Friday, November 02, 2012

TOP STORY >> DiMichele, Julian seek open House seat

Dean DiMichele, a Republican, and Patti Roberts Julian, a Democrat, are running for state representative in Dist. 38, which includes Sherwood and North Little Rock.

DiMichele, 55, was born in East Chicago, Ind. He has lived in North Little Rock for seven years. He owns and operates several McDonald’s restaurants in Sherwood and North Little Rock.

He is a member of Immaculate Conception Church and sits on the Ronald McDonald House Charities board, which helps support the Ronald McDonald House of Central Arkansas at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Julian, 57, was born in North Little Rock and has lived there all but two years of her life. She is married to Jim Julian, an attorney, and they have a daughter, Katy, who is 26.

Julian attended North Little Rock public schools and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a law degree, both from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Why do you want to be a state representative?

DiMichele: I believe Arkansas is facing a number of important issues and must have representatives in the Legislature that will do what’s right for our state.

We need business-minded leaders in the Legislature that understand how to grow our economy, balance a budget and keep pour taxes low. We also need leaders who will fight back against the implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas.

I will do those things, and that is why I am running for state representative.

Julian: I was raised in a family that valued community service. Both of my parents were excellent role models in that regard. My father served North Little Rock for 20 years in the ArkansasHouse of Representatives. I learned from watching him that service in the House of Representatives not only involved the consideration of legislation, but included service to your constituents when they had problems.

What educational and professional experiences qualify you to be a state representative?

DiMichele: As a business owner I understand how to create jobs, make payroll and balance a budget because I’ve done it. Those are important skills that we need in the state Legislature. My experience running a business for 24 years – seven years here in central Arkansas – taught me not only how to grow our economy, but also, how to work with others to better our state. Two things we need in our state Legislature.

Julian: I believe my legal experience will make me a thoughtful legislator. I have been trained to look at an issue from all sides before making a judgment. I will also be able to see that unintended consequences do not occur from poorly drafted legislation. All my prior work has given me experience in dealing with a vast array of people and bringing them to a consensus.

What are the most pressing issues facing Arkansas and the district you would like to represent? How will you work to solve such problems?

DiMichele: Creating jobs and getting our economy back on track is the No. 1 issue in our state and our district. We can fix a lot of problems and improve a lot of people’s lives in our state and district by helping create good paying jobs and getting people back to work.

As state representative, I will work to create a business friendly environment, where companies will want to locate in Arkansas and existing businesses are able to expand.

We can do those things by reducing the tax burden on Arkansas’ workers and business owners, reducing burdensome regulations and improving our education system so that we have a highly trained workforce. We are also facing a significant Medicaid shortfall in the upcoming legislative session.

I believe Medicaid serves an important purpose in helping struggling Arkansans in a time of need, but it should not become a permanent entitlement. By working to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicaid system and ensuring that Medicaid dollars are being spent only where they should be, we can reduce that shortfall and bring more fiscal discipline to that program.

Julian: The most pressing issues for our state are creating jobs and sustained economic growth and continuing the strides we have made in education. We must be able to do these things while staying within a balanced budget.

I will make sure that our cities and the state have the ability to form partnerships to attract industry as was done to bring Caterpillar to our area.

We must also provide adequate funding for our agencies who are responsible for seeking out new business and continue the funding for the governor’s quick action fund. Our schools must be able to provide an attractive and well-trained workforce. In order to do so we must ensure that our schools are readying our students for further training in our colleges and vocational/technical schools. I will support legislation that helps us to retain the best teachers and train the best new teachers.

What do you want voters to know about you and think about when they are casting their ballots?

DiMichele: Voters should know that if they vote for me they will be voting for someone who has firsthand experience creating jobs, growing a business and balancing a budget right here in Arkansas. By casting their ballot for me, they will be sending someone to the Arkansas House of Representative that will advocate fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and policies that will grow our economy.

Julian: I would like the voters to consider that this is my lifelong home and that I am dedicated to seeing it be the best it can be. That will be my full-time job. I also want them to know that my door will always be open to them to express their opinions and if they have a problem I will do all I can to help solve it.