Election 2018: Chuck Goode hopes views on education, mental health care will help unseat District 71 incumbent Last

Composite image. L-R: Democrat Chuck Goode will be facing off against incumbent Republican Rep. Brad Last for the Utah House District 71 seat | Photos courtesy of Chuck Goode and Brad Last, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Democratic nominee Chuck Goode is seeking his first term as a Utah State representative for House District 71 against incumbent Rep. Brad Last, who has held the position since 2003.

District 71 covers parts of both Washington and Iron counties, from Hurricane up to Parowan and, as of the 2010 census, represents a total population of 51,723 residents.

In anticipation of voters receiving their mail-in ballots for the 2018 General Election, St. George News reached out to each candidate for their response to three questions, with the answers listed below. (See Ed. note)

State Representative District 71 Democratic Candidate Chuck Goode, date unspecified | photo courtesy of Chuck Goode, St. George News.

Democratic candidate Chuck Goode

Toquerville resident Chuck Goode spent a career as a computer engineer working in the space program, an experience that taught him to work well with others and solve problems. He believes together we can start “Improving People’s Lives.”

If elected,what is the first piece of legislation you would sponsor or what Utah law would you work on amending or repealing?

Goode said he hopes the Medicaid expansion bill will pass this November because more mental health services are needed.

His first proposed legislation would be to help solve the problem by increasing coverage for mental care.

“The bill I would support would have more detox centers, more mental health centers and move 70 percent of Purgatory prisoners who haven’t committed crimes but have a mental health care problem into that arena,” Goode said.

He said the mental health issue encompasses health care, crime, addiction and suicide and addressing it would decrease crime rates, treat the opioid problem and deal with many of Utah’s issues in “one fell swoop.”

Of three issues concerning Southern Utah voters – housing, education and water – which one do you believe is the most pressing, and what steps would you take to address it?

Education can solve many of Utah’s economic problems, Goode said, including job and wage issues.

“I think education is the most pressing issue,” he said, adding that Utah should have been increasing funds to education instead doing the opposite.

Goode said constant budget cuts, and specifically cutbacks in education, have resulted in Utah going from 10th in the nation for educating our youth to last place.

If people are educated, their wages will go up,” he said.

Goode said he knows housing is a principal concern for many Southern Utah voters, and although he doesn’t think the problem can be totally solved, education and increased wages can play a role.

“We can’t fix affordable housing, but if people have the wages, they can afford a house,” Goode said.

What is an interesting fact about yourself that voters might want to know?

Goode said he’s always impressed when he witnesses people reaching out and seeing how they can help others. He knows firsthand the importance of someone being aware of the world around them and willing to help.

“It’s not some hard thing for them, it’s just something they seem to notice,” he said.

Goode was unable to read until the age of 10 when a kind teacher finally took note of his constant struggles in school and discovered he suffered from the reading disorder dyslexia. All the way through the fourth grade he received only failing scores, but soon after her intervention, he was getting straight “A’s” from that point on.

Throughout his life he has always tried to notice when others are in need and said several years ago he played a small role in establishing the local soup kitchen at the Grace Episcopal Church. What began as a once-a-week program now operates five days a week and serves over 3,000 meals a year helping families in need.

Goode said as a child he knew exactly what it meant to go hungry, and when he looks into the eyes of children at the kitchen, he sees himself.

“I know how important is to have somebody reach out and help you when you have hard times,” he said. “I know how much it changes their lives too.”

For more information on Chuck Goode, visit his website or Facebook page.

Ed. note: Despite multiple attempts by St. George News to reach incumbent Republican Rep. Brad Last, as of publication of this article, he has not submitted any responses to our questions.

For other Election 2018 stories, click here.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • Red2Blue310 October 14, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Brad Last is a do nothing politician that gets money from being on the college board. Time for a fresh face.

    • Happy Commenter October 15, 2018 at 10:57 am

      They all are…#WALKAWAY

  • KR567 October 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Yep ! it be a time for a change

  • Borowiak Mark October 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Will there be a debate?

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