Why are you running for state representative?
I’m running for office because I want to work to help build a better Minnesota for everyone. The state’s most important asset is its people, and all decisions I would make as a member of the Legislature would be based on what is best for Minnesotans.
From your perspective, what is the role of a state representative?
The role of a State Representative is to represent the people of the district in the Minnesota Legislature. I would use a common-sense approach to problem solving and decision making. I will always look for ways to enhance the income and quality of life for the people in our part of the state.
Do you think the current buffer rule is the best solution for water quality. If so, why? If not, how would you resolve it?
The current buffer rule is only part of the solution for water quality. It works better in some areas than others. For that reason I would like to see more flexibility in the use of buffers. There are many practices that can improve water quality and we see farmers voluntarily adopting many of these practices, such as precision agriculture. As we learn more and technology improves into the future we will see more positive progress made on water quality.
How would you solve the transportation funding issues facing the state of Minnesota?
Transportation has not been fully funded for decades. To get us to a better funding level we will need to look at a variety of funding sources to keep from over burdening any single source. I will consider all workable ideas to get this done.
Do you believe the state’s economy is heading in the right direction? Why or why not?
I believe the state’s economy is heading in the right direction, it’s growing and we’re very close to full employment. The problem is not all Minnesotans are being included in this much improved economy. This issue is a priority of mine, and needs to be a priority for the next legislature.
Other than the above issues what do you think is the most significant issue facing the constituency you would represent, and how would you best represent them?
Healthcare. We’ve had good healthcare available to us in our area, the problem is the cost. Many people do not get the healthcare they need for this reason. Even for people who can afford health insurance, high deductibles and co-pays leave proper healthcare out of reach far to often. This is not a problem easily solved, or it would have been taken care of by now. I would consider all ideas, including ideas from across the isle to find a workable solution to the high cost of healthcare.
Please provide a brief biography of yourself.
I was raised on my parents’ dairy farm in Chippewa County. I graduated from Maynard High School, and then attended Willmar Vo-tech for two years and graduated from the Ag Production course. Most of my adult life I dairy farmed with my parents, and then my brothers on the family farm. In 2002 I was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and served there until April of 2012, and then was elected in a special election to the Minnesota Senate. I served there until December of 2016. My wife Sandy and I have four adult sons, the oldest three are married, and we have four grandchildren with one more on the way. We are members of Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City.