Candidate's View: We can do better by rallying together for mining, affordable health care, more - by Jeff Dotseth

I'm running to be the next state representative in District 11A.


My mission is to bring a fresh perspective to the state Capitol. That will help us in Northeastern Minnesota. That will help deliver a more efficient, effective state government. I am focusing on real issues, such as improving health care delivery and opening the door to good jobs that pay well in our region. Property tax

relief, funding to fix our roads and bridges, and education also are at the top of my list of ways to make life better for all of us.


People around here are hard workers, and that is just one big reason I have found our area to be such a great place to call home. Community involvement is hugely important to my family and me, and this opportunity for me to return the favor by representing those who have shown us so much warmth over the years is humbling.


I come from a working-class family, the son of a self-employed bricklayer who taught me the value in an honest day's work. I helped Dad on job sites, started working in the trades at age 14, and managed jobs at age 18 with CP Nagel Construction. I ultimately shifted to a career in real estate.


Regardless of whether I was signing the backs or the fronts of the paychecks, it always was clear to me there is a real disconnect between what the folks in St. Paul think we need and what everyday people such as us really want. For example, some people with a partisan agenda have tried to cripple valuable mining projects, block the much-needed Line 3 pipeline replacement, and more. This is the kind of game-playing gridlock that leaves people sour toward government. I know we can do better by rallying together for our causes.


Health care is another subject that is concerning to people in our area. Families are paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for health insurance, and they simply cannot afford it. I hear heartbreak and frustration in the voices of friends and neighbors who tell me they have been forced to alter their lives — including by postponing their retirement or mortgaging their future — simply to pay for health insurance. To top it off, many people have been cut off from their doctor and their hospital. It is wrong that we are paying more to get less.


Thankfully, reforms were enacted in 2017 to keep this year's individual health insurance market rates flat or reduced for most Minnesotans. That is an improvement, but more work needs to be done because Minnesotans deserve convenient access to affordable care from the doctor they choose. It is clear the best way to get there is through more opportunities in the open market as opposed to more government involvement and regressive taxes.


These are just some of the issues I am hearing from people in our area, whether it is at their front doors or during local community events such as Christian Motorcycle Ministry functions.


People appreciate my common-sense, "we're-all-in-this-together" approach. I hope you'll find that to be a refreshing break from politics as usual and join our campaign to bring efficient and effective government back to Minnesota. I would appreciate your vote Nov. 6 so we can take our District 11A message to St. Paul.

Jeff Dotseth of Kettle River is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 11A.



He wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page.


About this race

Minnesota House District 11A is just west of Duluth, stretching from Esko and Cloquet to Moose Lake. Incumbent Rep. Mike Sundin, DFL-Esko, did not respond to a request from the News Tribune Opinion page to also submit a "Candidate's View" column. The Republican in the race is Jeff Dotseth of Kettle River.


Link to the article on the papers' web site is here.