October 20, 2008

Campaign Q & A – To answer a few random questions I’ve fielded this week:

Q. What is the main difference between you and your opponent?

Education and experience. I bring proven leadership in business, have been accountable for multi-million dollar budgets on public projects, and am accustomed to being responsible for making my own decisions and accepting the consequences. I can speak with authority from first hand experience when it comes to business, health care, public safety, capital budget and agriculture issues.

Q. Will this be your full time job?

The State Constitution envisioned a body of citizen legislators with significant responsibilities in their farms and businesses to keep them personally tied to the concerns of the people. I believe we need to honor this intent. Like any small business owner, I have never worked only a 40 hour week in my life, so I really can give 130%. I will attend to legislative business full time and keep my hand in my professional business and our family ranch part time.

Q. Your opponent has endorsements from current legislators, why don’t you?

Because I didn’t ask any current legislators for endorsements, nor accept them if offered. I agree with Sen. Bob Morton’s point of view, as we discussed it before the primary – currently serving legislators should not make endorsements in contested partisan races of their own party. See my Endorsement list for retired elected officials who have given their support.

Q. Who are you beholden to?

I am not beholden to anybody or any organization. My focus is on representing the voters of the 7th District, and I will always put the issues and people of the 7th District first.

Q. Do you think two years as a legislative aide gives your opponent a head start?

No, this is a marathon and not a sprint. The legislature will be transformed with the results of this election because of changes in committee assignments and shifting power relationships within the body. All freshman will go through the same orientation and assignment process, regardless of experience as an aide. Serving as a legislative aide is not a requirement for being an effective legislator, the positions require different skill sets.

Q. You are clearly more qualified to serve as a legislator. How will you work with Rep. Joel Kretz when elected, since he endorsed your opponent?

I met with Joel in Olympia last spring to discuss this very question, and he told me if I was elected he would show me the same professional courtesy as Rep. Bob Sump had shown him and we would work together as a team for the good of the 7th District. I have no reason to doubt his word is good, and look forward to developing a positive working relationship. My years of working on project teams is good preparation for the legislative process. No one person can take credit for success of a piece of legislation, it takes teamwork.