Republican for 22nd District Representative
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
Education: We owe it to our children to be better. Delaware lost its strategic vision on how to best educate our youth. Teachers must be more empowered. They need to have the freedom and resources to teach for genuine learning instead of seeking high scores on standardized tests. Test scores do not always show what learning has actually been accomplished. Education needs to be differentiated. We must bring experiential opportunities into the classroom and work with our partners in higher education to tie what students learn in high school to the College experience as well as training them to be effective in any work environment. That’s what I do through a dual-credit class I teach at Newark High School. The First Step Grand Challenges program (class) teaches students to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve societal, environmental and health challenges. They learn practical applications like how to do a budget, strategic planning, marketing, research, how to get to a minimally viable product, how to pitch to investors, how to present, how to model a solution and more. Through the Delaware State Chamber’s Principal for a Day program, I’ve been in over 10 schools in the past 4 years to learn and see it for myself. With one son going into second grade and my other son soon to follow into elementary school, I’m in it working with teachers, support professionals and administrators every day.
Healthcare: Delawareans are aging faster and experiencing more illness than the average resident of any other state. Our current system is reactive. We need to bring a proactive approach to Dover. To help model outcomes, I will work to implement the State Employee Healthcare Act to help save dollars in our state budget and incentivize our friends, family and neighbors to be well. I create these partnerships now at the University of Delaware STAR Campus and help model/shape legislation and will bring that institutional knowledge to Dover. Through the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, I will work with our partners at Christiana Care, Nemours and Thomas Jefferson to create better outcomes for all Delawareans. We need to empower the system to empower us.
Job Growth: My experience in economic development will help drive job growth for Delaware. As a member of the International Economic Development Council, I work with colleagues all over the world on best practices. Being on the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee and the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council allows me to bring those best practices to Delaware. As the former Executive Director of the Greater Newark Economic Development Partnership, I helped create jobs. As your next State Representative, I will write policy to be the catalyst for Delaware’s next economic growth spurt. Opportunities are plentiful at the former GM property, the STAR Campus and former AZ site. Every day, I, literally, get to see a new economy transform before my very eyes. It gives me unique insight on our gaps for innovation. With that insight, the first piece of legislation I’ll spearhead will be First State Innovation Zone Act. Let’s get started!” Infrastructure: District 22 has the second most interior roads in the whole state of Delaware, yet legislators get the same number of dollars for road improvement projects. If a legislator falls within municipal boundaries, they receive even more allocation. We need to reallocate dollars differently, more strategically and base allocation off of a prioritization scale. I will work across the aisle with other legislators to tackle this issue for our community!
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
I’m uniquely qualified for this position because I grew up in this community and am now dealing with a lot of the major issues that our state is facing. After my mother passed away when I was 10 years old, my grandmother took on the challenge of raising me. Now, my wife, Christy, and I are her caregivers. Combined with having two young sons (ages 3 and 7), I’m in the details dealing with start of life to end of life issues.
Through my experience teaching in a high school, experience in higher education and doing Principal for a Day every year, I see pipeline gaps to get our children college and career ready. I manage healthcare partnerships at the University of Delaware STAR Campus and work on outcomes-based solutions that help Delawareans through primary care by nurse practitioners, health coaches, nutrition counselors, exercise counselors and mental health experts. I’ll bring that institutional knowledge to Dover. Finally, with a background in economic development, I see how all these issues tie together, and I’m best positioned to create an environment to help Delaware thrive again with a diverse workforce and job market.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?• Past Board Member for Newark Senior Center • Kids With Confidence Board Member • Lori’s Hands Board Member • Preston’s Playground Committee Member • Newark Morning Rotary Member • Christ Community Church-Children’s Ministry Volunteer • Christ Community Church-Business Team Member • Economic Development Council-New Castle County Chamber of Commerce • Economic Development Committee-Delaware State Chamber of Commerce • International Economic Development Council-Higher Education Committee • Western YMCA U7 Flag Football Head Coach • Piedmont Assistant Baseball Coach • Rush Soccer Head Coach
Profession/employment: Director of Strategic Initiatives-College of Health Sciences-University of Delaware
# of years employed: 12
Education: B.A. in Political Sciences and MPA (Masters of Public Administration)
Political Experience: worked for former Congressman Mike Castle from 2008-2010; president of the Delaware Young Republicans from 2008-2018; ran my friend Meredith's campaign for state Senate in 2016; ran in the Republican Primary for state representative in 2014.