With the November election just a few weeks away, candidates hoping to represent Richfield (and Bloomington) in the Minnesota State Legislature came together to lay their qualifications and political priorities before voters last Saturday.
The candidate forum was held Richfield City Hall and Municipal Center by the League of Women Voters of Richfield.
Candidates answered a variety of questions from the voters’ league and audience members. As far as their priorities if elected, Richfield Patch sums up candidates’ responses.
Senate District 50
Melissa Halvorson-Wiklund (D)
“I believe that is one of the key government roles that we need to make sure is funded well and support our local districts.”
- Addressing human services issues at the state level:
“We need to make sure that [Richfield], which has a lot of seniors, continues to be strong and [our state] supports their ability to continue living in their community.”
Vern Wilcox (R)
- Ending gridlock at the Capitol by working across party lines:
“We need to work together to bring this country and this economy back together.”
House District 50A
Craig Marston (R)
- Encouraging business growth:
“We need to build a solid economic business community and encourage businesses to not only stay here and expand, but to encourage new businesses to come.”
- Infrastructure (roads and bridges)
Joseph Koch (I)
- Give a voice to those who feel unrepresented:
“Majority of people are not voting … and I can see why … I want to get new ideas out there and new solutions.”
*Linda Slocum (D)
- Pay the public schools back after last year’s payment shift:
“I thought [the shift] was very irresponsible. … I want us to responsibly pay that back, not using our reserve funds.”
- Economic recovery
House District 63B
Matt Ashley (R)
- Smaller government; self governance:
“I want to get up here … and express some different views, more liberty minded views … and promote what I believe government is responsible for, which is a lot less than we’re doing now.”
*Jean Wagenius (D)
- Transit and roads
“I want other parents to have the same opportunities for their children that mine had.”
(*) denotes incumbents
Republican candidate for Senate District 63, Patrick Marron, was not present at the event. His opponent and incumbent, Sen. Patricia Torres-Ray arrived late and wasn’t present for discussion of priorities if elected.
The forum will likely be rebroadcast on Channel 15, public access. Check local listings for times and dates. Stay tuned for more articles with details from the forum.