Soliday, Webber race is a question of experience

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INDIANAPOLIS | State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, said Indiana will need experienced hands in the General Assembly next year as the state confronts possibly its worst budget deficit in history.

"Unless this economy really turns around really fast, that's going to be a really tough budget, and we need people that know what they're doing," Soliday said.

Soliday, 65, a retired airline pilot, has represented the 4th House District, which includes southern Porter County and portions of eastern Lake and northern Jasper counties, since 2006.

But Democrat Thomas W. Webber Sr., 74, of Porter Township, said his experience, including 20 years as a police officer and 30 years as a lawyer and judge, would serve the district well in the Indiana House.

"I've been very frugal with the public dollar," Webber said.

Webber and Soliday said they oppose tax increases to raise revenue.

If elected, Webber said he'd investigate how and why Gov. Mitch Daniels recently cut $300 million from public education.

"I think we need as legislators, whether it be me or anybody else, to be fully informed and be able to see line-item transparency on how monies are being allocated and spent," Webber said.

If re-elected to a third term, Soliday said his legislative agenda would focus on region priorities, including transportation projects through the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and a maintenance plan for the nearly finished levees along the Little Calumet River.

"The primary goal is Northwest Indiana, and the other stuff comes second," Soliday said.

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