Robert Farnsworth

Julie Sandstede

What do you have to offer voters?

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Farnsworth

I have lived on the Range for most of my life and am invested in my community. I currently work in Hibbing as a special education teacher and have been a teacher for 20 years. For 22 years, I have been a union member. While teaching at the correctional facility in Togo, I was the local union president. My experiences have prepared me to take on the challenge of serving in the Legislature.

Sandstede

Public service rather than political partisanship. I am a moderate voice in the legislature and my voting record is evidence. Having already served four years in the House, I have earned the trust of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. As a wife, mother, teacher, volunteer firefighter and conductor, I bring a diverse life experience, common sense, compassion and a strong work ethic to the citizens of Minnesota.

How do you balance industrial growth with environmental concerns?

Farnsworth

Our state has some of the most stringent environmental protections in the world. The balance is to simply allow the process to play out. If we do this, we will be able to open new mines and protect our natural environment. Unfortunately, the governor and his metro DFL friends keep moving the goalposts and seem determined to stop all mining. We need to fight these environmental extremists because we know we can mine cleanly.

Sandstede

We begin by capitalizing on what we know and focus on the resources we have. Environmental stewardship should not result in moratoriums, but rather confidently move us forward guided by the science and best practices available to us. Safety measures and assurances should always be in place.

What is the biggest issue affecting your district?

Farnsworth

The biggest issue affecting my district is long term job loss and economic decline. We can reverse these declines if we get government out of the way. We need to allow new mines to open (we know they can open cleanly) and support current mines. We also need to get creative with economic development by not only attracting new jobs, but also attracting people who work from home to work from home on the Range.

Sandstede

Economic recovery and the need to diversify the economy.

What is your primary goal? If elected, how would you accomplish it?

Farnsworth

My primary goal is to reverse the declines we have seen on the Iron Range and to bring about an economic renewal. As I mentioned above, we need to support mining, but we also need to address livability issues in the Northland. Areas we need to focus on include increasing our housing inventory through new construction of single-family homes, improving our high-speed internet, and attracting new retail and dining options.

Sandstede

Economic recovery for families and small businesses will be my priority. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! I will work to accomplish this by collaborating with colleagues on both sides of the aisle for an expansion of grants and loans to businesses available through the state and Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. I will push for an expansion of broadband and connectivity services in the region to draw in new businesses and provide opportunity for those working from home.