Candidate Profile: David Friess

Name: David Friess

Office seeking: State Representative - 116th District

Party: Republican

Age: 50

City of residence: Red Bud

Campaign website: www.davidfriess.com

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running because of my two young children. My wife Miki and I have been able to live the American dream right here in Southern Illinois where we grew up. I fear that my children will have no choice but to look elsewhere for opportunity once they graduate college. I believe people should vote for me because I have a history of serving others, and I will go to Springfield to represent the will of the people, not Mike Madigan and not the Chicago Machine. I am a combat veteran. I served in the Air Force overseas during Operation Desert Storm. I am a true conservative who will fight to lower taxes, reduced spending, balanced budgets, business friendly environment, the protection of the 2nd Amendment, and the lives of the unborn.

Who will you support for Speaker of the House and why? I will never support Mike Madigan for Speaker - Jerry Costello already support Madigan three times. In a hypothetical matchup between Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Madigan, I will choose Durkin because Madigan has presided over the complete financial destruction of our state over the past 40 years.

What is your position on organized labor and the Janus decision striking down the requirement for public sector workers to pay fair share fees even if they don’t want to? I am a supporter of labor. Labor built the middle class in America. My father is a retired AFSCME employee from Menard Correctional Facility and my father-in-law was a member of UMWA and is a retired coal miner. With regards to the Janus decision, I agree with the constitution and its message about free speech. I believe the state should step in and address the idea of freeloaders and paying for services like grievance hearings as mentioned in the decision written by Justice Alito.

What is your stance on expanding gambling in Illinois? I personally don’t like the idea of expanding gambling in Illinois. I think it is silly to rely on something like gambling to generate new revenue. Expanding gambling is a lazy answer to our budget problems that has unintended consequences attached to it.

Illinois roads are in disrepair. How would you approach this problem? How would you pay for it? First and foremost, a growing economy is the main source of source of needed revenue to pay for fixing our roads. Illinois’ economy is lackluster at best due to the policies of Madigan and Costello. Beyond that, a budget is really a set of priorities. In order to pay for capital expenditures, we must priorities your expenses and cut any and all waste from our bloated state budget. For example, the $200 million for an Obama Library in last year’s budget would pay for a lot of repairs to our roads here in Southern Illinois.

What else should be done to address the ongoing opioid epidemic? The Illinois Attorney General should have joined other Attorney’s General across America, Republican and Democrat, in suing drug companies for their predatory practices. We also must look at drug treatment facilities and the fact that in a lot of rural areas, the only option for long term treatment facilities may be out of state. The recent increase in Medicaid dollars coming to Illinois should be used for the purpose of long term drug treatment centers in our region which has been ravaged by addiction. These things are in addition to the many great local efforts like drug awareness coalitions and specialized units within our law enforcement community.

What should Illinois’ income tax system look like? What rates would you want to see? How would those rates affect the state’s revenues? Among all of the bad news for businesses in Illinois, the one advantage we do have over some of our neighbors is our flat tax system. I would keep it and try to roll back the Madigan income tax increase from a coupled years ago. Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

Would you term limit yourself? If so, how many terms? I am a strong supporter of term limits on legislators - Jerry Costello, Jr. is not. I would limit myself to no more than 5 terms. I think every legislator should have a 10-year term limit, which is enough time to build seniority and make a difference, but not enough time to get rich of the system and become a corrupt insider.