Candidate's View: Vote to preserve, protect our great quality of life
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.
Minnesotans are hurting in the Walz/Biden economy. The highest inflation rates in decades are crushing hardworking families. Gas prices remain more than 50% higher than when President Joe Biden took office. Grocery costs are up 13% compared to a year ago, and Minnesotans are bracing for record energy bills when the heat turns on this winter.
It's these challenges that inspired me to run again for Minnesota House District 11A.
State government is sitting on a record surplus of more than $10 billion, but Democrats have stood in the way year after year of meaningful and permanent tax relief. Earlier this year, they held tax cuts hostage for billions in new government spending despite a fully funded state budget.
We need common-sense leaders in St. Paul who won't play these political games and will do the right thing: When government has too much money, we give it back to the people.
One of my top priorities will be eliminating all taxes on Social Security once and for all. Minnesota is one of the last states still taxing these benefits. Our seniors need that money to pay for groceries. They worked their entire lives to earn it; Minnesota has no business taxing it.
It's time to unlock opportunities here in our region; we have rich reserves of minerals, abundant timber, and skilled laborers. Unleashing our natural resources and allowing America to lead in producing precious metals that are in demand throughout the world would be a boon for our communities, our laborers, and their families.
This will help keep our young people here at home. Our region is losing workers as our children and grandchildren look for opportunities in the Twin Cities metro and in other states. We can grow our economy and develop good-paying, family-supporting jobs here that help retain local talent. We have outstanding area colleges that excel in training workers for the plentiful job openings across the region.
Minnesota also needs to get serious about public safety. Defund-the-police Democrats in St. Paul have refused to boost funding for law enforcement and have sought to demonize an entire profession of workers, sewing mistrust between police and the communities they serve.
Prosecutors and liberal judges appointed by Gov. Tim Walz have created a revolving door for criminals, allowing violent criminals with numerous felonies to be back on our streets after just a slap on the wrist. We need to crack down on violent and repeat criminals, stop the flow of the deadly overdose drug fentanyl into our communities, and send a message that crime won't be tolerated and you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
In our schools, test scores continue to decline, fueled by the forced lockdowns by Walz. I want every child to succeed, and that requires a solid foundation of reading, writing, math, and science. We need to ditch woke, controversial curriculum and get back to basics.
As I travel the district, I know I can be a strong voice for the needs and concerns of our community. I'm so grateful to have the support of several labor organizations, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minnesota Chamber, and more.
I am a husband, father, grandfather, farmer, real-estate agent, small-business owner, and former township board supervisor who is looking to bring common sense to state government, to make sure the people of District 11A once again are heard.
Let's work together to preserve and protect the great quality of life we have here in Northeastern Minnesota and chart a new direction with a Republican majority when we vote on Nov. 8.
Jeff Dotseth of Kettle River is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 11A. He wrote this for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page.