Job: Small business owner
Phone: (618) 402-3363
Education: B.S. in accouting
Previous offices: St. Clair County Board member
Qualifications: I am already well acquainted with the duties and responsibilities of being a state senator. I have had the privilege of serving as the senator for the 51st Legislative District since February 2009, when Sen. Frank Watson retired. Like Sen. Watson, I have put people before politics, which is reflected in fact that I won more than 61 percent of the vote in an evenly-balanced Republican-Democrat district in 2010. In addition, my background as a small business owner and job creator in the manufacturing sector, former president of the O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, and former member of the St. Clair County Board helps me understand the issues confronting Illinois from more than just one perspective. I offer a practical, common sense approach in addressing our state's challenges, which is something we truly need right now.
Top issues: Our top priorities are putting our families back to work and getting our state's finances under control. We need public policy that fosters private sector job creation and economic growth in Illinois; however, this will only occur once we have reformed the workers' comp, unemployment insurance, and tort systems in a practical manner. Small business owners and entrepreneurs, which are the basis for any economic growth and job creation, cannot exist in a high-taxed and over-regulated state. In addition, we must get our state's finances under control. Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Balancing our budget means spending less money than we bring in and includes reforming the Medicaid and public pension systems. It is possible for Illinois to experience a balanced budget again, which in turn brings higher credit ratings, an expanding tax base with lower rates and revenue surpluses. Good sound fiscal policy in the public sector will put Illinois on the right track.