Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
As an emergency physician, I understand the importance of having great health care. I also understand the importance of using evidence and best practice to solve a problem. I am a father of four, and longtime resident of Wisconsin. I see the numerous challenges and stresses that our communities face. In the State Senate, I would advocate for working families, build up our middle class, and help create an economy that works for everyone in our state. During my term, I would work to strengthen communities by increasing access to quality, affordable healthcare, investing in our public education system and building a 21st century infrastructure that will prepare us for the future.
Q. The American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin motorists spend $2.0-billion per year
in costs from driving on roads in need of repairs. Name a specific measure you would support
that would bring in more money for road projects.
Wisconsin needs a long-term funding solution to fix our crumbling infrastructure. Our local officials are constantly asked to do more with less as the funding they rely on is diverted to other parts of the state. Continuing to rack up large amounts of debt while delaying long overdue repairs is irresponsible and unfair to Wisconsin taxpayers. I know that a strong transportation network is a cornerstone of a safe and successful community. In order for our local businesses to thrive, we need a sustainable funding fix. In the State Senate, I would work to protect our economic opportunities now and in the future by investing in the quality and safety of our roads. I believe that the citizens using the roads most should be paying for the use of the roads. The gas tax is the closest to a sustainable user fee and should be utilized as part of a comprehensive approach to keep our transportation fund solvent and reduce our infrastructure debt.
Q. State aid to local school districts has been reduced, or remained flat for the last few years. Leaders of local school districts say that has resulted in stagnant teacher pay and reductions in educational programs that students need and want. Some worry that we are losing our best and brightest teachers to neighboring states. So many local school districts are now going to voters, asking them to pass referendums that would allow these schools to raise local property taxes to make up the difference. In your opinion, is this the best and most fair way to fund these projects? If so, what is the role of the state to provide further assistance.? If not, what, specifically, would you do to provide more state aid to local schools and where would that money come from?
Great public schools don’t just lead to better outcomes and more opportunities for students – they are the heart of every local community and a key driving force for all aspects of success including economic success. Local public schools are the foundation of our communities and we need to make sure we are retaining quality teachers, investing in modern facilities and meeting high education standards to give students the best possible opportunity to get ahead. For the past several years we have seen historic cuts to Wisconsin’s public schools, unfairly shifting a greater burden onto local communities and property taxpayers. If elected, I would work to readjust the current school funding formula, creating a funding system that is more fair and beneficial for all of Wisconsin’s students.
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
As an emergency physician, I see the challenges we all face in this part of the state. I understand the impact that the high cost of healthcare, coupled with the crisis of opioid abuse and addiction has had on our families. Northern Wisconsin has been ignored over the past several years, and it’s time we have the support we need to keep our communities strong. I’ve spent my career as a physician advocating for my patients and now I am running for the State Senate to do the same for the residents of the 23rd District. I believe Wisconsin has tremendous potential and I know that by investing in each other, we can create opportunities for everyone to succeed.
Q. What do you think should be the top priorities for the state and your area over the next
decade? If elected to office, how would you advance those priorities?
If elected to the State Senate, I would prioritize investments in healthcare, education, infrastructure and the environment. To advance these priorities I would accept the federal Medicaid dollars to expand BadgerCare, sustainably fund transportation and broadband expansion projects, increase voucher school accountability and put a stop to corporate giveaways.