, southwest Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal, and some unincorporated parts of Madison County.
  2. What is the main issue, in your opinion, facing the district?
    The biggest issue in this campaign is healthcare. Access to affordable healthcare has been an ongoing challenge for many Alabama families and the closure of many rural hospitals limits healthcare options in many parts of the state. Our Legislature has also banned women from accessing reproductive healthcare, against the advice of doctors. Alabama’s blanket, no-exceptions abortion ban deprives women of healthcare, even in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is at risk. The deeply personal decisions women make in these heartbreaking circumstances should not be determined by politicians in Montgomery. I will work to repeal this dangerous law and return reproductive freedom to women and their families.
  3. Should we have a state lottery? Legalized gaming?
    As a licensed professional counselor, I’ve seen what happens when people become addicted to gambling, so I understand that this is not an issue to be taken lightly. That said, I also know that people are already gambling, either by traveling to other states or by doing so illegally here. It’s disheartening to see Alabamians line up to inject millions of dollars into the Tennessee and Georgia education systems every time the lottery payouts get big. I support establishing a lottery in Alabama. The lottery will create billions of dollars in new revenue for the state that can help to support key programs like mental health and education.
  4. Do you approve of expanding Medicaid?
    I strongly support expanding Medicaid. Our healthcare providers are pleading for Montgomery to get this done. In addition to bridging a coverage gap for thousands of families across our state, expanding Medicaid would create billions in economic growth, and provide desperately needed funding for overcrowded healthcare infrastructure. This program has been available for over a decade and it’s time Alabama starts receiving its benefits instead of sending our tax dollars to 40 states who have expanded Medicaid, including North Carolina and Arkansas.
  5. Where do you stand on school choice?
    North Alabama is home to some of the best schools in the state. I will only support  education legislation if it protects and maintains funding for our public schools. I am eager to work collaboratively to identify innovations and new programs that can improve education outcomes for all Alabamians, but not at expense of District 10’s public schools.

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