What an honor it is to be senator of District 6. Thanks to Iron Rangers for the privilege of serving them, an honor I hope to continue.
My college hockey coach always said, “You can’t substitute experience!” My experience and the relationships I have developed at the Capitol are essential in delivering results as a state senator. I know the process and the players that allow me to effectively work with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done.
All-or-nothing politics must stop.
When people have jobs, many problems go away. That is why I fight to maintain our way of life, with good-paying union jobs, high-quality education, and health care. I would be honored to have district residents’ votes on Nov. 3 or even earlier by mail.
My wife of 40 years, Charlotte, and I are empty-nesters. We have three children and several grandchildren. I attended the University of Denver on a hockey scholarship, graduating with a degree in business. I played hockey professionally in Italy for 16 years and played in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. I think everything we do in life prepares us for the next thing we do.
I learned to treat people with respect and learned the power of goodwill. I found that the harder and smarter I worked, the better the outcome. That is what I do representing my constituents in St. Paul.
COVID-19 presents huge challenges. Our lives have changed, and the new normal is anything but normal. Our work at the Capitol will need experienced legislators to navigate large budget deficits and restart the economy. My experience will help meet these challenges.
Our parents and grandparents drilled into us that a good, solid education is the fundamental building block for successful living and the raising of our families. I believe health care is a fundamental right. No veteran should be homeless or disrespected, as they are heroes. And every senior citizen should have the housing, care, and support they need. Our law enforcement needs to be fully funded, as our personal safety should not be compromised. And I will always defend your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Experience counts. We have delivered. Here are a few: a $250 million Iron Range bridge made with American steel; the 132-mile Mesabi Trail through 28 communities; new ATV, snowmobile, and bike trails; and grant money to rebuild infrastructures in our communities. I’m most proud of the $200 million Iron Range Education Fund which has leveraged new school construction, distance learning, curriculum enhancement, and classes in crafts and trades for our students.
We have the only solar panel manufacturing plant in Minnesota, and our water in Northeastern Minnesota is the cleanest in the state. Most importantly, I have fought to protect the economic backbone of the Iron Range: good paying union mining jobs and logging jobs. And when people do lose jobs, I’ve fought to extend unemployment insurance to keep families whole during economic downturns.
But I didn’t do it alone. Experience and relationships count.
As Gov. Rudy Perpich once said, “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” That’s why we are fighting for a $1.8 billion bonding bill, the replacement of Line 3, and to keep the Togo and Willow River rehabilitation centers open. I’ve led the fight for PolyMet to mine the precious minerals necessary for our new-age economy, and Twin Metals can and will be done safely. Jobs, jobs, jobs!
I am endorsed by teachers, nurses, labor, and business — which points to my ability to work across party lines and get things done. Experience counts. Thanks for all your past support. I’d be honored to have your vote on Nov. 3!
DFL Sen. David Tomassoni of Chisholm represents Minnesota Senate District 6. He is being challenged in the Nov. 3 election by Republican John Moren of Canyon. He wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.