Our View / Endorsement: Keep Sandstede going to bat for Iron Range

A schoolteacher for 25 years, DFL Rep. Julie Sandstede wasted little time in listing adequate education funding among her priorities as a state lawmaker.

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Cameron Cardow/Cagle Cartoons

A schoolteacher for 25 years, DFL Rep. Julie Sandstede wasted little time in listing adequate education funding among her priorities as a state lawmaker.

"This is an investment that we cannot shortchange. It is the future of our students. It is the future of our state. The needs are significant," Sandstede said at a News Tribune-sponsored candidate forum Oct. 1 in Virginia. "We need to fully invest."

Recognizing that well-placed focus on our shared future, eligible voters from Minnesota House District 6A - from Bigfork in its northwest to Floodwood in its southeast, including the cities of Nashwauk, Chisholm, and Buhl - can fully support Sandstede on Election Day and her bid for a second term in the Minnesota House.

"Two years ago I came on the scene because, as a lifelong resident of the Iron Range, I really felt I wanted to bring a strong, compassionate, and reasonable voice to St. Paul that was going to represent my community members," Sandstede said. "I believe in our economy, protecting it, diversifying it, and I'm here to give people strength to their voice and to be available to them, accessible, and responsive."

Education isn't her only priority. She didn't even list it first when asked. Her top issue, she said, is protecting the Iron Range economy, with broadening the availability of broadband going a long way toward that.


"Broadband is woefully underfunded," Sandstede said. "Broadband should be looked at as a utility, just like water and light. Its infrastructure would be an incentive for businesses to come into the area. Nobody would want to come in if you didn't have electricity or water. Broadband is the underpinning of (industry). ... It could help keep our young people from leaving the area."

So could a thriving copper-nickel mining industry.

"The voices that we hear that oppose (copper-nickel mining) are not local voices," Sandstede said. "The people who should weigh in on this matter are the people who live here and raise their families here and work here. ... We can have both the mining and clean water."

Sandstede, of Hibbing, is far from just another politician. She has a master's degree in education and has been a leader of her teachers union. She also conducts the choir at her church and is director of the city band.

Her Republican opponent, Guy Anderson of Britt, is retired and supports smaller government and less government spending.

"I think the big question for this election is, 'Will we as a region continue to survive or will we finally start to thrive?'" Anderson asked at the forum. "Will we participate in the national economic boon that we're seeing? ... As a nation, will we unleash the genius of America?"

With her experience and commitment, Sandstede stands as the better choice on Nov. 6.

"I promise that I will continue to listen, continue to be available to my constituency, and continue to respond to the matters that are impacting the Range, whether that's jobs, health care, day care, (or) education. Whatever it is, I will go to bat for you," Sandstede said. "I believe in the Iron Range. I believe that we should be thriving, not just existing. And I believe in a future for our children that's hopeful. I want to ensure that we have the same possibilities here on the Range as we do across the rest of the state."



About this endorsement


This News Tribune endorsement editorial was determined entirely by the newspaper's Editorial Board. The board's members are Publisher Neal Ronquist, Editorial Page Editor Chuck Frederick, employee representative Kris Vereecken, citizen representative Julene Boe and citizen representative Denise Wise.

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