Why are you running for this position?
I believe in a representative democracy our Legislature should reflect our society and I believe blue collar working people are currently under-represented at our Capitol.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
I think the top three issues will be 1) finding a dedicated source of revenue to fully fund education, 2) expanding access to healthcare in rural communities, including mental health care and senior care, and 3) rebuilding our economy through investment in infrastructure and incentivizing investment in rural communities.
What is the role of the Legislature when it comes to needs like housing or healthcare?
Affordable housing is vital to creating and sustaining a local workforce and economy. The Legislature must institute the correct incentives as well as programs and policies to meet each area’s unique needs. I believe our healthcare system can only be comprehensively fixed at a national level. At the state level bills such as Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act help address specific problems. I think everyone can relate to getting an unexpected bill even with insurance. I believe legislation at the state level addressing surprise billing and price transparency is important.
What is the role of the Legislature in creating a healthy business climate in the state?
Creating a healthy business climate is a balance. Creating an ecosystem that attracts investment, requires investment. Great schools, roads, broadband internet, and parks attract people and business. Building infrastructure creates jobs, but this building should create value, leverage public private partnership when possible and produce return on investment.
What transportation issues would you like to address during your term?
With historic low interest rates and high unemployment rates now has never been a better time to upgrade our roads and bridges. In District 47A the most pressing transportation issue in western Carver county is upgrading the intersection of Highway 212 and County Road 51 to support the large amount of truck traffic and improve safety.
What circumstances would prompt you to vote across party lines?
The circumstances that would prompt me to work across party lines is any opportunity that I believe will help my district and our state. I don’t think any party has a monopoly on good ideas and many problems are solved through collaboration and cooperation. We all live in our communities and make them stronger when we work together.
How should the Legislature respond to calls for public safety reform?
I believe the Police Accountability Act does a good job of addressing a broad range of reforms applicable to all jurisdictions. I think reform isn’t one size fits all and should in most cases be left to local voters. What is needed in urban departments may not be needed in suburban or rural areas.
How should the Legislature respond to the pandemic?
Government has a role to play in ensuring public health. COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges in our state. It is vital to give our government agencies the resources to respond, while also providing proper oversight.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
I have never been charged with a crime or had a foreclosure.