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Candidate's View: Republicans will keep our economy vibrant, support working people

ABOUT THIS RACE: Minnesota House District 3A is massive. It runs up the North Shore from northeast of Duluth and across the Canadian border to as far west as almost Baudette. The district is represented by DFL Rep. Rob Ecklund of International Falls, who is being challenged in the Nov. 8 election by Republican Roger Skraba of Ely. Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 23.

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Roger Skraba
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When elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, I will represent all people of my district. That’s unlike the current representative who votes with his party.

I will vote to take away the unfettered executive emergency powers the governor enjoys now and replace it with supermajority votes of both houses. I will vote for a constitutional carry for people who want to bear arms. I will vote for stand-your-ground and castle-doctrine legislation. I will vote for requiring voter ID. I will work with anyone who wants to help get more money for mental health. We need to quit talking about mental health and do something meaningful. I will work with anyone who wants to try and fix our education system. The lockdowns of the current administration caused irreparable harm to the whole education system, and it can never happen again. We have to learn from our mistakes.

From the column by Rep. Rob Ecklund: "As I travel throughout the district, I feel fortunate to represent such a beautiful and diverse part of our state. I look forward to continuing to do so."

We cannot continue raising taxes on our lower- and middle-income people. All taxes need to be frozen. We expect to have a state budget surplus of upwards of $10 billion at the end of this fiscal year. It makes no sense to continue to collect more than you can use. All Minnesota Social Security taxes should be repealed.

We need to work together to solve the loss of gas-tax revenues from the addition of electric vehicles. Those vehicles must pay to use the roads and bridges like those who pay the gas tax do when they buy gasoline or diesel fuel.

We must work together to extract minerals throughout Minnesota. We can add value by processing those minerals in-state, also. Then products can be made in Minnesota with the raw metal.


We need to listen to our forest-products industry to keep it vibrant and effective. There can be many value-added jobs. We just need to work together to achieve that. Some of the natural resources of Minnesota need to be managed to be used, not preserved. There is plenty of land to share with all user groups. Clean water and clean air should always be our top priority. There has been mineral extraction and forest-products extraction since we became a state. We claim to have some of the cleanest waters and air in the nation. That doesn't happen by accident. When we all work together we can have industry and clean natural resources. We're living proof it can happen.

Those of us who live here, especially in District 3A, value our freedom. We take care of our surroundings, work with neighbors, and generally get along just fine. I will try my best to keep it that way. Government is not always the answer. As mayor of Ely for four terms, I have always tried to limit government intervention into our lives. I will strive to do the same in St. Paul.

In 1997, I renovated a small retail store in Ely. I sold tourist stuff and rented snowmobiles out of it till 2009. The recession during the Barack Obama presidency forced me out of business. There were many hardships I endured. Between no snow, fewer tourists, and high interest rates, I could not sustain earning a living on Ely’s main street. I ended up filing for bankruptcy around 2013. Guiding canoe trips and renting snowmobiles just couldn't pay the bills.

Since then, I have been working in carpentry and guiding. I learned a lot about life, but more importantly I learned about how a recession can crush an economy. With this current administration, both state and federal, we will suffer as we did in 2008. We need new leadership. The Republican Party will help keep our economies strong and vibrant with legislation to support the working people of Minnesota. It's time we work together to solve these complex economic problems so our communities will flourish.

With your support, I will be ready to serve after the Nov. 8 election. Vote Roger J. Skraba for District 3A representative.

Roger Skraba of Ely is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 3A. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page.

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