SD State Legislature Candidate Survey: Brian Mulder
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Brian Mulder is running in the Republican primary for South Dakota State House District 11. District 11 includes parts of Webster Grove and Ellis. Mulder faces three primary opponents; Chris Karr, Tyler Bonynge, and Roger Russell.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I am called as a servant leader through my Christian faith. I am Husband to my wife Chrissy of nearly 21 years, and father to our 3 teenagers, Jeremiah, Noel (daughter), and Eli. I grew up on a farm in central Minnesota and met Chrissy in college. After graduation, we moved to Germany to work on U.S Military bases alongside Chaplains to provide Youth and Family ministry for 5 years throughout Germany. We moved to Sioux Falls in 2008, to be part of the Pastoral staff of Central Church, I became the Executive Pastor and my wife is currently the High School Youth Pastor. In 2017 I was called to serve at Volunteers of America - Dakotas, as the Managing Director of Community Support Services where I continue to work.
2. Why are you running for this office?
Simply put I feel called to serve in this capacity. I love South Dakota and think it is the best state to live, work and raise a family. I always have felt a sense of purpose to serve the community and our State, and I would love to serve in this capacity in order to continue to make South Dakota even better for future generations.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
I think workforce, workforce housing, and affordable childcare/out-of-school care are all wrapped up into one priority, as they are all very connected.
Creating better Public-Private partnerships for mental health services and services for people with disabilities.
Low taxes and Government spending.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I have a decade of executive-level leadership experience in two large non-profit ministries. In my current role at Volunteers of America – Dakotas, I spent a considerable amount of time across the state advocating for citizens of South Dakota who live with a disability or have mental health needs. I am well-versed in current state budgeting and the law-making process, and I have built strong, working relationships with current state legislators. I have served Sioux Falls by being on non-profit boards, and by providing chaplain ministries, to both the Minnehaha County Jail and the South Dakota State Prison. I led a fundraising campaign to provide housing for homeless teenagers and another one to expand and enhance school time programing for hundreds of kids in our community. Not to mention my past experience as a farm kid and working alongside the U.S. Military.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
I would support reasonable and responsible state tax relief for our citizens. I believe the legislative body would need to look at sustainable ways to make this happen through a variety of options as there is not one magic bullet that would deliver state-wide relief.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
Currently, it is going to take the State, counties, cities and general contractors all being willing to work together and invest together to find workable solutions, in order to tackle the problem.
7. South Dakota correctional facilities have been dealing with a number of issues, most prominent among them overcrowding and staffing shortages. What would you do to help combat these issues?
As a former volunteer chaplain in the state prison, I have seen firsthand the overwhelming situation our correctional officers face on a daily basis. As a Legislator, it is my responsibility to equip and empower our Department of Corrections leaders. Also, more needs to be done on the forefront of crime prevention. The Non-profit that I serve at has some great programs that are proven to be successful to fight recidivism and I believe those examples could be the building blocks our state needs to help lower incarceration rates.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
I would support investments that bring cutting-edge education opportunities to both our technical and state schools and in return this would provide an environment for students to exercise their talents in our growing job market.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
To my knowledge, our elections have been secure and fair, and I am confident that South Dakota will uphold strong election laws in the future.
10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and a “trigger law” already on the books would so, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is at risk. Do you support banning abortion to this extent? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made?
I am Pro-life, and it is my understanding the “trigger law” was constructed some time ago. I would support the law only after it has been thoroughly reviewed and makes sense in our current environment.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
As a leader in a non-profit that provides chemical dependency counseling, I will personally vote no on recreational marijuana. But as would be legislator I understand it would be my role to help implement properly processed decisions made by the voters.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to keep their responses limited to roughly 4-5 sentences for each question. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.”
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