Herald Journal - Voters' Guide 2010
Herald Journal / Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch / Delano Herald Journal

State Representative Dist. 18B

Darrin Anderson (DFL)

Why are you running for this particular office?

I am running for the House of Representatives because we need common sense back in St. Paul.

I am a social studies teacher in a juvenile detention center in the Willmar School District, and the students I teach feel no one will advocate for them, stand up for their best interests, or help them realize their full potential.

The people of rural Minnesota that I have talked to feel the same way; they feel politicians are looking out only for themselves or their political party.

When politicians in St. Paul engage in partisan politics, the people of rural Minnesota suffer and we fall further behind.

As a Minnesotan and a teacher, I say, enough. These are tough economic times, so we must work together to find a solution to the state’s budget shortfall.

We can’t just cut our way out of debt or tax our way out of the state’s economic problems, and we can’t continue the pretense of “no new taxes,” while just shifting the burden onto property taxes.

This tax burden has fallen hardest on small communities like ours in rural Minnesota, and hurt our schools, our cities, and our economic development.

It is time to elect someone who will vote for the people in this district, rather than obey the demands of a political party. I will be that person.

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

The top priorities are job creation/growth and education. My wife runs a small business in Litchfield, so I have first-hand knowledge of the rippling affect the economy has had on people and businesses.

Government doesn’t have all the answers to these problems, but it does have a role. We should bring back the MEED program which, in the economic downturn of the early 1980s, provided funding to put people to work, helping both them and the businesses who hired them.

We should also help businesses expand by getting them access to capitol and tax credits to encourage growth and spending.

Agriculture, which makes up 40 percent of the economy in western Minnesota, is also a business. We need to create more markets for farmers, invest in new bio-fuels, and possibly even create a JOBZ for farmers so they can invest in their businesses.

I believe education leads to innovation, new technologies, and job creation. Minnesota’s educated and highly-trained workforce has made our state successful in attracting business, and we must not allow our education systems to slip into mediocrity. The funding of kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education will be one of my top priorities.

Why should you be elected?

I am a person who has seen adversity, and that has taught me to be independent and given me the strength to make tough decisions. I lost my right hand to a bear while living on a game farm, but despite that, I played sports in high school and college, and now coach, play golf, and play the guitar.

I am a teacher of “at-risk” students, and advocate for them every day, providing them with the tools needed to be successful, and I never give up on them. I will do the same for the people in this district.

Dean Urdahl (R)

Why are you running for this particular office?

I pledged to represent the people of District 18B to the best of my ability, to be their voice in St. Paul. I am running for re-election because my vote is important to control spending, reorganize government, and create a tax climate to allow for job growth.

I will continue to do what is necessary to serve the interests of the people I represent.

In this critical time, it is important to have an experienced people’s advocate in St. Paul who is known for listening to both sides of an issue and then making up his own mind. That is what I believe I do.

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

The major issue facing us will be the balancing of the budget. All other budgetary concerns, including health care, education, and jobs, depend upon how the budget is balanced.

Government, if allowed to function on autopilot, will not be able to sustain future expenditures. The Health and Human Services budget alone is projected to increase 32 percent in the next biennium.

We must redesign government to be more effective and efficient. To satisfy a balanced budget, there must be strategic cuts in state government size, redesign, and a generation of revenue through private sector job creation.

Lower business taxes and reduction in mandates and regulations will turn around our economy and result in increased tax dollars through increases in jobs and productivity.

Why should you be elected?

I have the commitment, time, and experience to be effective in doing what needs to be done in the coming session.

Jobs and government redesign are receiving much attention from many candidates. Over a year ago, I became involved in a redesign caucus and have been named a co-chair of the group.

I was also a member of the small business caucus and worked for bills to aid small business. Both of these caucuses were bipartisan. One party or one legislator can’t do this alone.

My record, in these two caucuses and other work, shows that I am able to effectively cross party lines to work for the people of my district and Minnesota.

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