Residents of District 34 will vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the general election to fill the Minnesota Senate seat.
Senate Dist. 34 represents Rogers, Dayton, Osseo and Maple Grove.
Incumbent Warren Limmer and Sharon Bahensky are on the ballot.
The candidates were asked to include their thoughts in statements. Each were asked to include in a response:
1. Candidate biography: Please include a short biography of yourself, your background, your personal and professional experiences and any other information you wish to share. Please limit this portion to 100 words or less.
2. Candidate statement: Please comment on the top issues you feel are important in this election. Explain any changes you would like to see made to address the community’s most urgent problems. Please include your vision for the community’s future and what government should do to guide future growth. Please limit this portion to 400 words or less.
The responses received include:
Though with no legislative experience, I am not a novice to Minnesota politics having successfully managed State House campaigns and I maintain a keen awareness of issues facing Minnesotans.
I served as a marketing promotion manager for Fortune 200 companies. Later I partnered with my husband living and working in the former Soviet Union for 10 years helping its agribusiness transition from a socialist command economy to a capitalist market economy.
The skills and traits developed during these experiences should be an asset while serving in the Minnesota Senate.
The top issues facing people in Maple Grove, Osseo, Rogers and Dayton are jobs, education and property taxes. Economic growth cannot occur until the middle class has the financial strength to be customers of the goods and services produced or sold by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.
Over the past decade our district has expanded rapidly in population and economic activity. Small manufacturers continue to spring up, just run for office and get around the community and you will see their new constructs. But to sustain our progress we will have to invest in modern infrastructure and bring down property taxes. We will also have to turn back to the policies of the Minnesota Miracle and provide the financial support to re-develop a world-class educational system.
Today in Minnesota, thousands of job openings cannot be filled because of unqualified applicants. Those applicants just don’t have the education and training needed to do the job. Minnesota has been on a 10-year course of cutting aid to education. The result is soaring college tuition, larger class sizes and a falling national rating in student achievement. The Minnesota educational system is no longer the envy of other states.
What are the unforeseen consequences? The state has under-funded schools by $2.4 billion and though some legislators tend to overlook this obligation so as to claim a smaller deficit, it is still owed to our school system. As communities try to cope with less funding, our property taxes continue to rise. Over the past decade the average house and business property tax rose 85 percent.
My vision for our community and state is to invest heavily in infrastructure that will serve thriving business activities. Our roads and bridges are in need of repair, replacement, or updating. In this community, highway 610 is still not connected to Interstate 94 and the 694/494/94 interchange is woefully inadequate. Light rail systems need to be developed throughout the metro area and nearby major cities. Our wind energy industry will need the required transmission lines to connect it the grid. This is the time to invest, the need is there and the cost of money is at a record low.
State Senator, 1995 – present
State Representative, 1989 – 1995
Married to wife Lori, and father of Kalli, 21, Jordan, 18, and Nathan, 16
47-year resident of Northwest suburbs
33 year Residential and Investment Property Sales
Graduate, Armstrong High School
Graduate, North Hennepin Community College
Graduate, St Cloud State University, BA, Criminal Justice Studies
Endorsed by: The Minnesota Republican Party District 34, Police Officers Federation of Minnesota, Minnesota Farm Bureau PAC, MCCL PAC, NRA Political Victory Fund, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PAC and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce PAC.
JOBS… JOBS… JOBS? A New Path Needed Now!
With some nations under economic crisis, currencies in peril, and record-breaking debt, we must get competitive fast. Minnesota ranks as the 45th worst business tax climate. We need to tighten our belt and create reasonable business tax and regulation policies to attract quality job and income providers to our state.
TAX & SPEND: We Still Must Get a Grip!
We just turned a $6-Billion deficit into nearly a $1.5 billion surplus, without raising taxes… and we’ve only just begun! Minnesota is still rated as one of the highest taxed states in the nation, our taxpayers are tax weary.
By reforming government, cutting waste, duplication, and worn-out government projects, we must continue to promote the positive tax and spend reforms we just began. If not, government spending will fiscally threaten our families, our jobs, and those on fixed incomes.
EDUCATION: A Public’s Trust!
Minnesota’s good education is one reason why employers continue to stay here. But our schools must first be free from violence, crime and drugs. Public education programs must teach our children that crime and violence are not options for a civilized society. Ongoing testing of children’s academic progress must continue, and careful analysis of wasteful and bureaucratic programs must be repealed and replaced with core academic standards that can be quantified in an objective manner.
Despite record-breaking spending for K-12 education, our local districts see very little due to a series of unfunded mandates, regulations, complicated formulas, and restrictions. It’s unfair in its distribution and the result of decades of political deals that have benefited certain areas of the state, at the expense of others. We must remodel education funding to provide equal, cost-efficient, and quality education for all our children.
TRANSPORTATION: It’s About Priorities!
Before simply committing to higher taxes, we must first exhaust all other opportunities: 1). Expand the use of bonding (loans at current record-low rates) to freeze costs and start new construction without delay; 2). Focus first on unfinished projects like Hwy 610’s remaining link to Hwy 94, as well as freeing bottlenecks that slow the system, and; 3). Continue to scrutinize every aspect of state spending and direct the savings of duplicated and wasteful government spending to transportation improvements.
With your vote on Nov. 6, we can return to priorities that reinforce families, provide good jobs, and make Minnesota a better place to live.