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Reader's View: Column may have left false impressions

The writer of this letter is the Republican candidate for Minnesota state auditor. The News Tribune is allowing his rebuttal in the interest of fairness and complete accuracy.

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I’m running for state auditor and appreciate the opportunity to correct false impressions lodged by Minnesota Auditor Julie Blaha. In her commentary in the News Tribune (Incumbent’s View: “With dependable data, Minnesotans free to make local decisions,” Sept. 28), Blaha wrote that “my opponent worked as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump’s campaign.” This is factually misleading and is not the first time Blaha has attempted to mislead voters with this.

My work history includes founding and managing a Minnesota-based company in the medical-device industry for a decade and then working as an attorney defending constitutional rights. Contrary to the claim, I’ve never been employed to work for a political campaign in my life. This subversion seems intended to distract from Blaha’s record.

On Election Day 2020, I volunteered for 12 hours as a volunteer poll watcher for an organization branded “Lawyers for Trump.” (Similarly, there was a “Lawyers for Biden” group.) This organization consisted of thousands of volunteers across the country who helped as poll watchers on Election Day. My role consisted of answering questions at polling places, and, at the end of the night, I was tasked with tracking the chain of custody of ballots from the poll location to the election center. That was it.

Blaha also falsely suggested that I harassed a public servant on election night. I did no such thing. I spoke with the head election judge at the polling place, and when he left the precinct with the ballots after the polls closed, I, in my volunteer capacity, followed the chain of custody of ballots. The judge brought the ballots to his home. I politely interacted with him to ask why he didn’t drive directly to the election center. I then followed the ballots to the election center. That was the extent of my interaction with the election judge.

It’s time for Blaha to focus on issues.

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Ryan Wilson

Maple Grove, Minnesota

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Related Topics: READERS VIEWELECTION 2022
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