Kiffmeyer runs for Senate

by Jim Boyle

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, has decided to make a run for the newly created Minnesota Senate District 30.

The district includes her home community of Big Lake, the entire communities of Elk River and Otsego in addition to Hanover, St. Michael and Albertville.

She announced her decision on Feb. 23 and met with the Star News on her way to St. Paul that morning.

Kiffmeyer told the Star News she decided long ago she would run for another legislative term. She and her husband, Ralph, even toyed with the idea of a bid for a Minnesota Senate seat.

“If the opportunity presented itself (to run for an open seat), we agreed to consider it,” she said. “But I thought it was very unlikely.”

She doubted any district she would be drawn into would cross the Mississippi River, but the architects of the legislative map did just that.

“It’s a natural fit,” she said. “Big Lake, Elk River, Otsego are communities of interest. This has a lot of potential.”

Kiffmeyer was first elected in 2008 and she is currently finishing off her second term in office.

Her work, however, is not complete, she says.

“As a state senator, I will continue to push for many of the initiatives that I have championed as a state representative and, prior to that, as secretary of state,” she said.

Kiffmeyer sees the biggest issues as transportation, equity in school funding and pro-job growth policies.

“I fit the district,” she concludes.

Although she only has a part of Elk River in her current House district she has paid attention to Elk River’s issues and the issues of the school district to work on equity in funding.

Kiffmeyer is vice chair of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee and serves on the Health and Human Services Reform committee, the Taxes Committee and Ways and Means.

“The nearly 80,000 people in this new district live and work in vibrant growing communities and need a voice in St. Paul that understands their situation,” she said. “I intend to provide the strong experienced, qualified leadership to benefit the Senate District 30 communities in the years ahead.”

Kiffmeyer’s decision also ensures that both House District 30A and 30B will be wide open races.