Issue 1

-Growing Our Economy

Rich has a 15 year track record as a successful small business owner, (see his story, below) and will work for stronger main street economies through:

  • Encouraging investment in small business start-ups
  • Expanding research and development tax credits
  • Eliminating job-killing regulations and government red tape
  • Reducing and reforming state taxes
  • Increasing health insurance flexibility for small businesses

Let’s scrutinize the ever-growing list of burdensome regulations. When government has too much money and staff it can spend time and taxpayers dollars to find more ways to burden farmers and small business owners. In the end overregulation costs Greater Minnesota families’ money and disproportionately impacts jobs and growth in our region. Rich’s history as a small business owner began in 2001, when he purchased Westwood Marina Bar and Grill on Lake Washington in Le Sueur County. The work was hot, sweaty and tedious, and he loved every minute of it. During peak months, he employed as many as 60 people. Rich quickly learned the pressures and obligations that came with signing the front side of a paycheck instead of the back side. In spite of the economic slowdown caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, he and his employees persevered. Running a restaurant isn’t easy under the best of economic conditions, and it’s even tougher when the economy is bad. Rich’s employees were super. Together, they worked through the challenges and grew the business each year, and in 2014, Rich sold the profitable business to an interested buyer. Concurrent with his ownership of Westwood, the business bug had bitten Rich and in August of 2007 (right before the housing crash of 2008) he purchased Weichert Realtors Community Group. Again, despite the challenging housing market, Rich’s employees persevered, supported each other and slowly built the business back up. It has been a privilege for Rich to help his real estate clients realize the American dream of home ownership. Rich has also had to say no to potential home buyers, instead advising them to rent first, save money and come back when they were better able to take on a mortgage. That’s not always what they want to hear, but Rich knows this helps prospective buyers become long term homeowners. In 2012, Rich and his wife saw an opportunity and purchased the New Ulm Even Center to meet the growing need in southern Minnesota for a venue to host weddings, concerts, corporate parties and other similar gatherings. The business is steadily growing. Through it all, Rich has witnessed first-hand how high taxes affect business owners and how those costs must be passed along to customers. In the case of real estate, Rich has seen renters and homeowners have to foot the bill and the struggles they’ve endured to keep a roof over their heads because higher taxes makes renting and home ownership unaffordable. Rich has dealt with increased license fees, excessive permits and inspections, leaky toilets, power outages and spoiled food, late deliveries, bankrupt suppliers, barking dogs, tenants who don’t pay and more than a few conversations with angry customers. That is why Rich believes the experience he’s gained will help him be a strong voice on issues such as taxes, regulations, housing, and how big government gets in the way of job creators and entrepreneurs. Rich has got the energy and enthusiasm to hit the ground running as your next State Senator, and he will work hard to make a real difference at the Capitol.