As a life-long Minnesotan, I am proud to call the Northland my home. This is where we work, play, and raise our families. And that’s why I decided to run for the Minnesota House in District 3B, to make sure we have a voice in St. Paul who will fight for the citizens of northern Minnesota and make sure our way of life is protected.

By trade, I am an insurance agent. The proudest moments of my job come when I am able to help put a family’s life back together after a devastating loss. With 2020 being the year it is, we need someone able to help put Minnesota back together and get us on the right path forward. I want to use those humbling experiences when I am at the Capitol to work for my constituents and make sure we can get on our feet again.

Talking with voters across the district, I hear worry about public safety in our communities. The rioting and looting we have seen in our state must stop. If we’re not careful, it will happen up here, too. When we have DFL candidates calling for the defunding of the police, it is time to change which party is leading the state. These men and women in law enforcement are our friends, family, and neighbors who serve and protect us. I will work to make sure our law enforcement has the necessary training and tools to be able to fully carry out its job. I will stand with our police officers and have their back when they need it most.

Minnesota has a long history of supporting unions. I am a proud Republican union supporter, and I appreciate the job our local trade unions do in training our workers and making sure they have good-paying jobs. My grandfather got his start with the local carpenters union, where he learned his skills for his career and was able to provide for his family. I will be a strong voice for our unions and will make sure their voice is heard in St. Paul.

In order to have good-paying jobs in northern Minnesota, we need to have the economy in order. We are still reeling from the shutdown, and we have yet to see the total effect it will have on our area. Our governor’s one-size-fits-all approach is not working, especially here in the Northland. Our local businesses have been suffering since the shutdown began, and some have even closed their doors for good. If this continues, more businesses will do the same. Now more than ever before, we need leadership to help get our businesses going again, which means supporting projects such as the Line 3 replacement and the PolyMet mine on the Iron Range. Copper-nickel mining will spur great economic growth throughout our region.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

This election is crucial in making sure Minnesota chooses the right leaders who will fight for our police, unions, and hard-working families. I humbly ask for the votes of Minnesota House District 3B on Nov. 3.

Andy Hjelle of Hermantown is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 3B, challenging DFL Rep. Mary Murphy, also of Hermantown, in the Nov. 3 election. He wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.