PoliticalBank is all about people: those running for office and those they serve. In this series of blog posts, we’re highlighting the candidates on our platform, their campaigns, and their goals.
Meet Scott Willis! He’s a challenger running for State Senate in Indiana’s 20th district. With Indiana’s primary coming up on May 3rd, we asked him a few questions about what drives him.
Why are you running for state senate?
I am determined to make Hamilton County an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. We are currently facing many challenges; for example: the fact that the American Society of Civil Engineers has given our roads a D+ since 2009, our lack of benefits for veterans despite Indiana having the highest number of vets per capita, our schools losing tax dollars and falling near the bottom of the state’s funding-per-student rankings. I have the leadership experience from both the military and the corporate world to tackle these issues head on. My opponent has been in office for 24 years, and it is time for a new voice in Hamilton County.
How would you describe State Senate District 20?
It’s a prosperous area within Hamilton County that includes Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, and Westfield. We have seen tremendous growth over the last decade, which has been a boon but has also created some unique challenges that need to be addressed.
We noticed your campaign is very focused on three major issues. What is your stance on District 20’s schools?
We have great schools, but they have consistently been asked to do more with less since the current school funding formula redistributes our tax dollars throughout the state. Our schools are already very large, but the reduced funding has made it extremely difficult for them to keep up with the growth. I want to ensure our tax dollars remain at home so our schools can stay competitive.
What is your approach to economic development?
As a small business owner, I have seen firsthand how legislation coming out of the statehouse impacts economic development. Due to the growth challenges District 20 is facing, I believe decision-making authority should be pushed down to the levels of government closest to the issues, rather than the state micromanaging. We need to give communities control again of their tax dollars so they can invest in roads, infrastructure, or other local projects.
In the past 10 years, crime has increased by 35% in Hamilton County. How would you address this problem?
The politics of crime tends to focus on the costs directly associated with the criminal justice system, such as the police, courts, and corrections system. However, what our leaders have overlooked are the intangible costs: the long term effects of psychological trauma or reduced quality of life that victims of crime experience. I support investing in protecting our families so they feel safe in our communities.
How can volunteers help with your campaign?
There are many ways to get involved in this grassroots campaign! You can write letters, knock on doors with me, distribute yard signs, or just come out to an event!
What has been your most surprising campaign moment?
While knocking on doors in Carmel back in March, I was discussing property taxes and referendums with a woman when she suddenly broke down and shared with me that she was unemployed and struggling to keep her head above water. I have to admit it was heart breaking. Just a reminder that not everyone is prospering in Hamilton County. There are actually more than 13,000 residents, – including 5,000 children – who live below the poverty level here.
What are your thoughts on PoliticalBank?
I think it’s a really slick way for candidates to confirm what they stand for and promote their campaigns. And it’s great that other capabilities like fundraising and recruiting volunteers are built in, along with all the ways voters can reach out and interact. It really puts listening to constituents about the issues at the forefront.
You can learn more about Scott’s run for State Senator and donate to his campaign on his PoliticalBank profile, or check out his website here. To fully participate in PoliticalBank’s platform, interact with candidates, and volunteer for their campaigns, sign up as a Voter today!