Occupation: Property Management / Operations and Maintenance Director, former OTR Trucker and Retired Paramedic (30 years Level One Trauma Center)
Community and prior service: Civic Groups: Member of Sons of the American Legion. Volunteer local Republican Party, 2008 to 2022. Local Republican Party Chair, 2010 and 2021.Congressional District 6 Deputy Chair 2011-12. Sherburne County TEA party founder 2008. Church board member. Adult Sunday school teacher. Missions team leader to Ukraine, 5 trips. Missions team leader to Russia, 2 trips. Missions team leader to Romania, 1 trip. AWANA leader.
State Rep. Minnesota House of Representatives, 2013 to 2018. Republican. Vice Chair of the Jobs and Energy Committee 2017-18. Senior Member of Public Safety Committee 2013-2018. Governor’s Task Force to Combat Synthetic Drugs 2015.
Why are you running? My prior state house district included a large part of our new state senate district, most of Benton and parts of Morrison Counties. During that time, I became very familiar with the issues facing the folks who live here. Big government agencies, like the DNR, have been stepping all over our small business owners and farmers. I know how to stand up for the folks who live here. I’ve done it before and would be honored to do so again. Also, I am deeply concerned about the governor’s abuse of executive powers. A few days to “flatten the curve” became over 400 days of executive rule. This can NEVER happen again. I will support measures to reform the executive powers that the governor has. We must do everything possible to stop this runaway inflation. The Biden-Walz economy will ruin our state if we don’t act soon. I will also hold this office in high esteem. I will use demeaning false labels to describe others. This is a Junior High tactic that does not belong in our state senate.
Top priority for 2023 legislature? I have four main areas of focus. 1. Protect our kids. I will do everything in my power to push the Protect Minnesota Kids Act. Currently adult sexual predators are preying on our kids. When they get caught, they usually get a slap on the wrist and are set free. The PMKA will send these perverts to prison. 2. Stop the use of drive-up voter ballot boxes. There were many of these in the metro. These boxes are a big source of voter fraud. They need to go. Also, we must establish voter ID once and for all. 3. Enact legislation that will keep the DNR off our farmers backs. Currently the DNR has imposed unrealistic water use limits on our farmers. I stopped the DNR in 2017 when they tried to shut down our family farms and would be honored to do so again. 4. Make it illegal for state agencies to transfer their funding dollars to pay for abortions. This occurred in the past. We funded the agency then they reallocated the funds to abortion providers. Republicans sued in court to stop it. Our liberal courts favored the agencies and allowed them to use funds for abortions. I will author legislation to prevent this and to stop the use of Minnesota tax dollars for abortion funding. Every Minnesotan is being forced to fund abortions. This is criminal and MUST stop.
Key issues in your legislative district? Our district is very big and includes just about every industry. The biggest ones would be farming, tourism, logging and mining. The biggest problem most of these industries have is over-regulation and over taxing. I will always work to stop over-regulation and reduce taxes. State agencies must work FOR our industries. We must end to the heavy-handed way these agencies have treated our industries and family farms. Over regulation is the biggest enemy to mining and logging. Also, tourism is getting hit hard. Who can afford to drive to Minnesota when gas is nearly $5 per gallon? Inflation is choking the life out of our businesses and is pushing family budgets beyond the breaking point. This problem is due to mismanagement by the federal government and the Walz administration.
We also have a large population of veterans in our district. These folks put everything on the line to protect our freedoms. Taking care of them is a priority for me. I have helped veterans in the past and would be honored to do so again. Finally, we must continue to support our energy industry. I am the only person in this race who has voted to SUPPORT Enbridge Line 3.
Spending, taxes and the budget surplus. I strongly favor adopting a zero-based budget plan. Simply put, every year, the state agencies blow the dust off the previous budget and add an increase to it. This is how government becomes an unstoppable money monster. Instead, each agency should start at zero dollars and build their budgets based on actual needs. These budgets would then be approved by the legislature. I do not favor supplemental budgets. A budget will be passed next year, and each agency needs to live within its means. We must stop taxing Social Security. This is a double tax on people’s incomes. Minnesota is one of the few states that still does this. People cannot afford to retire in Minnesota. We are over-taxing our citizens while sitting on one of the biggest budget surpluses in our state history. Why should the state government have so much of YOUR money when everyone else is getting squeezed? I fully support giving back the surplus to the people who it was taken from.
If this cannot be agreed to, then the surplus dollars should be spent on tax relief and paying off Minnesota’s debt load. We need to be transparent about the cost of many of the state programs. Simply put, many of these programs have built in costs that go years beyond what is promoted to the public. This spending is called “tails”. These tails are costing the taxpayer millions of dollars every year, just to keep old programs alive. It’s time to start chopping off tails.
Public safety issues and curbing criminal activity: I worked for 30 years as a paramedic. I have a unique perspective on public safety. I worked side-by-side with law enforcement officers and fire fighters. I have a deep respect for what they do. We need to respect our law enforcement officers and do everything in our power to recruit and retain good officers. One way to do this is to reestablish the Part-Time Peace Officer License. Bringing this back would be a useful tool for many departments that struggle with staffing needs.
We also need to increase the penalties for those who chose to riot or shut down our roads while protesting. Over 1,000 homes were looted, burned or vandalized in recent years. Stores were pillaged and overrun by mobs. People who do this must go to jail. I was a co-author of HF 390 in 2017-18. This bill made it a gross misdemeanor if you were found guilty of obstructing roads due to protesting. It was vetoed by the governor.
I also firmly support Constitutional Carry and the Stand-Your-Ground laws. I was given an A+ with a voting score of 100% by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. There were only 10 senate candidates in the entire state who rated that high. One of my opponents, Steve Wenzel was given a C for his stand on 2nd Amendment Rights.
Wild Card: Recently, the Benton County Republicans held an official convention for their top choice for this race. They’ve known me for over a decade. If they had any issues with my performance as a legislator, then they would have shown me the door. I won in the first round with 88%. Mr. Wenzel refused to attend.
Steve Wenzel, a 30-year Democrat, authored bill HF 3648. This would have brought North Star rail line up to Ripley. The North Star has become one of the biggest wastes of tax dollars in Minnesota history. How many millions of dollars would have been wasted if Mr. Wenzel’s bill had passed?
I am a prolife candidate with a 100% prolife voting record. I cast over 22 lifesaving votes during my 6 years in the legislature. I was endorsed by MCCL in 2012,14 and 16. I did sidewalk counseling in front of abortion clinics and spent 30 years saving lives as a paramedic. I will NEVER compromise on life. I will never vote for a pro-abortion leader in my caucus. This question needs to be asked of my opponents.
I am pro Second Amendment and endorsed by the NRA in 2012, 14 and 16. My bill, HF 722 became law in 2017. It prevents the government from confiscating YOUR firearms during emergencies. I won a Conservative Excellence Award from CPAC and a Best Friend of the Tax Payers Award while serving in the legislature. Thank you. I hope to earn your vote.
Occupation: Professor of Political Science, Central Lakes College, Brainerd, and Executive Director, Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government, Central Lakes College
Community and prior service: Member, St. Mary’s Church, Little Falls; Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Little Falls Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, Board Member, Central Lakes College Foundation, Board Member and recent Chair on Minnesota State Commission, Center for Rural Policy and Development, 2009-2021; Member of both Minnesota and Morrison County Historical Societies, Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley, and the American Political Science Association.
Why are you running? I made the decision to run for State Senate for Morrison County and District 10 because I am convinced that our great state and nation are on a dangerous, perilous course due to the disastrous, divisive policies of the Walz-Biden Administrations. I feel obligated as a citizen to do all that I can to alter and reverse the perilous course we are on. I am fiercely determined to propose new policies that will help change the direction of our state to one which serves families, farmers and working people; policies that will protect innocent, unborn human life and end taxpayer funding of abortions; policies that will increase economic growth and job creation; new policies to improve basic education in our schools and colleges, and changes in state law that will improve the public safety and protect innocent, law-abiding citizens from dangerous, violent criminals. I believe my background as a life-long resident of Morrison County, my experience as a legislator for 28 years representing the people of Morrison, Mille Lacs and Morrison Counties, my service in President George W. Bush’s Administration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and my work as a college professor of Political Science will enable me to effectively represent the people of District 10 in the Minnesota Senate.
Top priority for 2023 legislature? In view of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which overturned Roe v. Wade — a Supreme Court decision in 1973 that invalidated in all 50 states all laws restricting abortions and which effectively allowed the taking of innocent, unborn human life at all stages of pregnancy right up to the moment of birth, therefore the recent decision now returns this issue to the states and to its elected representatives to decide how or whether unborn human life will be protected. I agree with the Majority Opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito which states that a right to an abortion cannot be found in the U.S. Constitution, a document I am familiar with and which its provisions I teach to students in my college American Government class. I stated in my announcement of candidacy that I would, if elected, author legislation on the first day of the 2023 session to protect all unborn human life from the violence of abortion and legislation banning taxpayer funding of abortions. During my House tenure, I authored legislation to ban partial-birth and late term abortions and taxpayer funding of abortions; a law providing for the decent burial of unborn babies and for the right of parents to know before an abortion can be performed on their minor child. I believe that the purpose of government must be to protect life — not take it away. Also, I am the only candidate in this area endorsed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
Key issues in your legislative district? There is no question but that the disastrous effects of the Biden-Walz energy policies which stopped all fossil-fuel and natural gas production in the United States has had the disastrous effect of sky-rocketing prices for gas, groceries, automobiles, rents, and virtually everything consumers buy. The price of gas and diesel fuel at $5 per gallon adversely affects families, farmers and every worker and increases the cost of everything they buy and must do. There is no question that Minnesota, like President Biden and the Democratic Congress, spends too much and taxes too much. I am proposing new tax policies at the state level that, if enacted, will at least reduce the pain of rampant, runaway inflation — and which will also benefit Minnesota’s entire economy. I would repeal the state tax on Social Security. Minnesota is only one of 12 states that taxes Social Security. I will author legislation to reduce Minnesota’s high income tax rate which has Minnesota in the top five states with the highest income tax rates. Minnesota is also in the top five states as well on its total tax rates of sales tax, income tax, and property taxes combined. I would therefore author legislation to reduce the tax rates in Minnesota to a level that would take Minnesota out of the top ten states in tax ranking. We are now seeing an exodus of residents leaving high-tax states The same could happen in Minnesota if Governor Walz and the DFL continue their high spend, high tax policies.
Two-year 2023 budget: The fact that Minnesota currently has a $10 billion surplus is proof that Minnesota taxes too much. But there are other very serious problems in Minnesota’s legislative budgeting process, the worst of which there is no accountability or procedures in place to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse of state tax dollars. Minnesota’s biennial budget passed and signed by Governor Walz in 2021 was $52 billion, a $3.7 billion increase over the previous biennium. Indeed, at that rate of spending and budget growth, the 2023 biennial budget could reach $57 billion! In reviewing Minnesota’s biennial budget, I noted that Minnesota’s rate of spending per capita on public welfare was an astounding $3,021 — -the highest in the nation! What’s more, Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor found $29 million in Department of Human Services overpayments but was unable to pinpoint who authorized the illegal overpayments. We also saw news reports of illegal immigrants successfully applying for child care development grants and reports that possibly $200 million of Minnesota tax dollars found its way to terrorist organizations in the Middle East. The Minnesota Senate’s attempt to get to the bottom of this investigation was met with no cooperation from the Dayton and Walz Administrations, under which these scandalous irregularities occurred. I would author legislation to make the Minnesota DHS accountable to the taxpayers. I would use the surplus to reduce the tax rates on income and small businesses and reduce property taxes for homeowners, farmers, and small businesses.
Public safety issues and curbing criminal activity: There is a serious violent crime problem in Minnesota and the current DFL leadership of Governor Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison are not doing anything about it and may well be contributing to the problem. In May 2020, Walz refused to call out the Minnesota National Guard following the death of George Floyd resulting in the destruction of 1,500 Minneapolis businesses by arsonists and looters at a cost of $1 billion to Minneapolis business owners and taxpayers. Walz refused to intervene even before or immediately after the burning down of the Minneapolis Third Precinct headquarters. Ellison also supported the defunding of the Minneapolis Police Department. In Minneapolis, the homicide rate in 2020 and 2021 was 100% higher than in 2019. Likewise, in 2021, Minneapolis had 640 carjackings, an increase of over 60% from 2020. I will author legislation to increase penalties for violent crime, carjacking, and prosecution of dangerous, violent juvenile offenders. I will propose legislation that would require prosecutors and county attorneys to follow the law for charging dangerous, violent offenders. Too often we read of a terrible, tragic crime that happened and then find that the perpetrator had a rap sheet that included many crimes with weapons but stayed prison sentences and probation for these serious offenses. I would author legislation to ban judges waiving mandatory, minimum sentences for repeat offenders who use a gun in the commission of a crime. It is time for public officials to defend the police — not defund them.
Wild card: I would also make agriculture and family farming a top priority if elected to the Legislature. The fact is that agriculture is the largest industry in Morrison County and District 10 and in the state of Minnesota.
Agriculture contributes $90 billion dollars to the state’s economy and Minnesota is the 5th largest agriculture state among the 50 states in our nation. The state needs to reduce property taxes for both farmers and small businesses and end costly and punitive state regulations against them. Minnesota prospers when farmers and small businesses do well, and state policy must adopt policies that sustains and supports this key industry in our state.
On education, I favor more parental input into public school curriculums. I support legislation that would ban taxpayer funding for schools that teach the critical race theory (CRT), which wrongly and falsely teaches young children that America is a racist nation inflicted with “systemic racism.” I like Florida’s law by Governor DeSantis that bans transgender and same-sex education at an inappropriate early age such as in elementary school or degrading America, its history, and its great Founding Fathers. I would promote policy and philosophy that require a curriculum prioritizing reading, writing, math, history and science and which teaches children “how to think — not what to think.”
Lastly, the issue of gun owner rights and gun control. I strongly support the 2nd Amendment. I believe in the right of every law-abiding citizen to protect and defend themselves, their family and their property from assault and invasion by dangerous criminals who threaten their lives.
Occupation: Wildlife Biologist
Community service: Morrison County Concerned Citizens Founder, Fundraising for MOLS evening for education
Prior service: In contrast to my opponents who have been in office for a combined 34 years, I have not held any elected positions in government. I am a father who is frustrated with our government and am running to represent the people in our district, state, and country. It’s time for change. While most elected officials go into office with pure intentions, many of them, after a short time in office, begin to lose their way. Our founding fathers never intended for us to have career politicians making laws for decades and decades. I pledge to serve a maximum of two terms in the MN senate.
Why are you running? For too long, politicians have not represented their constituents. They get into office and lose their convictions. We need change! I am not a politician and am not running for power or money. I will represent the people and fight for them from day one. I am not concerned about being buddies with my colleagues but will stand up for what the people want. Our government officials make promises to get elected, then listen to their handlers, who hold them on puppet strings, and fail to represent those who elected them. We need citizen servants standing up and representing their communities. To take our country back, we need to start fighting back from the ground up. Our children need us to stop the craziness that is engulfing our country. I will not let my family, your family, our state and our country fall apart without resisting the evil infiltrating our lives. I was born and raised in the community I live in and will not allow it to be taken over by corrupt politics. The time to fight back is now and we are all in this together. We need to save our communities from excessive government that taxes us out of house and home, so they can have great benefits, while we work ourselves to death.
Top priority for the 2023 legislative session? We have a $14 billion budget surplus in the state of Minnesota. We need to stop taxing social security benefits, lower other taxes on seniors and lower taxes in general. It is fiscally irresponsible to keep increasing our taxes as we continue to have higher surpluses year after year. Our parents and grandparents worked hard to ensure we would have a great country to live in. It is up to us to give them a break after a lifetime of hard work. The government’s rainy-day fund is our money. It should be in our bank accounts accruing interest. We worked for it, let us keep more of our hard-earned pay. We need to have term limits, not just in congress, but for all politicians. Politics was never meant to be a career. Get the job done and go home. If you can’t get the job done, you should not be re-elected, year after year, with the promise for doing better next time. Term limits will make people work hard and keep them honest.
Key issues in your legislative district? After four prosperous years under the Trump administration, we have been through two years of hell under Joe Biden. We need to take care of ourselves, our communities, and put America first. Many are having a hard time putting food on their own tables, but we continue to send aid around the world. We need to start taking care of people in our own communities and heal our nation. We need to efficiently spend the money we are being taxed and lower the taxes to keep more money in people’s pockets. Our public school system needs a complete overhaul. While we are told things like CRT, age-inappropriate sexual material, and a general hatred of American values do not exist in schools, they do. We need to stick to math, science, and reading rather than teaching kids that they can be 13 different genders or a unicorn or a helicopter. People need to be made aware of these issues and I will continue to speak out against the craziness happening in our society right now.
Two-year budget in 2023: We need to put the brakes on runaway spending and reverse course before it’s too late to save Minnesota! Even when the Republicans have had a majority in the house or senate or in both chambers, our budget continues to increase exponentially. Rather than voting on 1100-page omnibus bills that increase spending and grow government (like Jim Newberger has done) we need to be much more fiscally responsible. These politicians will point out the “good” things in the bill but will not tell you about the money that is wasted or spent continues to increase exponentially. Rather than voting on 1100-page omnibus bills that increase spending and grow government (like Jim Newberger has done) we need to be much more fiscally responsible. These politicians will point out the “good” things in the bill but will not tell you about the money that is wasted or spent on tax payer funded abortions. Look to the March 23, 2022, article by MCCL. The government is tasked with building and maintaining infrastructure (roads, bridges, government facilities), having a public safety system, and maintaining our military for national defense. We can cut unneeded programs and cut wasteful spending. We need to stop creating more taxes and more laws. We need to stop giving taxpayer money to people who are not working, just so politicians can use that to get votes.
Public safety issues and curbing criminal activity: When we refuse to prosecute crime, we not only make our communities less safe, but we discourage good, qualified people from entering the field of law enforcement. Violent crime is on the rise in Minnesota. We need to support our law enforcement officers who risk their lives to apprehend suspects daily. They do a job that many could never imagine. They are often in high stress situations and need to make split second decisions. Prosecutors are not holding criminals accountable, it is a revolving door, catch and release, which sends the message that it’s OK to commit crimes. When criminals are arrested but not prosecuted it emboldens criminals. Why are we protecting criminals at the expense of innocent people? Law enforcement officers do not want to enter a field that when they have no support from the justice system and are under increased scrutiny by the left. If we would actually impose stiffer penalties for criminals and support our law enforcement officers, we would lower crime and increase retention of good officers and bolster recruitment.
Wild card: Having worked for the government (the DNR) I know how inefficient the government functions. It’s time for normal everyday people to stand up and take our country back! Politicians are supposed to be servants to their constituents. We need to work for the people in our districts, not for lobbyists and political back scratchers. I and other individuals have brought concerns to local elected officials and received answers like “We need to elect a Republican governor if we want to change anything.” That is the wrong answer. We need action now! I started a group in our area last year. We meet every other week and have been making change right now. We stopped our children from being re-masked at school, got CNN removed from our public school, have been battling CRT and indoctrination of our children, have helped people with township issues, informed people of voting corruption, and have emboldened others to stand up and use their voices to push back against the craziness engulfing our lives. Our government and politicians have spent too long making promises that they never keep. It only takes one Senator to stand up and force a roll call vote. I will stand up on day one and start forcing votes for what we the people have been promised. When I call for votes on Stand Your Ground laws or a heartbeat bill, my Republican colleagues will vote with me because they’ve told their constituents that they’ll protect the 2nd Amendment and the Unborn.