The two candidates seeking the Indiana Senate District 41 seat in the November general election have some different takes on the biggest issues facing Indiana.
The seat is currently held by Republican Sen. Greg Walker, 58, who is seeking a fifth term representing District 41. Walker is being challenged by Democratic nominee Bryan Munoz, 36, director of bands at Columbus North High School, in his first time running for public office.
Walker and Munoz both ran unopposed in the May 3 primary.
In 2018, Walker defeated Democratic challenger Ross Thomas in the general election, with nearly 67% of the vote, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office.
Q: What is your position on Indiana’s near-total abortion ban (also known as SEA 1), and why?
Walker: Roe v. Wade was a flawed decision. I supported SEA1 because Indiana can help restore a culture of preservation of life. We must get additional resources directed at maternal, prenatal, and post-delivery care. Still to accomplish: better support for mothers in the workplace, corrections to our onerous foster and adoption processes, and generally anything to aid families become healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. SEA1 is not settled law yet. I remain open to amendments that increase our service towards the most vulnerable among us, not only pre-birth but throughout the formative years. The visiting nurses programs deserve much more financial assistance.
Munoz: I am vehemently opposed to the near total abortion ban the Indiana Legislature hastily forced through. Our medical privacy is just that — ours. As people grapple with what is undoubtedly the most difficult decision in their life, the state does not need to meddle in those affairs and force women to deny what is best for them. A relationship between a patient and a doctor is sacred and the state impeding that process is shameful.
Q: What are your views on legislation that removed Indiana’s requirement to obtain a permit to carry a firearm (also known as “constitutional carry”), and why?
Walker: When discussing the Constitution, it is important to use original document context consistently. Article 2 Section 14(c) states, “The General Assembly shall provide for the registration of all persons entitled to vote.” As vitally important as voting access is to preserving our freedoms, no system of registration was ever regarded as an impediment or “disenfranchisement” of this Constitutional entitlement. I follow the lead of Superintendent Doug Carter of the Indiana State Police when he asks me to support our law enforcement in refusing this bill.
Munoz: I trust experts. As it pertains to permitless carry — I trust our local and state police when they say this makes our community less safe. We can all find stories that justify our own positions but for our legislature to ignore those who keep us safe seems like a blatant disregard for those they took an oath to serve.
Q: If elected, what issues do you plan to focus on in the General Assembly?
Walker: So many of the goals we have for a better quality of life depend upon access to mental healthcare. We spend billions treating disease symptoms without proper investment in the diagnosis and treatment of root cause. I have written bills to help divert mentally incapacitated persons from criminal courts when appropriate. Child Protective Services is near crisis and community counseling is needed to mitigate this problem. I have been working to understand the federal expansion of the 988 Suicide Hotline and funding for healing the broken spirits creating havoc in families. We need to heal the aggression and restless minds.
Munoz: When elected, I plan to work to fully fund public education, restore medical rights to women and to increase transparency in our government. For too long, the Republican-controlled legislature has ignored those they are supposed to serve and have bowed down to corporate campaign contributions and special interests.