In trying to decide for whom to vote in the Republican runoff for transportation commissioner in the Northern District, there’s really just one essential question to ask.

How does the candidate stand on increasing the fuel tax to pay for road and bridge maintenance and repair?

If the candidate supports it, as did outgoing Commissioner Mike Tagert, then that candidate understands the fairest and most realistic way to raise enough money to fix or replace the state’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure is to ask motorists to pay for the work through a higher fuel tax.

Geoffrey Yoste gets it. John Caldwell does not.

Therefore, we recommend that GOP voters select Yoste on Tuesday as their nominee to face Democrat Joey Grist in November.

Yoste has been working as an Oxford-based consultant to the defense industry. Prior to that, he spent time in government, serving under former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott and former Governor Kirk Fordice. Most relevant to the job of transportation commissioner, Yoste was a combat engineer in the Army National Guard, a duty that familiarized him with building roads.

He understands that it’s impossible to keep up with the cost of construction when the tax that pays for it hasn’t been adjusted in 32 years.

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