By Tyler Englander
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Just days after announcing her candidacy for Governor, State Senator Sharon Hewitt (R-01) stopped by the KNOE studios for an exclusive interview.
Hewitt says her trip to Monroe on the first business day since entering the race proves she cares about every corner of the state.
“The big message we hear when we come up here is people say ‘don’t forget about us,’” Hewitt told KNOE. “There is more to Louisiana than just what is South of I-10. I want you to know that I hear that loud and clear.”
Hewitt says her top priority will be education, and that starts with rethinking how Louisiana teaches its next generation.
“The call is the science of reading,” explained Hewitt. “You are teaching phonics. You have teacher interventions. You have testing that is identifying reading deficiencies earlier. You’re teaching teachers at the college level this new way of teaching how to read.”
Hewitt adds to ensure student success, high schools across the state should develop programs allowing students to obtain career readiness certificates to enter the workforce.
“It’s not just welding and air conditioning and the kinds of things we had back in my day,” Hewitt said. “It’s computer coding. It’s nursing. It’s cloud computing. A lot of those things where those students can graduate and go right into the workforce making $60,000 a year.”
Hewitt, a Republican from Slidell, says for too long, Louisiana has lost out on economic development opportunities because the state doesn’t have a trained workforce.
“That’s on us because we are not training the workforce and listening to the businesses in our community and developing those partnerships that would be so important,” explained Hewitt.
Finally, Hewitt says she does support eliminating the state income tax, but favors an approach to phase it out over several years.
“You are giving businesses the confidence that we have a long-term plan and a commitment to get to zero and that we are doing it in a smart way,” said Hewitt. “We are not going to have a knee-jerk reaction and swing the pendulum in a different direction.”
On the Republican side, Attorney General Jeff Landry and Treasurer John Schroder have announced their candidacy. Lake Charles Attorney Hunter Lundy is running as an independent.
Source: KNOE - by Tyler Englander
CLICK HERE to watch Sharon Hewitt's campaign launch video.