Candidate Seifert pays visit to Worthington
WORTHINGTON — If Marty Seifert’s campaign had a theme song, it could be “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash.
“We have been everywhere. We got back at 3:15 a.m. this last weekend from Roseau and Thief River Falls because our plane got grounded,” Seifert said.
“We’ve been traveling by everything from airplane to truck and car — not gondolas, but it’s going to come to that at some point. We’re traveling around by every mechanism possible — snowmobile when we were up in Roseau. We’re trying to get the message out to people.”
Seifert spent 14 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he told the crowd he was able to get bipartisan support. That’s what he needs to win this time around, he said.
“Everybody in the room here understands the math,” Seifert said. “You can’t win statewide in Minnesota unless the non-Republicans vote for your candidacy.
“That’s just the way it is. “When I ran for the House of Representatives successfully seven times, I had 60 to 70 percent of the vote when I ran for re-election — not because I’m squishy or liberal, but because people appreciated my honesty and the hard work an d the fact I showed up at things and gave them straight answers.”
Seifert is also hoping for support from metro-area voters.
“I am frequently at events in the metro area,” he said. I’ll be honest: When I was a legislator, I lived 40 percent of 14 years of my life in the metro area. I understand traffic issues that they face and crime and congestion. But we’re all Minnesotans.
“I think I’m the one candidate that can bring people together and not say, ‘He’s from rural Minnesota, we can’t vote for him,’” Seifert continued. “I don’t think they think that way. A lot of people in the metro came from rural Minnesota, to be honest — from the farms or small cities — and went there for employment.”
In an hour-long stop at Perkins, current District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, introduced Seifert.
“He’s my favorite candidate for governor in this next election cycle,” Schomacker said. “We have a lot of opportunities here, and I think Marty is the one who is going to bring us through this. I’ve known Marty since about 2004, when I went to Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, and he started putting me to work right away — both in his campaigns and doing other manual labor for him.”
Seifert ran for Republican nomination for governor in 2010, but lost to Tom Emmer. Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) eventually won the election.
“I think our state can do much better,” Seifert said. “I really love the state. I was born, raised and educated here, and I’ve lived my whole life here. I think we have a high standard of what we want our leaders to be.
“I think I can do much better than Mark Dayton. I can work with people on all sides of the aisle, I’ve proven that. When I look at the direction we’re heading, I just don’t believe the tax- spend-regulate mentality is sustainable. It just isn’t. How much we care about people isn’t measured by how many government programs we can herd them into.”
This time around, Seifert said he hopes things will be different.
“I think I’m a better candidate than I was four years ago,” he said. “There is a lot of reality when your family pays its own health insurance like I do. I don’t have a legislator-paid health plan like some of the other candidates, I’m not a multimillionaire. There’s real issues that affect my family that I think I can help tackle.”
Topics on Friday ranged from minimum wage to education to health care. In each case, he said, there needs to be more common sense, which is the theme of his campaign.
“The reality is you don’t see common sense in government today,” Seifert said. “Government is too big, it spends too much, it taxes too much and it needs to be downsized.
“When you are seeing multibillion dollar tax increase and large increases in government programs, it’s unsustainable,” he added. “If you run this out over a period of time, you can not sustain the amount of spending that’s going on. The taxes and regulations are out of control. I’m proposing the abolishment of three cabinet departments and those functions be collapsed into other agencies for things that need to be done. And things that don’t need to be done can be done away with.”
When he’s not running for political office, Seifert is into classic cars.
“I collect antique cars,” he said. “I have a 1926 Dodge Brothers car and I have a horseless carriage, and I have a passion for antique farm machinery because my dad collected it when I was little. Last year when I was not running for governor, I attended at least a half a dozen threshing shows in the Upper Midwest.”
Seifert thinks he can beat Dayton in November’s election. But before he has that opportunity, he has to earn his party’s nomination. The first hurdle is Tuesday at the caucuses. In Nobles County, they take place at 7 p.m. at Prairie Elementary.
“Tuesday is a benchmark, it’s not a requirement that I have to win,” Seifert said. “But people have to show up to vote. I was telling some guys earlier, I have to do really well in southwestern Minnesota. I did when I ran four years ago. I got between 80 and 95 percent of the vote in most of the counties down here. But people have to show up and cast their ballot. There are veterans who died for your right to cast a ballot, and some people don’t bother and that’s important.”
Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.