Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
My experience as a small business owner, father, farmer, and now a legislator gives me a well rounded background to use in making decisions in office.
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.
I recently brought the DOT Secretary Dave Ross up to the district and had lengthy discussions on the need to fix our rural roads. One thing that came to light in those discussions is to direct more money into our rural areas and less into mega projects in the southeast corner of this state. I support measures to not start any new mega project down there until our roads in this portion of the state get the attention they need.
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?
In my first term in office this biennium I was happy to support a $636 million increase in school funding, especially since it prioritized the rural sparsity aid that delivers more money to frugal, low spending schools in our area.
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
I think my experiences in business and farming, along with being a father to a teenager in public schools gives me the background needed for the job. I also believe my ability to compromise where possible and to listen to all sides of an issue – including those I may not agree with – make me the better choice to represent the people of the 29th Assembly District.
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?
I think the priority issues for this area are simple – 1) build our workforce so we can fill the jobs we have empty and improve worker skills so they earn a higher wage for the work they do, 2) provide a quality education for our K-12 kids and those going to further education after high school in our tech colleges and universities, 3) protect our quality healthcare including for those with pre-existing conditions, and 4) hold the line on taxes so our families can keep more of the money they earn.