Q&A: Meet Rep. Dave Heine, farmer turned lawmaker

By Alexa Freeman

This story is a question and answer series with newly-elected members of the Indiana General Assembly. Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Meet Rep. Dave Heine

Age: 59
Hometown: New Haven
Party: Republican
Occupation: Farmer

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne, has spent his entire life in northeast Indiana and is focused on making the area, as well as the entire state, a better place to live.

Heine grew up on his family farm, which he continues to own and operate. He also worked as vice president of Do it Best Corp., which is headquartered in his hometown of New Haven.

He is a majority member on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Financial Institutions Committee, and Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne, is a new state legislator. He said he wants to improve living conditions in his district. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehouseFile.com

Rep. Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne, is a new state legislator. He said he wants to improve living conditions in his district. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehouseFile.com

TheStatehouseFile.com was able to catch up with Heine to discuss what he hopes to accomplish at the Statehouse. 

Q: What motivated you to run for office?

A: My three children went to Indiana University. Unfortunately for me, all three of them live in Indianapolis, because of what they got their degrees in. So I wanted to use my business background to help northeast Indiana grow so that my children, my grandchildren have an opportunity to live in Fort Wayne area rather than having to move to a big city to live.

Q: What other local issues are you passionate about in district 85?

A: I grew up on a farm. I still farm today. Agriculture issues are important to me. I’ve watched small farmers go out of business. They worked hard, but because of regulations, it’s made it tough on the family farm.

Q: What state issues are you passionate about?

A: The local issues and the state issues kind of go hand in hand. I’m passionate about transportation, because Indiana has done a great job bringing new business into our state, but our road system is crumbling. In my district, 469 is our bypass around Fort Wayne, in fact it goes through my farm. But it’s terrible and trucks can’t even drive on the right-hand side of the road through my district. They have to drive on the left-hand side of the road, because it’s so bumpy on the right-hand side. So obviously, transportation is very, very key to me. But also, where are we going to get those dollars? I’m very fiscally conservative. I don’t like tax increases. So one of the things I want to make sure is we are transparent. Where are our current dollars going? Where are things that can be looked at for savings? But everything should be on the table. But if we need tax increases, we need to look at that.

Q: What unexpected challenges are you faced with?

A: I’ve only been down here for six, seven days, but everyone here seems to be so Christian and so respectful. We haven’t been in any meetings yet. [laughs] Maybe I’ve been watching too much TV or Fox News or CNN, but all the clashes you see on TV and federal government, I haven’t seen any of that. I didn’t really expect it, but now that I don’t see, it makes me happy.

Alexa Freeman is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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