I have been a resident of La Crosse County for my entire life, and I am a product of our local school system and public university. I learned the value of hard work and financial responsibility at a young age from my parents, Pat and Elaine, who worked hard while raising six children.
My first introduction to the political field came about in the form of an internship with Congressman Al Baldus in Washington D.C. This resulted in the opportunity to become a full-time member of his staff. Upon my return to Wisconsin I worked in the State Legislature full-time while attending Law School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After graduating from Law School in 1986 I was elected to the La Crosse County Board, at age 28, becoming the youngest member at the time. It was then that I began my nearly thirty-year tenure as board member, holding the County Board Chairman position from 2002 until my election to the State Assembly.
As well as serving on the County Board, I am also a small business owner, educator, and published author. My wife, Gloria, and I partnered in 1988 to create a successful law firm in La Crosse while at the same time starting a family. It was also at this time that I began my entry into the world of academia. I began my teaching career in the UW-La Crosse Department of Political Science teaching State and Local Government, as well as American Legal System. It is my belief that education is a critical investment for the future. I am thankful for having the chance to participate in the expansion of my students' minds. It has allowed me to foster many relationships with young professionals around the state.
During my time as a public servant, I have come to the realization that government can be an instrument for good or bad depending upon how it is done. That is why I wholeheartedly believe that the key to achieving goals is through cooperation, collaboration, and innovation. My tenure as County Board Chair has focused on this approach, whether it is the County working with another county, or with one of our municipalities or with the private sector. We know that what our state needs now is jobs, lower taxes, and higher quality services. My work in La Crosse County has convinced me that our state government will never be completely successful in meeting these needs until our state officials likewise learn the lessons of cooperation, collaboration, and innovation.
As a State Representative, I have embodied these bipartisan ideals throughout my time in the legislature. I have been appointed to six committees including the Committee on Financial Institutions, the Committee on Insurance, the Committee on Family Law, the Committee on Jobs and the Economy, the Speaker's Task Force on Adoption and the Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention.
I am honored to serve you in the State Assembly and will continue to work for the betterment of Wisconsin.