(Host) Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Douglas says lawmakers should not automatically vote for the candidate who receives the most votes if the governor’s race is decided by the Legislature in January. Legislators would vote by secret ballot if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in the November election.
Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Douglas said individual lawmakers shouldn’t feel obligated to support the top vote getter:
(Douglas) “I’m not going to tell the General Assembly of our state what to do. The constitution sets forth a procedure for dealing with this situation and I think the Legislature ought to be allowed and empowered, as it is under the provisions of our state constitution, to exercise its judgement.”
(Host) Douglas also says the top public safety issue facing the state is “an epidemic of heroin use” and he wants tougher laws, stronger prevention efforts and better treatment programs to deal with this problem:
(Douglas) “You know, the governor said a couple of years ago he was going to drive heroin from the state. That hasn’t happened. The Legislature hasn’t provided sufficient resources to deal with it. My opponent has been president of the Senate and they haven’t dealt with it during the last couple of years. So now is the time to act Drugs are the most serious problem in law enforcement confronting our state. We have to get serious.”
(Host) Douglas says he would pay for his drug initiative by reallocating existing resources in the state budget.