On Tuesday, (for those who have yet to vote) you’ll make the decision as to who should represent you in the Minnesota State Senate for the next four years. It won’t surprise you that I believe I’m the best candidate, and worthy of your vote.

But why? That’s a legitimate question. Why should you fire the incumbent Democrat Senator Kevin Dahle and hire me?

If you are a regular Republican voter, the easier is likely easier. I’m the endorsed Republican candidate and represent our mainstream Republican values of hard work, respect for country, giving back to community and fiscal conservatism.

But what about if you are an independent/swing voter; a person doesn’t vote for the political party, but for the person; a moderate or disaffected Democrat? Why choose Draheim over Dahle? How do I differ from my opponent in ways that translate into me being a better state senator?

Here are some reasons why I believe I’m a better choice.

  1. I’m a lifelong Minnesotan with a historical understanding of the challenges facing our communities. I was born here, raised here, went to school here and own and operate businesses here. I believe my longevity in Senate District 20 gives me a familiarity with what families in our region experience on a day-to-day basis. That’s an important understanding to bring to the Capitol.
  2. I’m a local small business owner. I own and operate a realty office and an event center where I employ dozens of hard working employees.

 

My opponent is a teacher. Both small business owner and teacher are honorable and needed professions. However, the legislature has many teachers, and very few active small business owners. That’s because state law protects the jobs, seniority and benefits of teachers who are legislators. Small business owners have no such protections. A local small business owner has to set aside his or her business – or find someone to run it at significant expense – in order to serve.

 

That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make, and what I believe the founding fathers had in mind when they set up our system of government as one in which people would serve for a time, then return back home to their chosen occupations.

 

  1. On a daily basis I have to meet payroll, balance budgets, separate wants from needs, negotiate contracts and provide superior customer service. These are all skills sets I believe I could put to use for the people of Le Sueur, Rice and Scott counties in the State Senate.
  2. I know agriculture, an industry that is a significant economic force not only in our district, but throughout our state. Before becoming a small business owner, I worked as a Manager at John Deere implement dealerships throughout southern Minnesota. It was here I learned much about agriculture and how the cost of inputs such as equipment, seed, fertilizer, repairs, drought and floods could make the difference between profit and loss in any given year. I also saw first-hand how government-imposed taxes, fees and regulations made farming challenging in a good year, but even more burdensome in a year when weather conditions were tough.
  3. I’ll be an independent voice not beholden to the powerful special interests or political party. I know how to compromise, reach conclusions where both sides make progress and set a tone for working together in the future. That’s a skill sorely lacking in the legislature today.
  4. I’m a fiscal conservative who knows how to do more with less. I’ll approach every issue, every program or state agency with an eye on efficiency.
  5. I’ll listen, learn, listen some more and then act in a way that reflects our district’s values. That means making tough decisions – decisions that won’t please all the people all the time. That’s what leaders do. We may not always agree, but I’ll always let you know how I arrived at my decision.
  6. If I make a mistake, I’ll tell you. And then I’ll work to fix the problem. Case in point. MNsure is a mess. It needs drastic overhaul. Even Gov. Dayton says it’s no longer affordable. Kevin Dahle won’t admit MNsure is bankrupting Minnesotans. Instead, he points fingers at his political opponents. We don’t have time for that. If I’m elected, I’ll get to work – with Republicans and Democrats – to fix our ailing healthcare system.

I invite you to compare the candidates. Call us. Discuss the issues important to you, make an informed decision, and then cast your vote.

The Senate District 20 seat in the Minnesota legislature is your voice at the Capitol. I would be honored to serve on your behalf.

Rich Draheim