Candidate Questions for Tea and Lennox newspaper

Posted November 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized by isaac

I recently submitted the following responses to the Tea Weekly’s candidate questionnaire:

What Qualifies you to represent the citizens of District 6?

I believe the most important qualification is understanding the proper role of Government in a free country, and that elected officials are employees of the people. I’ve knocked on thousands of doors in our district to talk directly with my bosses about their priorities, our shared values, and possible solutions. I evaluate policies and budgets through the lens of 17 years of business and finance experience to ensure tax dollars are spent effectively and are achieving the desired outcome. I am honored to have been elected 3 times to serve District 6, and have been elected to leadership positions by my colleagues for the past 4 years.

It’s important to realize Government exists to protect God-given rights, not grant them. We can change laws, but can’t change the heart of man.  Government can’t truly heal brokenness, only Jesus can, so we must put our trust in Him if we want to see our families and communities thrive. That perspective ensures I don’t look to Government for every solution, otherwise we would have 100% taxes and 0% freedom. Lastly, I always try to treat others with kindness and find common ground whenever possible. Most people want the same outcome, but differ on the approach.  

Do you think our state government is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?

While everyone has a different definition of healthy and successful, I believe “healthy” means fiscally and morally responsible,

and “successful” means that legislation will benefit all citizens of South Dakota in accordance with the Constitution. Legislation should expand opportunity, freedom, and improve quality of life, not expand government’s reach. I would say our state is 75% healthy and 80% successful.

It isn’t enough just to say we have balanced budget. Our state has not been as fiscally responsible as it should be, since the budget and tax rates have grown faster than our population. We have slipped in our economic competitive ranking as a result. I will continue to vote against tax increases and instead push for full audits of our departments to ensure efficiency, accountability and transparency.

What are key issues facing District 6 that you want the Legislature to address?

The most common issue I hear is residents struggling with their tax burden. We have to ensure we don’t put additional tax burdens on the families in our district, because I know the average family budget is much tighter than the State’s.

I would also like to see the Legislature help our growing school districts’ revenue be more robust, sustainable, and equitable. They are struggling to keep up with the demand in the fastest growing part of the state. The property taxes school districts receive is not always split fairly, and lags behind the need, especially in growing residential communities.

While it is important to be pro-business, legislation must first consider the impact on the South Dakota family. Families who love each other and love their neighbors are the bedrock of thriving communities and vital for government to remain limited.

While we can’t legislate those things directly, since policy results from culture, we do have a solemn duty to protect the unborn, better protect, mentor, and educate children, encourage strong marriages, and protect religious freedom for people who come together to love, serve, and strengthen their communities.

What do you think sets you apart from the other candidates?

I made a decision when I ran for office that I would be upfront with my beliefs and priorities, and I would always vote for whatever was best for the people, not what made me popular in the State Capitol or with a particular party or group. I didn’t realize at the time how often I would have to make that hard choice! In politics, people often assume you want to go to D.C. and ask, “what’s your next political move?” I answer that I don’t like the game of politics, and would rather not go to D.C. (except to visit my sister). I am passionate about getting the power D.C. has stolen back to South Dakota so we can govern ourselves the way the Constitution intended and hold our local officials accountable.

What Neighborhood do you live in? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our District?

I live in the south part of Tea just west of the baseball fields. As a person who spends a lot of time on the computer for my business, I like to unwind by working in the garage and often find myself stopping in at Steve’s Auto, Gary’s Marine, J&M, Goldammer Auto, Twisted Choppers or NAPA getting advice or parts for my current project. These guys are way beyond experts and have an amazing reputation that reaches beyond Tea, so it’s great to have them so close by.  Sundays I normally worship with my church family at Emmaus Road, we meet in District 6 in the cafeteria at Sioux Falls Christian School. I love the harvest festivals at Country Apple Orchard and make sure to get a hayride at least once every year. Last but not least, definitely stop in at Studio G Salon in Lennox! Heidi and Gail are true professionals and always positive. You’ll like it so much you’ll stop going to your brother for free haircuts–I did!

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