Herald Journal - Voters' Guide '08

Two candidates to vie for State Rep. District 18B

For the fall election, Democrat David Detert of Litchfield is challenging incumbent Dean Urdahl of Grove City in District 18B.

District 18B includes the cities of Annandale, Cokato, Howard Lake, and South Haven, and the townships of Cokato, Corinna, French Lake, Middleville, Stockholm, and Southside in Wright County, and extends west into Meeker County.

David Detert ( www.davedetert.org )

Why are you running for office?

The collapse of the I-35 bridge clarified what has gone wrong in Minnesota. Our unwillingness to invest in the infrastructure of the state, whether it is roads, education, energy, or the environment, has placed us in jeopardy. I believe we need to establish new priorities for the state, as well as a commitment to begin repairing the systems which are the basis for a healthy economy.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

Health care is the key issue, because of its impact on individuals, business and government. It consumes too many of our resources leaving inadequate money for other critical needs, such as education, transportation, infrastructure, and the environment.

We need to develop a new medical system where the only absolute requirement is that health care benefits are not tied to your job; it can no longer be a business obligation.

The second major issue is education, because it consumes a large portion of the state budget and is a critical factor in the success of the state economy in the future.

To advance education in Minnesota, we need to challenge educators to produce ideas of permanent changes in the system to improve student performance. At the same time, the legislature must address social causes which affect student performance.

Why should you be elected?

I believe I should be elected because my experience in health care and education provides me with the background to influence the discussion on these key issues.

The DFL-led legislature in 2008 demonstrated a willingness to realistically address the problems of the state. My opposition and his party are offering only a continuation of the policies that have led to our problems. My election would aid the effort seeking new direction and solutions.

Dean Urdahl ( state.mn.us )

Why are you running for office?

I am seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives to continue my work to help the citizens of 18B and Minnesota.

We face many challenges, and must find ways to deal with them without just taxing and spending more as the main solution.

As a member of the minority caucus, I believe it is important that my constituents have a voice, other than to raise taxes as proposed by the majority.

I sincerely enjoy public service and giving back to the area where I have lived my entire life.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

We need to find ways to boost our state’s economy. I have proposed several job creation initiatives, and will continue to support these measures.

My support for items in the bonding bill did lead to creation of more jobs and a stimulus to our cities and economy.

The water projects in the bonding bill creates jobs in addition to providing clean water.

We must not pass legislation that will hurt job creation by punishing those who create jobs. I offered a tax credit for job creation bill that would have essentially paid for itself through new revenues, but it failed on a largely party-line vote.

We also need to find ways to fairly and equitably fund our schools. There is a great disparity in how funding is distributed.

In rural areas, their schools come out on the short end, just as they do in health care and nursing home reimbursement. I have created a task force to look at ways to improve our education system by, among other aspects, studying the education model of Finland. I have proposed legislation in these areas and I will continue to work for a just solution.

Why should you be elected?

I am experienced and effective, and also have a strong desire to keep working hard to make this an even better place to live.

I have developed the relationships, knowledge and skills of an effective legislator. I work well with people on both sides of the aisle, because my first goal is always to best serve the interests of the people I represent.