- Current Occupation: Lawyer, small business owner
- Education: Newman University, Creighton University
- Degrees: Bachelors of Arts in History and a J. D.
Married to Christine Giroux. Four children; Lauren 13, Alexander 11, Caroline 8, Elliot 6.
What one specific issue do you think deserves your immediate attention in Washington, and how do you plan to address it?
The most pressing issue for South Central Kansas is the economic stagnation our community is facing. Young people are moving away in droves, jobs are leaving, and opportunity is drying up. It doesn’t have to be this way-there is a way forward. I plan to address this issue by promoting job creation in aviation, agriculture, and energy, three sectors that show promise for our region. Sector specific jobs are only the first step. By fixing infrastructure, making education more accessible, and building a better local environment for entrepreneurs, we can increase opportunity for all Kansans, no matter what their background.
Please provide a one to two paragraph explanation of your stance on each of the following: Immigration, Health Care, Economic Issues, Foreign Policy.
Bipartisan immigration reform is an important step for our country. We are a nation of immigrants and must balance humanitarianism and security. Countless local leaders, from business owners to pastors, have called for immigration reform. It’s time to act. First, I support securing the borders by using better technology to guard the borders and better training our guards. Second, as opposed to the unfeasible, inhumane idea of mass deportation, we must provide a pathway to citizenship for responsible undocumented immigrants willing to pay a fee and undergo background checks. This would bring people out of the shadows and benefit the economy. Both parties should be able to agree on this common sense approach.
The Affordable Care Act contains both positive provisions and parts that must be fixed. The ACA prevents discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, allows young people to stay on their parents’ plans, covers preventive care, and expands healthcare for the poor. These parts have been great. However, I believe both parties must work together to address the ACA’s problems. The ACA failed to tackle soaring drug costs, which I believe must be reined in with anti-trust enforcement and direct price negotiation. Second, more support needs to exist for small businesses struggling to adjust to new regulations and costs. Tax breaks and simpler rules would go a long way in this regard. Third, we must reform the Cadillac Tax to minimize its impact on plans for working families. These solutions will require cooperation from both sides of the aisle.
I believe that we need economic policy that brings opportunity back to the Fourth District and makes the system fairer for hardworking Kansans. We must take advantage of our district’s potential for job growth in aviation, agriculture, and energy. Kansas aviation would benefit from increased community partnerships, stronger infrastructure, and expanded educational opportunity. In the agricultural sector, Kansas’ rural communities would benefit from a strong safety net, increased promotion of Kansas products, and targeted grant programs. Finally, to create more energy jobs, we must incentivize development of cutting-edge technologies, promote safe extraction of fossil fuels, and work to expand green energy production.
The second part of my economic platform involves a fairer economy. We need fair trade policies that benefit Kansas. TPP would open the floodgates for more outsourcing and put our businesses at a disadvantage. Global trade is important, but it must respect American companies and workers. I also believe in fair treatment, including equal pay for equal work, a higher minimum wage, and expanded family leave policies. Wall Street has reaped all the benefits of our economy, leaving Main Street behind. We need a fairer, simpler tax system with fewer loopholes. Combined with fewer burdensome regulations and a more efficient government, this would help create prosperity. I believe it’s time for an economy that benefits all Kansans.
The US’ foreign policy must reflect our American values and leadership. Other nations should see us as a beacon of liberty, humanity, and prosperity. We need to be tough on our adversaries, but always responsible. The US must destroy ISIS without launching full-scale occupation. We can defeat ISIS by working more with regional allies, targeting ISIS’ economic resources, and using our airpower. On Russia, the US must take a tougher stance and contain Putin’s ruthless ambition through diplomacy and economic sanctions. China also requires diplomatic pressure to increase human rights and end abusive trade policies. In this role as a global leader, the US must also be willing to foster cooperation on common issues like environmental degradation and human trafficking.
This election season has seen a lot of divisiveness. If elected, how do you propose working with the other party to address the issues facing Kansans today?
It’s sad to me how much division exists in today’s political system. Many of our government’s best accomplishments, including Social Security, The Civil Rights Act, and Medicare were bipartisan proposals. I will cultivate friendships and working relationships with both sides of the aisle to serve as an effective legislator. Too often, Democrats and Republicans avoid productive dialogue. I also promise to put Kansas first. No party has a monopoly on innovative solutions, so I will listen to all sides of a debate and seek solutions that work for the Fourth District. Gridlock does nothing to fix the problems we face. It’s time we elect a representative who puts our community first, instead of prioritizing partisanship.