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Election 2016 Candidate Q&A: Tim Pitcher, Senate District 58

Tim Pitcher1. What would you say is the top challenge facing the residents of your legislative district, and how would you address it?

The top challenge is correcting or eliminating the 100 percent DFL-owned MNsure and its skyrocketing costs of health care. It’s absolutely heartbreaking knowing the individual premium rates are going up an average of 50 to 67 percent, on top of the 49 percent increase last year, even though we were promised by the DFL that health care would be more affordable. Choices are also dwindling. Let’s move forward the Republican solutions by first easing the financial burden by creating tax deductions on premiums for those who don’t qualify for group insurance. Let’s increase choices by allowing more people, like farmers for instance, to qualify for group health insurance and allow the free market to work.

2. Why do you think you should be elected to the Minnesota legislature?

I believe that this district and Minnesota needs someone with a common sense approach to problem solving and that’s what I’ve accomplished for over 30 years. I have no ego to build and am not a career politician; I desire to be in the Minnesota Senate only to humbly serve the residents of our district. I have no vested interest in anything other than making Minnesota a better place to live, work and raise a family.

3. What specific measures do you support to increase the transparency and reduce the gridlock of the lawmaking process?

As a citizen in the position of leadership, we have a duty to protect the freedoms, values and wishes of the people we serve and accountability to the citizens is an absolute must. I support giving the public enough notice for committee hearings so they can plan ahead, attend and make their voice heard. I also support what’s called “fourth deadline,” which would require conference committee reports and final bills be due a week before the mandated end of session, preventing the last minute/back room deal making. I support any and all measures that keep government accountable to the people of our state. As senator, I will write regular updates and keep you informed. On reducing gridlock, for 20 years I have conducted peer reviews where I get people together to figure out a direction that does not compromise our values, move forward with real solutions, and will carry this forward to the Minnesota Senate.

4. How would you approach developing a comprehensive plan and funding package for roads, bridges and transit?

We need safe roads and bridges. They need to be maintained well and be expansive enough to reduce traffic jams. I would work together with all parties involved to create a hazard/risk analysis that identifies and prioritizes the transit needs of our district and the state, and help make the solutions happen.

Party: Republican

Age: 55

Occupation: Retired medical device process development engineer

Education: Henry Sibley Senior High School, Dakota County Technical College, numerous professional development trainings and certifications

Family: Married to Chheng, who is a Cambodian Holocaust Survivor, and have three daughters, Christina, Rathminee, and Ratina

Civic Involvement: Current Farmington City Council member, longtime church and community volunteer, Walter Klaus Volunteer of the Year Award