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Senate District 20 candidate Brooks on opponent, schools, taxes

Assemblyman Keith Pickard is “exploiting community members” for political gain. Gun control won’t prevent mass shootings, and the key to improving education is keeping great teachers in the classroom. That’s all according to Byron Brooks, who’s running for the Republican nomination for state Senate in District 20. Pickard, his primary opponent, agreed to a debate on Nevada Politics Today before backing out.

With the primary just days away, Pickard has attacked Brooks for running a bail bond company. One of his flyers listed the names of people whom Brooks has bailed out and the charges they faced.

“I can’t tell you how offended I am as a constituent, as somebody who lives in this district, to have a current elected official exploit community members in the manner that he has,” said Brooks, objecting to Pickard using names on his flyer. “We provide a service. It’s a simple service. Somebody gets arrested. They have the right to bail.”

Brooks also said he’d be open to eliminating the cash bail requirement for people currently arrested for minor traffic violations.

Mass shootings have generated renewed calls for gun control, but Brooks doesn’t think those efforts would reduce gun violence.

“As a combat veteran and someone who’s worked overseas for the government in high-threat environment, I can tell you that gun legislation isn’t going to stop the next attack,” he said. “There are other things we really have to take a look at in terms of how do we thwart the next attack from occurring. It’s not legislating accessories, and it’s not legislating ammunition.

To prevent mass shootings, Brooks proposed armed security at schools, which would “advertise that this is a hard target.”

To improve public education, Brooks called for a forensic audit of the Clark County School District and “motivating good teachers to stay in the classroom.”

“We’ve got to take a look at what’s going on with great educators who are leaving the school system because they’re tired of the politics involved with the Clark County School District, because they’re actually thwarting teachers’ ability to implement policies and procedures that will work at those schools.”

He also said he’d have a hard time voting for a budget that didn’t contain funding for Education Savings Accounts. “We’ve got to have ESA funding,” he said.

Asked if he would vote for tax increases, Brooks was quick to voice his opposition.

“No. Absolutely not. Especially anything that has to do with property taxes. Again, the issue isn’t should we tax more. The issue is how are we spending our money.”

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