Mike is a lifelong South Dakota resident who was born and raised in Sioux Falls. I graduated from Washington High School in 1998 and earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in 2002. Currently, I work for a Sioux Falls-based healthcare system.
In 2011, I married my wife and best friend, Kylie, who is an elementary school teacher. Together we help raise my six year-old son, Carson, who is a second grader in the Harrisburg School District.
Public service is important to my family. My mother, De Knudson, is a former Sioux Falls City Councilor (2002-2010), who worked tirelessly to move Sioux Falls forward. My father, Dave Knudson, spent eight years in the South Dakota Senate (2003-2010) and was the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2010. He was a champion for K-12 education, open government and was a true leader.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also love cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves and Wild.
As a lifelong South Dakotan with a young family, I am committed to helping make South Dakota a better place for our children. Government’s first job is building a better future for our citizens. Education and economic development are the keys to that better future. Today more than ever, our children need legislators who are genuinely committed to a better education for our kids. I am committed to improved education as my number one priority. I’m a common sense candidate who puts progress before party affiliation and will do what is right for the people of District 12.
Do you support the one-penny sales tax increase to fund education and Medicaid. If so, why or why not?
Education is the single biggest advantage we can give our children. The Sioux Falls and Harrisburg School Districts are doing an outstanding job educating our students with limited resources. I support Initiated Measure 15 (one penny sales tax increase with the proceeds being split between education and Medicaid) but respect the voter’s decision on this issue.
What is the number one issue the state legislature should focus on in the 2013 Legislative session?
The biggest issue we face in South Dakota is the lack of education funding in our state. Increasing the funding for education in South Dakota is my number one priority. We need to focus on our children because they are the future.
Since the state had a surplus this year of $50 million, do you think they should start funding public education better, reduce taxes or allocate those funds to something else?
In 2011 the Legislature voted to cut education funding by 50 million dollars. At the same time they were increasing the number of state employees. This is wrong. The state’s increased revenues from current taxes should be used to restore the cuts made to education and Medicaid rather than to grow state government.