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Candidate's View: Burley challenges Olson in Duluth's west -- 'Faith, family, freedom' more than a catchphrase

I am running for Minnesota House of Representatives, District 7B, because I believe conservatives should have a voice in Duluth and nonmetro Minnesota. I intend to represent all people in my district, not just those of my party.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota, College of Business Administration, with a bachelor's degree in business administration. I spent 40 years in the insurance industry as a programmer and systems analyst. I completed both the the Fellow, Life Management Institute designation program and the Chartered Life Underwriter course of study. I also have worked as a tax professional. I was a member of Minneapolis Business and Professional Women and a member and officer of the Minneapolis Branch of the American Association of University Women.

My political background includes serving as secretary, co-chairwoman, and treasurer of my BPOU, or basic political operating unit. I was a delegate to district and state party conventions, and for many years I served as an election judge. Throughout each political season, I volunteer for campaigns by making telephone calls, block walking, dropping literature off at people's homes, and putting signs in my yard.

"Faith. Family. Freedom." It's more than a catchphrase. It is the fundamental basis throughout generations of my family. My mother's grandmother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. My paternal grandfather, a legal immigrant from Norway, settled in northern Minnesota in the early 1900s with few possessions beyond his Norwegian Bible. My father served the people of Koochiching County as an elected commissioner.

No country can allow unlimited immigration. We need to secure our borders to protect our citizens and our values. We need to stop drugs from entering our country and stop human trafficking. Immigrants should be in good health, possess viable work skills to support themselves, and learn how to speak English.

Accepting Jesus as my savior at the age of 9, I believe in life from conception to natural death. Health care should reflect this. I was the primary caregiver for my husband of 49 years prior to his death from Parkinson's disease in 2011. I also helped care for my father who died at age 96.

I am a strong supporter of lifelong learning. I continue my education through the University of Minnesota Duluth's University for Seniors and Community Bible Study programs. I love to read and have always been an avid reader.

I believe changes need to be made to the current school curriculum, including removing Common Core. We need to meet students where they are and help them succeed. The failure to teach our children to be informed citizens and instill values like the Ten Commandments is, in part, responsible for the breakdown in society. Instead of building a foundation on education basics and our Constitution, the minds and souls of our children are being corrupted by an undue emphasis on sexuality as early as kindergarten. We should support and expand participation in scouting, 4-H, and positive youth groups.

We need to create a fair, honest, and competitive business environment. We need more livable-wage jobs in northern Minnesota, and we need the schools to better prepare students for those jobs. It is not healthy for any able-bodied person to not work.

We need to support our military and our veterans. We need to protect our Second Amendment right to bear arms. We need to eliminate the unnecessary functions of government, which would lower our taxes. We need to be kind, helpful, and encouraging to one another. We need to ensure everyone has a safe place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear.

I look forward to the challenge of representing District 7B in the Minnesota House of Representatives should you choose me in the Nov. 6 election.

Caroline Burley of Duluth is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 7B. She wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page. Her campaign website is vote4caroline.com. Election Day is Nov. 6.

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