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Candidate's View: I will represent Carlton County, not just the DFL

ABOUT THIS RACE: For 10 years, Minnesota House District 11A — from about Scanlon in its northeast to about Sturgeon Lake in its southwest — has been represented by Rep. Mike Sundin. He chose not to run again this year. Vying to replace him are Republican Jeff Dotseth of Kettle River and DFLer Pete Radosevich of Cloquet. Election Day is Nov. 8. Early voting is open.

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Pete Radosevich
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It seems the loudest voices get the most attention, and that’s certainly true in politics. We hear and read about the extremes on both sides, because they make the most noise.

But 85% of us are right in the middle. We’re sometimes a little embarrassed by those shouting on the far ends of the spectrum. Sure, we may lean one way or the other, but for us, it’s not about whether Democrats are evil or Republicans are cruel. No, it’s about whether our kids will have a decent school to attend, that our taxes are fair and spent wisely, and that we have adequate fire and police protection and decent roads in this harsh climate.

From the column by Jeff Dotseth: "We need common-sense leaders in St. Paul who won't play these political games and will do the right thing."

I’m a Democrat, but I am being supported by independents and even many prominent Republicans in Carlton County. They know, from my 23 years in town, that I’m looking out for the best interests of the community, not the political parties. It’s no secret that I lean left and that I’m a proud member of the DFL Party. But it’s no secret, either, that I will disagree with the party when it’s best for Carlton County. After hosting “Harry’s Gang” on cable-access television for 20-plus years and writing a weekly column in the Pine Knot News, my views on politics are well known. That won’t change.

One thing I can promise you is that, if elected, I won’t be representing the DFL Party in the House. No, I’ll represent all of Carlton County and the rest of District 11A, just like a representative is supposed to do. I’ll look for solutions to our issues. I won’t shout slogans and expect everyone to agree. I’ll reach out to all stakeholders and work on solving our collective problems.

Because solving problems is what I do. As an attorney, I’m well known for identifying problems and finding solutions. Compromise is just good politics. When we have politicians who refuse to acknowledge that the other side may have some value, we get deadlocked government. But when both sides agree there is some merit to each side’s positions, we compromise and get solutions. That’s what I do.

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The other guy running for the seat can’t say that. I like Jeff Dotseth; we’ve had some pretty fun conversations over the few years he’s lived here, and I’ve had him on my cable TV show a couple times. But he’s not right for 11A. He’s lived here a bit over four years and has run for this seat three times. He doesn’t seem to be looking out for Carlton County. He seems to be trying to bring pro-President Donald Trump/Tea Party-style politics to Carlton County. Well, we don’t want that. We value clean government here, and we want a representative in St. Paul who understands Carlton County, not someone who will be a shrill for the RNC. That’s not what a representative is supposed to do.

If I win this election, believe me when I tell you that I will continue to listen to you and your concerns, even if you don’t vote for me. Because that’s what elected officials are supposed to do. I hope you vote for me for House District 11A.

Pete Radosevich of Cloquet is the DFL candidate for Minnesota House District 11A. He wrote this for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page.

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