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Short seeks DFL endorsement for District 22A

WORTHINGTON -- Gene Short considers his experience in various fields fitting for his candidacy for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Short is seeking DFL endorsement for the District 22A seat currently occupied by Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne.

"I felt a need to provide leadership for Minnesota," said Short, a first-time applicant for candidate endorsement, of what inspired him to join the race. "We've experienced a lack of leadership in the past few years."

Born in Minnesota, Short grew up in North Dakota and graduated from North Dakota State College of Science with an associate's degree in refrigeration, heating and air conditioning. He spent the first 30 years of his career as a sales representative throughout Minnesota.

Midway through his career, Short moved to Redwood Falls, where he became county commissioner. He attributes part of his leadership skills to his commissioner post.

"Having spent 16 years as county commissioner, you get to meet a lot of legislators and you get to spend a lot of time at the Capitol in St. Paul and in D.C.," he said.

There are several issues on his to-do list should he get elected but Short said one is at the forefront of his plan.

"The first thing that needs to be done is (enable) communication on both sides of the aisles," he said, explaining that it is pivotal to overcome the partisanship existing today. "I'll do my utmost best to get parties back at the table and be able to have coffee together."

He further explained that a prominent goal is to be supportive of and cooperate with the Association of Minnesota Counties, League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota School Board Association to secure a "place at the state government table" for local government units.

"I'm also very concerned about repaying the debt to the school districts," he added. "It's something I want to work on."

Another of Short's concerns is addressing issues related to the aging population including to continue to spread awareness about the senior linkage line. Short was previously the chairman for the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging for 27 counties in southwest Minnesota.

He's also aiming to increase public acceptance for the use of ethanol and biodiesel.

"One of the reasons I got so involved in railroads is because of a reduction in greenhouse gas emission," he said.

Short, who resigned in October as the director of End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum in Currie, is very proud to have been part of the Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority in its effort to reopen an abandoned shortline rail road.

"It's fun to drive through Minnesota and see over a hundred rail carts of ethanol waiting to leave," he added. "It's less dependence on foreign oil, and it's good for the economy of Minnesota."

Short said one thing he would do differently is research issues before voting on them.

"A lot of times issues being voted on were not looked at long-term," he explained. "The homestead (market value exclusion) that came in the special section ended up being a tax increase on everybody."

As for his motto, he said it is to "make a difference by providing leadership with experience."