Friday night was the first public forum with all republican candidates under one roof. Even the candidates from midland, Odessa and Kermitt. Except Republican Richard Bartlett from Midland wasn't able to attend.
But 10 of the 11 candidates met Friday at the Science Spectrum. Each candidate talked about important issues, like education, oil and gas, tax cuts, how to make a stronger economy, and agriculture just to name a few.
Many people came out Friday to hear what each of them had to say. A lot of issues, but one in particular; taxes. Every one of those candidates mentioned tax cuts in one way or another. So NewsChannel 11 asked them all the same question, what ideas do they have to lower taxes and put money back into your pockets?
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"Well, I'm concerned with the lowering of the taxes by flattening the brackets. Not that we have to have a flat tax, but the flattening of the brackets. Back when Ronald Reagan was president, I believe we had like and 18-20 percent if we could flatten these brackets I think it would be a lot more fair across the board for tax paying citizens," said Stace Williams, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"Approve the president's full tax cut and not the half measures the senate has done. I also believe by reducing spending, we'll have less pressure on the needs for more revenues and I also believe by controlling regulations and the high cost of regulations we would be able to reduce the necessary tax burden we put on our people," said Bill Christian, Republican Candidate from Midland.
"One of the things we need to look at, there has been a lot of talk of a National sales tax, been a lot of talk about a flat tax. I think we should explore those. People are so tired of working long on their taxes we need a fairer, simpler system," said David Langston, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"Well, the first think we have to do is pass the president's tax cut plan. We need to pass it in full. We don't need to pass the half measure the Senate approved. And we need to get it back into the economy and get jobs created and people working and being productive," said Carl Isett, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"I think the very best thing we can do is to give everybody a tax cut. Because that's the President's plan is to give everyone a tax cut. That's the very best thing to do to stimulate the economy. Get people out spending money again and give people a reason to create jobs and boost the economy," said Vickie Sutton, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"Change the tax structure. We've got it built into the tax code of 2004 and 2006. A reduction in those rates for individuals. Also eliminate the tax on a dividend which is part of the President's package and I'd eliminate the death tax," said Mike Conaway, Republican candidate from Midland.
"We've got to life the economy. In order to do that, I think one piece of that puzzle is a stable energy price that will do that. It will kick it off. And what we've found is that what's happened in the past is recession follow a low price high price are following each other a roller coaters ride is hurting the economy and I think that's a major piece of the puzzle," said John Bell, Republican candidate from Hermitt
"We've got to have a rate cut. Cut rates across the board because incrementally we have a regressive tax system and what we've found is higher income taxes are causing lower economic de3velopment and it slows economy down. So if we lower our taxes, we'll be able to lift the economy back up. It's the president's plan and I support that," said Randy Neugebauer, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"First of all, a tax cut. I agree with PResident Bush's tax cut plan. I think it should be retroactive in January first of this year. If tax cuts are good enough for 2004, 2006, 2008, they're good enough for 2003. Tax cuts have historically spurred the economy," said Donald May, Republican candidate from Lubbock.
"Fulfill the proposals our president has made. And that is put the tax dollar back into our pockets to stimulate this economy. I believe just walking though there's been quite a debate and those number have already dropped almost in half," said Jamie Berryhill, Republican candidate from Odessa.
Early voting begins April 16th. The last day to vote is May 3rd.