- Political party: DFL
- Age: 49
- Occupation: Professor of economics, University of Minnesota Duluth
- Family: Married; 2 sons
- Website: house.leg.state.mn.us/members/profile/15446; schultzformnrep.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/schultzformnrep; facebook.com/repjenschultz
- Twitter: @RepJenSchultz
- Political party: Republican
- Age: 72
- Occupation: Entrepreneur, corporate pilot and certified flight instructor
- Family: Wife, Kathy, of 48 years; 4 daughters; 13 grandchildren
- Website: SullivanForMN.com
- Facebook: Sullivan For The House
- Twitter: Sullivan For The House (@tsulli4thehouse)
What do you have to offer voters?
Six years of legislative experience and seniority; chair (Long-term Care committee) and senior positions on key committees (Tax, Health & Human Services, Rules, Great Lakes Commission); training as a professional economist specializing in health care; and experience working with the needs of Duluth and its people. Experience of being raised by a single parent, making me aware of the struggles of many Duluthians working to meet the daily needs of their families.
I have a decades-long history of owning and operating my own businesses, so I know first-hand the struggles and stresses of being a business owner. Local businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we need to support them in any way we can to protect and maintain jobs in our area. Supporting our local business owners is more important now than ever due to the pandemic. Our future depends on it.
How do you balance industrial growth with environmental concerns?
Industrial growth and a clean environment are not contradictory. Green energy plants are now cheaper than new coal plants, and will soon be cheaper than existing coal plants. Protection of water, a resource that is fast becoming scarce, is better economically than pollution. Our natural environment is the main draw to our area for new development. Diversification of our economy into 21st century industries and distance employment will lead to better, more stable, higher-paying jobs.
I, myself, am an avid outdoorsman here in Northern Minnesota. I want to protect the environment that I enjoy as much as the next Minnesotan. I am for safe and environmentally sustainable industrial growth in Minnesota. We have to follow science and let the rigorous process that has been set forth by our own Minnesota laws dictate how to proceed with industrial growth in our great state.
What is the biggest issue affecting your district?
The pandemic crisis and its mismanagement by the federal government. We need to follow scientific advice in protecting all Minnesotans from COVID-19, and then to not just recover, but build back better. Once we recover from the pandemic, health care will be the biggest issue. My professional training and legislative experience will position me to lead Minnesota in reforming health care — making it more affordable and accessible.
Lack of family-supporting jobs, excessive taxation. Minnesota is the fifth most-taxed state in the country. Minnesota has consistently driven companies and jobs out of the state to avoid excessive taxation, meanwhile residents are struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic. We need more family-supporting jobs and to put the breaks on any and all tax increases. I will work to incentivize and attract more businesses that will provide family-supporting jobs.
What is your primary goal? If elected, how would you accomplish it?
My agenda in St. Paul is simple — making sure our state works for everyone. I will champion a public option, lowering health care costs and changing payments so providers may focus on patients and not billing. I’ll work to fix our housing crisis; improve child care availability; address economic inequity and injustice; protect our environment; and invest in education. Together, we can move our state into a future that is truly great for all of us.
My primary goal is to provide the change this district needs; change that has become even more crucial during this pandemic. I want to be the legislator that finally fights for Duluth against the big cities in the Metro Area. I will not support an increase in any taxes for residents or businesses. I will work across the aisle to craft policies that incentivize new business and create family-supporting jobs in our area.