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State Senate Primary / Candidate's View: Government regulations, policies hamper growth in Minnesota

From the column: "COVID-19 regulations and Canadian border restrictions deeply hurt many of our small, mom-and-pop businesses. Our tourism industry was severely impacted, and we are still recovering."

Andrea Zupancich.jpg
Andrea Zupancich
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I’m a mother of four, a longtime resident of northern Minnesota, and the endorsed Republican candidate for Minnesota Senate District 3. We here in the Northland have a rich culture and a proud heritage. I stand ready to defend our values and our way of life at the Legislature. We need to look forward to the future to build a more prosperous region and state. I am the candidate with the vision to help create a northern Minnesota where everyone can thrive.

As a mother, mayor, and small-business owner, I understand firsthand the difficulties many families in the Arrowhead region are experiencing. Skyrocketing inflation, workforce shortages, and out-of-touch government regulations are damaging our local economies. I am a problem solver who will work for you to lower costs for our families and bring good-paying jobs and opportunities to the Northland.

Energy prices continue to rise with no end in sight due to nonsensical government policies created in St. Paul and in Washington. Like most of you, I understand we need energy that is both clean and reliable. In northern Minnesota, we are blessed with some of the greatest resources in the entire world. The minerals mined here helped our country win the Second World War, and I believe our minerals today can have a similar impact.

The green economy of the future needs Minnesota mining. To build windmills, solar panels, and other green technology, we need minerals. We shouldn’t outsource mining to foreign countries with terrible labor and environmental standards. These good-paying union jobs should be right here in northern Minnesota and not in China or anywhere else. It is what is best for our economy and for our environment.

It is also critical we address the workforce challenges facing our state. Our young people need to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and obtain meaningful careers. Whether they are going to college or getting on-the-job training, every student deserves an opportunity. As a small-business owner, I know how beneficial a skilled workforce is, not just for employees but also for employers. I will work hard in the Legislature to build a pipeline from education to the workforce. We have many jobs in the trades, for example, just waiting to be filled.

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In St. Paul, I will be a tireless advocate for our local economy. COVID-19 regulations and Canadian border restrictions deeply hurt many of our small, mom-and-pop businesses. Our tourism industry was severely impacted, and we are still recovering. I will work hand in hand with my fellow small-business owners to create a tax and regulatory environment that allows them to recover, compete, and grow.

I will also work with our local law enforcement as they strive to keep our communities safe. You cannot have economic security when your personal security is threatened. Public safety is a top duty of the state government, and I will work with my colleagues to give our peace officers the resources they need to keep us safe.

Just as my vision for our region aims to lower costs, fill workforce needs, expand economic opportunities, and improve public safety, I also want to make sure northern Minnesota is a good place to retire. I support the proposal from Sen. Tom Bakk and Senate Republicans to eliminate the unfair tax on Social Security income. You are taxed your entire working career on that income, and you should not be double taxed when you retire.

Overall, my vision for the future is a thriving economy where everyone has the opportunity for success. I have the experience as a member on the boards of directors for Jobs for Minnesotans and Up North Jobs, with eight years as mayor of Babbitt, and as a longtime business owner. I'm also on the board of directors for the Range Association of Realtors.

I am a determined Minnesota mom who can get the job done. I’m the endorsed Republican candidate in this primary, and I look forward to meeting and listening to each one of you from Senate District 3 both on the campaign trail and in office.

Minnesota Senate candidate Andrea Zupancich wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.

ABOUT THIS PRIMARY: In the Aug. 9 primary election, Republicans Kelsey Johnson of Gnesen Township and Andrea Zupancich of Babbitt are vying to face DFLer Grant Hauschild of Hermantown to represent Minnesota Senate District 3. The general election is Nov. 8. The district extends north from Proctor, up the North Shore and then west along the Canadian border past International Falls. Early voting for the primary begins Friday, June 24.

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ABOUT THIS PRIMARY: In Minnesota Senate District 11 — which stretches from about Cloquet in the north to about Rush City in the south — DFLers Michelle Boyechko of Tamarack and John A. Peura of Moose Lake will meet in the primary on Aug. 9. Early voting has already begun. The winner will advance to challenge Republican incumbent Sen. Jason Rarick of Brook Park on Election Day on Nov. 8.