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MN lege: Shawn Olson, CJ Holl, and Gail Kulp in District 8

by Dan Burns on September 12, 2016

ottertaillakeriverinletWhen I was a kid neighbors of ours had a cabin, actually bigger and more like a house than what is often meant by “cabin,” on Otter Tail Lake (pictured), and I was up there a bunch of times. Pleasing memories.
 
Shawn Olson is running for MN Senate. These are all tough races, R+9, but who cares in a year like this?
 

It’s time for some fresh blood in the Minnesota State Senate from District 8 after 10 years. Otter Tail and Douglas counties deserve a voice for the people that live here, not big corporations with headquarters in some far off metropolis. It’s time to move beyond the failed leaders of the past who are driven by establishment politics. This election is about who has the best vision for a better future, and it is my belief that just voting no to everything all the time is not the solution. It is in fact the problem.

Got that right. Especially considering that the incumbent is Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), who has been the sort of right-wing grandstander that any legislative body can most certainly do without. Check out, for example, his antics regarding “English-only,” and all things cannabis.
 

CJ Holl is our candidate in House 8A.
 

I believe in grassroots, feet on the street economic development by people who are passionate about their community…
 
Otter Tail County needs to look forward, take advantage of its location, encourage business development, build infrastructure and support families.

I’m supposed to be on top of this MN lege stuff, more or less, so it’s embarrassing to publicly admit that I’ve never heard of a particular sitting legislator before. But such is indeed the case with the 8A incumbent, Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls). I offer justification; you go Google his name and see if you can find out about anything specific he’s brought to the table.
 
Gail Kulp is running in 8B. She’s got a good, detailed issues page, for example:
 

Rural seniors and families
 
– Demand for quality, affordable senior care is already a reality for many greater Minnesota communities.
 
– In southwest and west central portions of the state, 20% of the population is already over 65. 41% of Minnesotans over 65 currently live outside the metro area.
 
– By 2026, over 120,000 Minnesotans over age 65 will be living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
 
– In 2014 approximately 248,000 Minnesota caregivers provided 282 million hours of unpaid care to loved ones, valued at an estimated $3.43 billion.

I have little doubt that anyone reading this has more than just heard of Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). She’s actually been on board with a couple of progressive endeavors in recent years – raising public assistance payments to families in need, legalizing industrial hemp – but that’s more than drowned out by where she’s been on issues like food stamps (“feeding the animals”) and Earth Day.
 

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