Candidate's View: 'When we invest in people, we all do better'
ABOUT THIS RACE: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District is represented by Republican Pete Stauber of Hermantown, a former Duluth police officer and St. Louis County commissioner. He is being challenged by DFL state Rep. Jen Schultz of Duluth, an economist and instructor at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Election Day is Nov. 8. Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 23.
I am running to represent Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District with a focus on strengthening our democracy; fighting to protect reproductive freedom; making health care, housing, and child care more affordable; securing investments that allow our region to grow; attracting good jobs; diversifying our economy; and addressing climate change.
I’m running because I believe when we invest in people, we all do better.
I’m a teacher and an economist at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I was raised in a small town, and, after my parents divorced, my mother supported her two daughters. As she struggled to make ends meet, I learned the importance of strong communities and robust social safety nets. My husband, a criminologist, and I are now in the middle class, but we worry about the future for our two boys.
During four productive terms representing Duluth in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a good legislator. A good legislator listens and responds to the residents of the district and works together with other legislators to help solve problems. A bad legislator drives wedges between people, obstructs, and spreads disinformation.
People are tired of the disinformation that has divided our communities and that has threatened our democracy. They want elected officials solving problems and getting things done. I have a strong record of doing both as a state legislator, working with members of other parties to lower health care and education costs, protect vulnerable senior citizens, invest in infrastructure (including essential broadband), protect the environment, create good-paying jobs for workers, and ensure that the needs of underserved communities are met.
My voting record as a legislator indicates that I listen to working families over corporations. My opponent’s voting record indicates the reverse. My opponent did not support workers when he voted against the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, and he voted against investigating price gouging by oil companies. I have a 100% voting record from the AFL-CIO; my opponent, Rep. Pete Stauber, does not.
I am proud to be endorsed by groups that reflect our values, such as the DFL veterans caucus, rural caucus, and environmental caucus and many labor unions, including USW, Iron Range and Duluth building trades, Plumbers & Steamfitters, Carpenters, IBEW, UFCW, Education MN, National Nurses United, and the MN AFL-CIO.
My opponent’s voting record does not meet people’s economic needs.
My opponent voted against the infrastructure bill, which had more than $7 billion for Minnesota for roads, bridges, broadband, ports, airports, and assistance to replace lead service lines.
He voted against the CHIPS Act, which aimed to increase the domestic production of computer chips, using American resources.
He voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, which included capping insulin prices, reducing prescription drug prices, and providing incentives to manufacture electric vehicles in the U.S., using American minerals.
Many of these bills will strengthen our regional economy and protect our national security. Incredibly, his strong opposition to the infrastructure bill did not stop him from taking credit for projects it funded (“ Stauber touts airport grants funded by infrastructure bill he voted against ,” Jan. 10).
Equally lamentable were my opponent’s votes against women seeking reproductive freedom and the right to contraception and veterans needing expanded health care benefits after exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances.
My opponent even failed law enforcement by voting against investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, during which many police officers were injured and some later lost their lives.
Perhaps most alarming was his participation in the ongoing threat to our democracy by signing onto the Texas lawsuit to invalidate presidential election results and by accepting the endorsement of the last president, who created the “big lie” about election fraud and who called the FBI and the Department of Justice “vicious monsters.”
The people of the 8th District are smart, are reasonable, and care about protecting our democracy. They will not be tricked by those who wish to rig the system against the well-being of their families. I will fight for fair policies, fair taxes, our freedom, and opportunities for our communities, rural and urban alike. Our campaign is powered by thousands of individual grassroot donations. I have pledged not to accept any corporate PAC money and will be accountable — and accessible — to the people.
The voters of our congressional district have a clear choice: my opponent, with his track record of voting against the interests of working families and individuals, or me, Jen Schultz, a strong, accomplished candidate with a track record of listening to and working hard for constituents and collaborating with people from all parties to deliver results. I ask for your vote in the Nov. 8 election.
Jen Schultz of Duluth is the Democratic candidate for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. She wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page. She can be reached at info@JenSchultzForCongress.com or online at JenSchultzForCongress.com.