Address: 12453 67th Street NE, Otsego, MN 55330
Education: B.S. Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, 1987
1. Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.
I’ve been an environmental consultant for over 30 years doing environmental impact studies and permitting for developments including public infrastructure, energy facilities, mines, transportation, and other major construction projects. I’ve work with local governments throughout Minnesota and now I want to use that experience as a state legislator.
2. What is your biggest accomplishment in public life?
Seeing all the finished infrastructure projects that I’ve worked on throughout the state of Minnesota.
3. Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for the 2021 Legislature? Why are you running for office?
Education funding reform, economic recovery from the COVID pandemic, clean energy development and greenhouse gas reductions, rural recovery and economic development, protecting healthcare, prescription drug prices, legalization of recreational marijuana, and women’s rights and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
4. COVID-19: How do you grade the state government’s response to the pandemic? Are additional measures necessary? If so, what?
Grade A. We need a national mask mandate. We need to vote Trump out of office and institute a national mask mandate.
5. Gridlock: What specific measures do you support to reduce the increasing partisanship of the lawmaking process and resulting gridlock? Do you support reforms that would prohibit consolidating multiple subjects into a single omnibus bill?
Yes. Vote the obstructionist Republicans out of office.
6. Budget: The Legislature will be tasked with adopting a two-year budget in 2021 with a looming shortfall due to the financial impact of COVID-19. What will be your approach to balancing the budget in terms of reducing spending and/or raising taxes and fees? Be as specific as possible.
As a first time candidate, I need to listen to my constituents, look at the data, and confer with other legislators on the best solutions going forward.
7. Education, K-12: COVID-19 resulted in dramatic changes to the delivery of education. What weaknesses in the system were highlighted by distance learning? Did we identify any best practices that should be incorporated in the post-pandemic era?
We need rural broadband internet so there is greater equity in social distance learning access.
8. Education, higher education: Prior to the pandemic, many employers were challenged to find qualified workers. Now we’re faced with unemployment as many businesses are downsizing or closing. Is our higher ed system equipped to pivot and train workers for the changing business landscape?
Mostly no. We need to bring back trade and vocational schools and training programs including apprenticeships. Business’s need to be integrated with these educational programs for on the job training and career development opportunities.
9. Health care: Affordable health care remains a concern for many Minnesotans. Do you support the expansion of government-run health insurance plans? If not, what options do you support to stabilize health insurance premiums?
I support maintaining and strengthening the Affordable Care Act while enabling employer and individual choice on private insurance options.
10. Workplace regulations: Mandated paid family and medical leave for all Minnesota employers were debated in 2020. It passed the House but failed in the Senate. Do you support such a mandate? Why or why not?
11. Transportation: What is your preference for raising additional money for roads and bridges? Or is current funding sufficient?
Raise gas tax. Legalized marijuana tax revenues.
12. Energy: Should Minnesota increase its renewable energy mandates on utilities? Or are market forces sufficient to promote sustainability?
That’s not a mutually exclusive question. Minnesota increases or adjusts its renewable energy mandates based on market drivers, that are sustainable. It’s the technology improvements being realized that are driving these timelines, not mandates. The mandates are in response to the improvement technologies.
13. Police reform: Police reform has become center stage in the aftermath of the George Floyd death and prompted passage of legislation during the special session. Did the laws go far enough or too far? Should the Legislature take additional measures?
I think the legislature will need to take additional measures to establish a framework for reforms.
14. What, if any, local initiatives or legislation do you have in mind if you are elected?
As one of the fastest growing areas of the state, initiatives related to sustainable community growth emphasizing quality of life and economic development. We need to improve our tax base and diversify our communities economically.