"I Like Mike" Q & A
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Why are you involved in any kind of politics?
"I am genuinely interested in offering my perspectives on current challenges - for our community, the citizens of District 24, and the state of South Dakota."
What is your background in business and prior public service?
"I spent from 1977-2015 - 37 years - starting, fostering and growing Country Carpet and Flooring. Started as an employee, then a minor stockholder, became a 50/50 partner, and then the sole owner of the business. Also, my wife and I own W. Sioux Plaza on Sioux Avenue in Pierre. I have served on the Fort Pierre Council since 2015."
Why are you running for this position?
"I have considered running for the legislature for many years, but the timing and situation wasn’t right. I feel I can make a difference using lessons learned in my retail business, and my experience in local city government. I love South Dakota and want to contribute to the forward movement of our district and state, while respecting the traditional values we hold dear."
What qualifications do you bring?
"The candidates seeking this office all have unique characteristics and qualities that are their own. I like and respect all of them; the electorate has very good people to choose from. My mindset is that the citizens of our district and state are my customers. Working in a retail business for 37 years makes me know who the boss is, and what is expected from their vendor. Daily I found solutions to the challenges facing the business, our customers and my business associates. In working for the state of South Dakota, there will be give-and-take, and I am very familiar with that reality. Christian business principles and local government experience are my qualifications."
What are your specific issues?
"Workforce development, which includes developing and compensating our state of South Dakota professionals, promoting entrepreneurship, and increased compensation for our K-12 educators. When visiting with friends and business contacts, every conversation ends up being about the inability to find employees to fuel their enterprises. The solutions are elusive and complex, but have to be at the top of our agendas. Also, we continue to dishonor our state of South Dakota workforce with no pay increases, and that issue is a strong concern for District 24. We entrust our children to teachers who are committed to our young people’s futures, and they need to be remembered each session of the legislature as well."
What does your family think about you running?
"They are very supportive. They know what makes me tick, my strengths and weaknesses, and what motivates me. They tell me they are proud of me."
What do you believe is your strongest aspect?
"Being able to represent the values and responsibilities of Central South Dakota citizens regarding the issues facing the district and state. I am an optimistic Christian who appreciates the blessing of another day and opportunity."
What do you believe is your weakest aspect?
"Being naive and impatient with the processes of government. Being naive doesn’t mean that I won’t respect and value other people’s opinions about what makes South Dakota better. Being naive also has the side benefit of bringing fresh eyes to the arena. When bringing in a new employee at the flooring store, I would ask them to critically look at our store with their fresh eyes and give me the perspective on what could be made better for helping our customers find solutions to their flooring needs and wants. I am eager to be the fresh eyes."
Anything you would like to add?
"I promise to work hard, be energetic, optimistic, informed, and engaged on the issues that are important to you, the people, the customers of District 24."