Ashley Kalus is running for Governor of Rhode Island as a Republican. If elected, Kalus would become the state’s first Republican Governor in over a decade.
“Rhode Island needs a fighter now more than ever. COVID brought front and center the haves and the have-nots – and it’s getting harder everyday for working families in Rhode Island. We’re getting killed at the [gas] pumps, food prices are soaring, it costs more to heat our homes and the income is just not keeping up with inflation,” said Kalus in a recent episode of Ray-ality TV.
“As a mom of three school-aged boys, I understand the struggle. And for me, I’m a problem solver. I saw first hand through COVID testing and vaccines how [the] government does not serve the people. And I’m all about holding people accountable and getting things done. I believe in metrics, key performance indicators and benchmarks – and that’s what I’ll do as Governor.”
One of the key issues Kalus plans to focus on is education. School choice is a policy she supports wholeheartedly. School choice is one aspect of how the GOP plans to champion the issue of education.
Recently, parental access to schools’ curriculums has become a hot-button issue for the party. This leads to the discussion of whether or not Critical Race Theory (CRT) is taught in K-12 schools. Kalus is opposed to the teaching of CRT in K-12 schools.
She said, “I don’t think the topics are particularly appropriate for young children. And I really think that given where our schools are – we need to focus on reading, writing, math and science. That needs to be our focus right now.”
One of Kalus’ potential Democratic opponents is showcasing their support to end Rhode Island’s Voter ID law. Voter ID laws are laws that require some form of identification when a person votes. Kalus wouldn’t repeal the law if elected Governor.
“I would keep the law. There’s nothing wrong with it. You need an ID for almost everything that you do and I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to ask that you present one when you vote,” says Kalus.
A hot-button issue in both local and national politics are the mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Kalus indicated she is opposed to the mandates and is for freedom of choice.
In the post-COVID era, rebuilding the state’s economy will be a top issue for the Governor regardless of whoever is elected. Kalus wants Rhode Island’s economy to become more business-friendly and competitive.
She explained, “We’re not competitive and we need to build a better business environment. It all starts with education. Education leads to a better workforce. People will stay and work here – maybe even open a business. We can also attract new businesses here if there’s an educated workforce. If we do these things, seniors and grandparents will be able to retire here – because we will make Rhode Island more affordable. I hear from so many moms on the campaign trail that kids just don’t come back after college. We need to fix that.”
Other topics Kalus and I spoke about were her ties to Rhode Island and what she thinks the state is best known for.