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Candidate's View: District 6A being served well by common-sense leadership

I'm honored to serve the residents of District 6A in the Minnesota House of Representatives. One of seven children, I was raised in Hibbing. My husband Evan and I are raising our three children in the house where I grew up. Family ties run deep. ...

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Denfeld’s 1947 boys basketball team is the only Denfeld basketball team to win a state title. The team’s head coach was Lloyd Holm. Team members were Rudy Monson, Larry Tessier, Paul Nace, Kenneth Sunnarborg, Eugene Norlander, Howard Tucker, Tony Skull, Jerry Walczak, Bruce Budge, Keith Stolen and student manager Bob Scott.

I'm honored to serve the residents of District 6A in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

One of seven children, I was raised in Hibbing. My husband Evan and I are raising our three children in the house where I grew up. Family ties run deep. Growing up in a home of nine people, I learned you might not always agree with everyone, but at the end of the day we did what needed to be done to find resolution and a path forward. I learned lessons from my parents about the value of hard work, putting others first, compromise, education, and being part of something bigger: community. Evan and I are carrying on those lessons with our children through our professional and volunteer work.

After graduating from Hibbing High School, I earned a teaching degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. I chose education as a career because I desired to make a difference in the lives of students, as so many of my teachers did for me. Even after 25 years in the profession, I am still inspired by seeing students learn.

As a member of my teachers union, I became involved in and eventually served many years in union leadership. I value the professional development, unity, and advocacy that unions provide. Collective bargaining highlighted for me the importance of shared responsibility and the balance of respect required to negotiate and mutually uphold an agreement.

My whole life I have been involved in my community. Currently, I conduct the Hibbing City Band and am a member of the Hibbing Alumni Band and the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra. I oversee the staffing and curriculum for our church's Sunday School program and conduct the choir. Through all of these activities, people from different walks of life come together, creating a strong sense of community.

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In 2016, when former Rep. Carly Melin announced she wouldn't seek reelection, I threw my hat into the ring. While I hadn't run for public office before, I believed my life's work had prepared me for the role. From managing a classroom of children and guiding them to reach their full potential, representing my fellow union members, and bringing area residents together through musical performances, I knew what was required to get results in a variety of situations. And my "sisu" didn't hurt either!

Being a legislator requires a lot of listening, willingness to negotiate, and trust-building. I serve with integrity, being ever mindful of my constituents. My answers are honest, not just "on message." I've authored bills to help our children be successful in the classroom and for affordable, accessible child-care opportunities. I pushed broadband expansion to help grow our economy, and I voted to stabilize pension funds for more than 500,000 current and retired state workers.

I am running for reelection because I want to continue to be the voice for District 6A in the Minnesota House of Representatives. At the state Capitol, I am known as a common-sense leader. If re-elected, I will work with both sides of the aisle to find common-sense solutions for our priorities: affordable, accessible health care; education funding; broadband expansion; transportation funding; and a diversified economy. I've always put my district first at the Capitol, and, if re-elected, I will continue to do so. Your support is humbly appreciated.

Rep. Julie Sandstede of Hibbing is the DFL representative of Minnesota House District 6A. She wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.

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