Bossier, La. - Four candidates face off for the District Eight seat for the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Raymond Crews says he's a conservative Republican who wants smaller government. He's a combat veteran who flew missions during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I was fortunate enough to serve in active duty in the Air Force and in the Reserves in the Air Force. I've flown for a major airline. I've worked for small local companies and I've owned small local companies. So I have a broad based perspective that's not limited to one area of the economy," Crews said.
He says his experience translates to public service and he'll advocate for Barksdale Air Force Base.
"You understand what you are fighting for in this country and when you separate from the service, you maintain those values," Crews said.
He started two small businesses with fellow servicemen.
"One does aerial mapping and one does work with people building buildings to help them qualify for tax credits, deductions, low interest loans," Crews said.
Crews was born in south Shreveport before his parents moved to the Northeast where he went to high school. Later, he was stationed back in Bossier where he and his wife Dianah decided to raise their two children who are now teenagers.
"We've been here over 20 years. Now I'd like to participate more in the community and return our tax rates to a lower rate. The way they were previously where people were incentivized to live here," Crews said.
He says lower taxes and Second Amendment rights are his top priorities along with reigning in the state's budget.
"We know the budget has gotten out of control where we are having a hard time even forecasting what our revenue is going to be next year. Eight years now I believe they are having to have a mid-year update because they've improperly forecast. So part of that is the complexity of our tax code and we're counting on revenue that doesn't materialize. For example, the oil and gas industry we had a mass exodus of jobs and we were counting on those jobs to provide revenue for the state. So we need more stability there. We need something more predictable. I believe it should be a smaller amount of taxes contributed from the citizens," Crews said.
District Eight includes Benton up to central Bossier.
We'll have coverage on the remaining three candidates each night this week.
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