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I was raised by a single mom and grew up in a mobile home park. I watched my mom work hard and complete her teaching degree over nine years while raising three kids with the help of my grandmother — who herself worked in a union shoe factory well into her 70s. These strong women showed me what grit and determination look like.
Like my mom, I worked two jobs and took out a little in student loans to put myself through state college. I started my career as a newspaper reporter and worked my way up over 20 years in business to lead a workforce of 16,000 for a major Minnesota manufacturer. Today, my wife and I are moms to four amazing young men. My oldest is now a proud trade school graduate and a machinist, two have now graduated from four-year colleges and our youngest is a recent graduate from Rosemount High School and is a college freshman. In the past two years, we’ve added two daughters-in-law and our grandson Noah to our family.
I worked hard to get where I am, but I was pretty lucky, too. For too many Americans, hard work doesn’t pay off like it used to. College is unaffordable and technical training is unavailable. Healthcare costs too much. Incomes aren’t keeping up with the costs of groceries and prescription drugs. We can do better.
That’s why I ran for Congress, and that’s what I’m working on day-in, day-out since being elected. It’s disappointing that so many politicians seem content to sit back and do nothing but fight among themselves over petty politics.
Instead, I’ve prioritized listening to the concerns of the citizens I represent and working across the aisle to create stronger communities and an economy that works for every Minnesotan.
Since coming to Congress, I’m proud to have:
- Introduced 49 pieces of legislation, four of which were signed into law
- Cosponsored more than 800 bills, over three-quarters of which are bipartisan
- Hosted 34 town halls in all six counties in the Second District
- Met with over 15,000 Minnesotans
I’ve fought to make healthcare more affordable for Minnesota families. I’ve authored and passed the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act to lower the cost of health insurance in the individual marketplace. I helped introduce legislation that would empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cap out of pocket costs for folks on Medicare Part D. For too long, Big Pharma has raked in enormous profits, while Americans are often forced to choose between putting food on the table and buying their prescribed medications. At the same time, I’ve worked across the aisle to expand access to mental health care and telehealth services, particularly for rural communities. I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021, which would expand access to community mental health centers. Your zip code should not determine the availability or quality of health services you receive, including mental health care.
I’ve championed education equality in Minnesota. I worked across the aisle on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Full Funding Act (IDEA) with Republican Rep. Pete Stauber, and I’ve worked with Sen. Tina Smith to introduce the 21st Century Workforce Partnerships Act, which will give students the career skills and technical education they need to help fill the thousands of good-paying, skilled job openings in Minnesota right now.
I’ve prioritized Minnesota’s family farmers. To give them flexibility and help them recover from extreme droughts like the one we experienced in 2021, I introduced the bipartisan Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters (FEEDD) Act. I voted for a new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to ensure market stability for farmers across my district. And I’m working with a bipartisan group of cosponsors on the Rebuild Rural America Act to support rural communities as they invest in the future.
I never planned for a career in politics — but I did want to serve my community, and maybe change how Washington works a little in the process. Now that I’ve seen how things usually happen out in Washington, I’m determined to fight for change that prioritizes the voices of my constituents over special interests. That’s why I authored the HUMBLE Act, which would permanently ban Members of Congress from serving as lobbyists or owning individual stocks. And I will continue to prevent Members of Congress from receiving a pay raise until we’ve demonstrated that we can deliver bipartisan results for the American people.
I’m running for re-election because the work has only begun to help build a Minnesota for all of us — where every member of every family has an outstanding education, the career training or retraining for a good job and the opportunity to earn a good life. I’m running because I’ve spent over 20 years working in healthcare and have the experience to contribute meaningfully to fixing what’s wrong with healthcare today, lower the cost and work to expand healthcare to every family.
My wife, Cheryl, and I chose Minnesota as our home because as Minnesotans, we uniquely understand the importance of family, community and caring for each other. I lived in Eagan for nearly a decade and recently moved to Prior Lake. I’m a Rotarian and have served on several local boards over the years.
This is my community.
I will never give up on the Minnesota and America that we can create by working together. I humbly ask for your vote to continue to represent you in Congress and advance this important work representing you.
SUPPORTING ECONOMIC GROWTH
Throughout the last few decades, wealth and power have become concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people — and everyday Minnesotans have suffered for it. Wages have stayed the same, while the cost of our groceries, prescription drugs, education and other basic household expenses rise.
I’ve taken my two decades of experience in business and managing a workforce of 16,000 employees at a major Minnesota manufacturing company and put it to use in Congress by creating economic opportunity for Minnesotans across the Second District.
Working toward better trade deals.
I fought for the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to set an unprecedented standard of labor protections, because American workers deserve us to fight to protect them. I’ve also heard from our farmers and small business owners time and again: the trade war with China has gone on long enough. Haphazard trade policy compromises our national security; hurts too many workers, farmers and businesses; and raises prices on basic consumer goods that many Minnesotans can barely afford anyway. We cannot afford to isolate ourselves from the world—but we can adjust our policy in thoughtful ways to make it fair. Tough, focused and wise bipartisan trade reform helps every Minnesotan by creating a level playing field in all sectors of the economy.
Supporting small businesses.
I fought to serve you on the Small Business Committee, where I work directly to support the success of our local small business owners. I am part-owner of a small business in St. Paul, Structural and work to support the entrepreneurial spirit across the district.
Expanding access to broadband in rural areas.
Access to reliable, high-speed internet is critical for success in a 21st century economy. Our small businesses, farmers, students and families are depending on us to expand broadband so that no one’s opportunities are limited because of where they live or work.
There is still so much more to do for Minnesota workers, farmers and small businesses. That’s why I’m working to:
Protect the rights of our unions and their members to organize and collectively bargain for fair, safe workplaces. Labor has built our middle class, and it continues to drive our economy.
Encourage companies to invest in their employees by closing tax loopholes that are currently encouraging them to move their jobs overseas. Instead, we should replace these loopholes with tax credits for companies that hire American Workers.
Make it easier for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful businesses by increasing access to capital, technical resources and technology; simplifying regulations and taxes for companies with 20 or fewer employees; and increasing tax deductions for start-up and healthcare costs.
Establish national Paid Family Leave that respects folks who are welcoming new members of their family, allowing them time to bond with their children without having to worry about a false tradeoff between time with their family and meeting their basic financial needs.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
I grew up for a portion of my childhood without health insurance. I still remember the box of bills that sat on our kitchen table when my little sister had a medical issue. I also spent more than 20 years working in two healthcare manufacturing companies and ran the health plan for a major U.S. company.
Improvements in our healthcare laws over the past few years have eliminated the penalty for pre-existing conditions, ended lifetime limits, allowed young adults to remain on their parent’s insurance and given tens of millions of Americans access to healthcare who didn’t have it before. But today’s healthcare in the U.S. is far from perfect. Many working people in Minnesota can’t access or afford quality care. Many others have to deal with the consequences and agonizing choices that come with rising premiums, out of control prescription drug costs and huge health care bills.
My top priority in Congress has been to increase access to and reduce the cost of healthcare for all Americans. I’ve held healthcare listening sessions all over the Second District to better understand what changes you need in the system. I’ve introduced or co-sponsored dozens of healthcare-related bills. As co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Healthcare Task Force, I’ve led the effort to improve our healthcare system by:
Reducing the price of prescription drugs.
I co-sponsored and successfully passed a bill that will allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies — so Big Pharma cannot continue to profit off the backs of Minnesota families. It would also cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors and invest in research for more effective treatments.
Making healthcare more affordable.
I’ve co-sponsored a bill that would increase competition in the individual marketplace for Minnesota families by establishing a public option health plan to compete with large insurance companies. This would stabilize healthcare costs for our families who have little choice in their region. I’ve also introduced my own bill that would lower the cost of health insurance in the individual market.
Holding Big Pharma accountable.
I’ve introduced legislation which would increase competition for more affordable generic drugs and co-sponsored a bill which would create emergency insulin supplies and hold big drug companies accountable for jacking up prices.
Affordable, accessible healthcare doesn’t just mean doctors and drugs: we also have work to do to expand mental health services and to solve the vaping and opioid epidemics devastating our communities.
I’ve worked on legislation that would increase access to mental health services by funding new mental health clinics and expanding telehealth services, especially for rural areas, and co-sponsored numerous bills to hold the vaping industry accountable and curb the vaping epidemic.
Like so many of you, the opioid epidemic is personal to me. Hardly anyone anymore doesn’t have a family member or close friend touched by substance abuse disorder. I will continue to fight to stop this epidemic.
The Second Congressional District is home to some exceptional local leaders in this fight. The Shakopee Police Department and the Scott County Board have rolled out programs that focus on rehabilitation and recovery rather than punishment and incarceration. Whether it’s a new drug court program, treatment center, lifesaving medication for first responders or critical new research, all these efforts have something in common: they require resources and funding.
SUPPORTING PUBLIC SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
As a representative for our community, keeping Minnesotans safe is my most important job. That’s why I’m working to ensure that our police officers have all the tools, resources and funding they need to do their important work. I’ve worked to foster strong relationships with law enforcement across the Second District so they know that I am there to support them. I’ll continue working to ensure our public safety organizations work for all Minnesotans.
What I’ve Done:
I’m a co-sponsor of the Invest to Protect Act to increase funding for small and mid-size police departments and the Pathways to Policing Act to bolster law enforcement recruitment programs.
I helped introduce and get signed into law the Public Safety Officer Support Act to extend death and disability benefits to officers lost as a result of suicide or disabled by PTSD.
Last year, I was the first member of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation to publicly oppose the ballot initiative to eliminate the Minneapolis Police Department.
I’m also working to secure additional and necessary investments in public safety.
Earlier this year, I secured $170,000 for the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office to purchase body cameras for their officers.
And I’m pushing for additional grant funding that will help hire more police officers in our district, and funding to help hire more firefighters and paramedics in the South Metro area.
FIGHTING FOR OUR VETERANS
Every American owes a deep debt to the brave men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. We must repay that debt the moment they return home, and do all we can to make sure veterans have access to good healthcare and quality employment opportunities.
We can do more to encourage private industry to recruit, hire, mentor and train veterans. I know it is possible because I did it myself: as a leader at a major Minnesota company, I created a program that put veterans to work in our company and across the medical technology industry.
Many veterans face serious health problems related to their service. My family has not escaped this burden. My uncle died of cancer in his early 50s following his service in Vietnam – believed to be due to Agent Orange exposure. Younger veterans face similar heath challenges related to their work near toxic “burn pits.” When our soldiers return home, they deserve access to the best healthcare, treatment and compensation that our nation can provide for their physical and mental health needs. But that isn’t what they’re getting right now.
An audit of the VA found that more than 120,000 veterans waited at least 90 days for healthcare appointments or never received appointments at all. More than 82,000 veterans were still waiting for the VA to evaluate their claims for service-connected disability compensation more than 125 days after filing. And we need to make sure veterans have health care in their communities. That’s why I’m urging the Mayo Clinic to accept TRICARE as a network provider. This would allow veterans who live in Wabasha and Goodhue counties to have high-quality care convenient to them.
We must be there for our veterans for life. They’ve been there for us. And there is still much work to do.
CLEANING UP WASHINGTON
Members of Congress have too often used their power for personal gain while hardworking Minnesota families struggle just to get by. And as I listen to Minnesotans, I am often struck by a sense of quiet desperation, a sense that no matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone does, nothing will ever change. Folks are losing faith.
To restore faith in our democracy, I’ve worked hard to clean up government while remaining transparent, honest and accountable to my constituents. You always know that I am working for you — not party leaders, and not special interests. I’ve held open listening events in every county of the Second District – some more than once – and have my in-district staff bring their services to you by holding regular mobile office hours.
I take cleaning up government seriously, and it’s reflected in my priorities. The very first bill I cosponsored, The For the People Act, would enact a series of sweeping changes to reform our campaign finance system and restore confidence in our elections and government — including prohibiting members of Congress from serving on for-profit boards – a provision I introduced.
I’ve worked across the aisle to introduce a bipartisan bill that would save significant taxpayer dollars by cutting down on improper government payments. I’ve consistently opposed pay raises for members of Congress, and wrote a bill to ban members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists or owning individual stocks.
I made a series of pledges to you to run a clean campaign and a transparent Congressional office. I’ve kept them all.
WORKING FOR OUR FAMILY FARMERS
I grew up in rural America. My grandfather farmed beans until the 1980s farm crisis forced him out. My 93-year-old grandmother still lives near that same land where my grandfather spent so much of his life, and she tills and plants her own garden each year. That’s why one of the first things I did was ask Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota for a chance to serve on the Agriculture Committee so that I could work every day for Minnesota’s family farmers. The second district is home to more than 4,000 farms – over 90% of which are family farms.
At every opportunity I’ve had, I’ve brought family farmers to the policy-making table. I’ve started a farmer advisory group, hosted farmers at the State of the Union and Congressional hearings. It’s important to elevate these stories, and I’ll always fight for sound farm policy whether that’s pushing back against the reckless trade war with China or advocating for year-round sales of E-15.
Reliable Trade Markets for Agricultural Exports
I know that the trade war is hurting our farmers. I worked to stabilize North American markets by helping to finalize and supporting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. But to keep our agricultural economy growing and to provide our farmers with the stability they need, we must push for trade policies that expand markets and drive growth — and hold this Administration accountable when their policies hurt our farmers and destabilize global markets like China.
I oppose every continued attempt to use our farmers as political pawns in the trade war or in any part of partisan politics. I’ve worked with members of both parties – and have challenged my own party leadership – to ensure that Minnesota family farmers have the resources they need to thrive, and the support they need to get through extreme weather events and unstable economic times. This extends to physical and mental health as well: I will continue to lead efforts to expand rural broadband access and health care resources like community health and telehealth services.
Year-Round E-15 Sales
Allowing year-round sales of E-15 is a big win for our state. It is a market-based solution that allows for economic growth while also reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Strong Renewable Fuel Standards
Minnesota has taken a leading role in producing homegrown energy, providing clean, renewable energy and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. I will always fight to hold the current Administration accountable for lining the pockets of Big Oil while breaking its commitments on biofuel to small family farmers. I continue to work to maintain a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and lead the effort to make Minnesota a leader in homegrown energy.
Mental Health Support in All Communities
I’ve had conversations with folks who have explained that too often, farmers feel isolated. So I introduced a bill that would expand mental health services in rural communities, and especially for our family farmers.
SUPPORTING MINNESOTA’S SENIORS
Medicare and Social Security allow Americans who have paid into these programs their entire lives to retire with dignity. That’s why I oppose any changes that would cut, privatize or jeopardize these programs.
Instead of using the retirement of millions of Americans as a political football, I am determined to find ways to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. I am committed to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse of both programs, and shoring up their funding – even if it requires asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
We must continue to combat the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.
I am proud to have successfully passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a bill that finally allows Medicare to negotiate for the best prices on prescription drugs — just as we do in the VA. This bill also would provide dental and vision benefits to Medicare recipients. In addition, we must work to end anti-competitive “pay-for-delay” deals and allow individuals to reimport individual supplies of medication from approved pharmacies in Canada.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION
In a time of increasing division, we need a smart and tough foreign policy agenda that protects the United States and at the same time preserves the shared American values of privacy, liberty and diversity.
We must equip our military personnel with the 21st century tools they need to defend our nation and eliminate terrorist threats as efficiently and safely as possible. We also must work to restore our strong relationships with our allies. We’re at our safest and strongest when we’re leading a coalition of countries committed to peace and freedom.
Our national security extends to our borders as well. I support investing in smart border security, with drones, sonar and radar. But the reality is that as long as our immigration system is broken, people will continue to work around it. I do not believe the answer to fixing our immigration system is abolishing immigration and customs enforcement (ICE). But they must reform the way they do their jobs to ensure we have a humane legal immigration system. I support bipartisan immigration reform that invests in smart border security, provides a path to citizenship for DREAMERS and law-abiding immigrants and keeps families together.
In 2019, I was proud to cosponsor the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, creating a path for permanent residence for individuals within Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). These are hardworking Minnesotans who serve in our military, graduate from our schools and contribute to our economy. The development of a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants will allow everyone to contribute and pay taxes, as well as pay into Medicare and Social Security.
Our nation is built on the promise that we will always be open to those who seek a better life, are willing to work hard and help America grow in the process. I continue to support keeping this promise alive.
PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
Climate change is happening. I believe in the science, and we need to address it now. In Minnesota, we’ve already seen milder winters, heat waves, droughts and floods. Climate change further destabilizes our family farms and threatens our children’s futures.
But the threat presents us with the opportunity to create economic growth through smart public policies. Our nation led the world in creating and adapting new technologies in the 20th century. Instead of pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement or repealing the Clean Power Plan, we should continue to lead the world by spearheading the development of the global green economy. We can lower our carbon emissions, build an energy infrastructure that relies less on fossil fuels and attract and advance the industries of the future — and become a world leader in green innovation at the same time.
In Congress, I’ve worked across the aisle to find solutions that make progress for our environment, our economy and for future generations. My first bill in Congress is a bipartisan effort to give local communities the funding they need to address runoff pollution that is enhanced by rapidly melting snow and rain. I am also co-sponsoring the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which will reduce our nation’s carbon emissions, unleash American technological innovation and create millions of new jobs.
As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Biofuels Caucus, I’ve pushed back on the EPA for their inappropriate distribution of small refinery waivers to Big Oil, which only further lines their pockets. I continue to look for common sense, market based initiatives that will allow us to harness economic growth while also combating climate change.
WOMEN AND FAMILIES STRENGTHEN OUR WORKPLACES AND COMMUNITIES
I grew up surrounded by two strong women – my mother and my grandmother. My mom raised the three of us with the help of my grandmother. My grandmother lived a few homes down, and was on her feet for eight hours a day at a nearby shoe factory into her 70’s. Mom completed her college degree after almost 10 years and is still a teacher today.
As a working mom who raised four amazing young men, I understand that strengthening opportunities for women creates stronger families.
As a leader at a Minnesota company, I started a Women In Business program to support and mentor women in their career choices and help them achieve that next level of success. Women have made great strides, but we still face challenges.
Our work is not done until women have equal opportunity and an equal voice in this country. I cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, because it’s time that our laws ensure every woman is paid fairly for equal work. We also must make sure that young women are being exposed to and encouraged to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, which currently count only 23% women among their workforce.
I support full reproductive rights for women and access to contraception and family planning services. No one should ever come between a woman and her doctor when making these decisions. The dangerous proposals that seek to eliminate contraceptive and family planning services coverage from the ACA guarantee must be stopped, and I will stand against them. I support Planned Parenthood and will continue to fight to protect their funding so that all women – especially those in rural areas – have access to the healthcare services they need.
The ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade presented by the Supreme Court of the United States is a crushing blow for millions of women and a significant setback in the fight to protect reproductive rights. The federal government has no place interfering in the decisions between a woman and her doctor. I will never stop fighting on this issue, and I hope you will join me in that fight.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
I’m the owner of a hunting rifle. Two of my sons are deer and duck hunters, a third competed in trap shooting. My family belongs to the Eagan Gun Club.
My support for the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with doing everything I can to keep our children and communities safe from gun violence. Every day, 93 Americans are killed by gun violence. I believe we can work together to address gun violence while protecting our Second Amendment Rights.
This year, I proudly supported directing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence for the first time in 20 years.
After decades of inaction, recent steps taken in Congress are looking to reduce gun violence and protect our communities from harm. This bill is far from perfect, it will make a demonstrable and immediate impact.
I support universal background checks for every gun purchase, including guns sold online and through private sales. The facts are compelling: in states where background checks are law there are 52 percent fewer mass shootings, 48 percent fewer law enforcement officials are shot to death and 48 percent fewer people commit suicide by firearm. We should not allow criminals or domestic abusers to have such easy access to a firearm.
We need to stop suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms and reinstate a rule recently repealed by Congress that stopped some people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns. And I believe we should immediately ban the sale of military style semi-automatic weapons, and make high-capacity clips, “bump stocks,” and other attachments that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire faster illegal.
I’ll work with anyone who will work with me to keep our kids and communities safer.
HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL MINNESOTANS
I’m the daughter of a teacher, a proud wife of an educator and mother of four sons. I understand the importance of a great education for all children, which means fully funding our public schools and broadening the understanding and acceptance of post-secondary options to include career skills, technical education and the apprenticeship programs necessary for the high-skilled jobs of today and tomorrow.
I’ll always prioritize funding for our public schools, students and teachers.
One of my sons has learning challenges, and as his mother, I deeply understand the necessity of fully funding special education. That’s why I’m working on the IDEA Full Funding Act, and pushing every chance I get to move that bill forward. I believe a quality education for every student is something we can all agree on.
We also need to make sure our teachers are supported. Last year, I cosponsored the effort to double the amount educators are able to deduct for out-of-pocket expenses for their students and classrooms.
Make college more affordable.
On average, Minnesota’s college students take on over $30,000 of debt in order to complete their education. Not only is that bad for our economy, it causes our young people to delay major milestones, like buying a home or starting a family. I support a pre-K through 14 public education system that would provide for the first two years of post-secondary education (technical education, earning an associate’s degree or the first two years of a bachelor’s degree). In addition, we need to increase Federal Pell Grants and invest in our two-year and community colleges. That’s also why I helped introduce the Remedial Education Improvement Act, to create a grant program allowing federal student aid money to support up to two years of developmental education, making post-secondary education more affordable and accessible.
Build a 21st century workforce.
Everybody, whether they attend a four-year college or pursue a trade, should be able to find a good-paying career. That’s exactly why I introduced the 21st Century Workforce Partnerships Act to create hands-on training, and work with local employers and schools to make sure these training programs work together to prepare students for the high-skill jobs available today. Our son Josh chose this route and now has an associate’s degree and a technical certificate in Advanced Manufacturing. He’s already received his first promotion to Machinist II.
Early Childhood Education.
We must ensure that early childhood education is a priority, including high-quality child care and pre-k for kids from birth to age 5, to ensure our children start kindergarten ready to succeed. This is essential to our kids’ futures, strengthening our state’s economy and closing the equity gap.
We cannot stop working on these issues until they are passed into law. Then we have to ask ourselves what else we can do to ensure Minnesotans get a high-quality education from their youngest years until they are settled in their career and contributing to our economy.