Incumbent's View: Following forced isolation, renewed collaboration needed in St. Paul

ABOUT THIS RACE: Republican Natalie Zeleznikar is challenging 23-term DFL Rep. Mary Murphy, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1976. Minnesota House District 3B extends north from western Duluth. Both the challenger and the incumbent were invited to write these columns by the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 8. Early voting begins next Friday, Sept. 23.

Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy
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As summer turns to fall, I’ve noticed that more people are coming to events, and they are more likely to smile and speak first. The three National Night Out events and two parades I participated in recently were well-attended, and the people of all ages were friendly and nice!

The celebration at Bayfront Festival Park on Labor Day was more than the icing on the cupcakes that the postal workers were using as a recruitment tool to get more applicants for jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. For me, this event was historic in the sense that people who had picked shady spots to sit among friends and family to enjoy their hot dog, corn, and watermelon stopped visiting and quietly gathered around the platform to attentively listen to and clap and cheer for the messages our elected state and local incumbents and those who want to be elected shared with them. The messages were positive, filled with optimism, and they outlined common goals and ideas going forward.

From the column: "New ideas are needed for old issues and new issues. I support term limits."

The very talented performers in the union bands which provided entertainment to the crowd inspired some of the attendees to dance and others to sing and seemed to bring fun and rhythm and smiles to everyone watching. I sure enjoyed it!

As I drive home from such gatherings or think about other recent encounters, I am encouraged by how good I feel. It’s like an attitude change. I think the common thread, present and growing, is that the worst is over, and we as individuals and communities can look forward to using what we learned from our forced isolation and being alone to plan paths using our personal strengths, our technical devices, and our computer skills to do our jobs. We cannot go back to normal.

When I wake up every morning, I embrace my job as your state legislator. I try my best to meet your expectations and respect your values. Over the years I have learned to work collaboratively and tirelessly with others so we can reach common-ground solutions for all Minnesotans in every region of the state.


It has been an honor to represent your voice in Minnesota House District 3B and in St. Paul for this decade. Thank you.

Redistricting is over. The new lines have been drawn by the court. The women and men elected on Nov.8 will determine the path and rules and laws for the coming decade that begins January 2023.

Elders and mentors listen to people and give guidance. Your consideration is appreciated.

Rep. Mary Murphy of Hermantown is the DFL representative of Minnesota House District 3B. She wrote this for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page.

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