The following two candidates will appear on the ballot in the race to represent Minnesota House District 22A:

 

Maxwell Kaufman

 

Occupation: I am a development planner at the Southwest Regional Development Commission. My work there focuses on transportation planning and hazard mitigation planning in the nine-county area of southwest Minnesota. In the past my work has focused on housing, community development and research on government efficiency.

 

Residence: Fulda

 

Why are you seeking the District 22A Representative position? I am seeking the office of state representative because we cannot wait any longer to make real progress at the Capitol. Our current legislature plays politics with no results while real Minnesotans bear the consequences. We cannot afford any more stalemates in St. Paul. I am motivated to address the issues that voters have expressed to me when I have been out in the district knocking on doors - the cost of health care, education funding, transportation infrastructure and the daycare shortage, among many others. Like many other southwest Minnesotans, I left the area after high school, but unlike many others I came back and I came back with the intent to help my home region grow and thrive. I have done that on a professional level and I seek to continue doing that on a legislative level.

 

Experience as it relates to this office. Throughout my career I have gained the background needed to be a successful state representative, particularly during my time with the Southwest Regional Development Commission. I have extensive experience in community development, housing and planning - skills and background that I would put to use as your state representative. I have spent a large amount of time working directly with state and federal agencies including MnDOT, FEMA and MDH, and spent part of my career conducting research on government efficiency. With that said, I know firsthand the frustrations Minnesotans face when dealing with the government, and I want it to work as efficiently as possible for all of us.

 

What is your vision for the future of this office? During my time away from southwest Minnesota, I had the fortune to meet a state legislator who demonstrated a representation style I had not seen before. She was in attendance at community events ranging from large conferences all the way down to block club meetings. She was always present, advocating for the needs of her constituents no matter what the context or issue at hand. That is the only way to ensure that a representative is amplifying all voices - even the voices of individuals who did not vote for them. That is the representation style I plan to bring to southwest Minnesota, and this is my vision for the future of the District 22A State Representative’s office. This includes a willingness to work across the aisle, break with my party when needed and showing the leadership to propose creative solutions to the issues facing southwest Minnesotans.

     

Additional comments I welcome the opportunity to talk with residents of District 22A, so please do reach out to me with the issues that matter to you. I believe that campaigning should be just as much a learning process for candidates as it is an opportunity to introduce ourselves to voters. The more I hear from you, the better I can represent the interests of all southwest Minnesotans. I hope to hear from you and to earn your vote on Nov. 6!

 

Joe Schomacker

Occupation: I run two small businesses with my parents and brother - Schomacker Cleaning, and Schomacker Flooring & Appliance, on Main Street in Luverne. I also represent southwest Minnesota in the House of Representatives.

 

Residence: Luverne

 

Why are you seeking the District 22A Representative position? I seek re-election to build on the good work that we’ve accomplished for southwest Minnesota. Whether Democrats or Republicans were in charge, I have worked for the district to raise the wages of nursing home workers, stabilize funding for those receiving disability services, and secure funding for projects: connecting to Lewis and Clark Water, incentivizing Tru Shrimp to operate in Minnesota, building a dental clinic in Pipestone, and keeping the doors open at the group home in Slayton. I want to be able to build on the work many of us put into get these things done and continue investing in southwest Minnesota’s future.

 

Experience as it relates to this office  I am a Main Street business owner in Luverne. I experience the challenges local businesses, local employers and hardworking taxpayers have on a daily basis. I pay health insurance for employees, and I compete with Sioux Falls for customers and team members. I am a lifelong resident of Rock County, choosing to stay in the area while going to college and to build my life here. I have also had the honor of serving as southwest Minnesota’s state representative for the last eight years. In that time, the state has gone through a number of political dynamics, and I have been successful at being able to worth with anyone who is willing to work with me. I currently serve as the chairman of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee during a time when health care issues are constantly and dramatically changing.

 

What is your vision for the future of this office? This office should always work to represent the values and wishes of the people that sent the office-holder there. It’s the first consideration I make on whether a bill is good policy or not. This office should also be one that is pragmatic - willing to work with anyone else on legislation, understanding that getting some of what you wanted is better than getting nothing, and understanding that no issue is ever really resolved.  Every statute, every law can change and issues that come and go will come back again. My vision for the future of this office is also as a position of strength on policy and not the politics.  We don’t need more people in St. Paul who can give partisan talking points but have no interest in the underlying policy that truly impacts people.

 

Additional comments I would be humbled to be elected for another term to represent southwest Minnesota in the state house. If re-elected, I would go right back to work on tax issues like getting federal conformity on the Estate Tax and the Section 179 deductions. I would continue my work on fighting the high cost of health care by continuing the programs that gave us rate decreases for next year, and work to reform our outdated health records laws, ensure that border-city nurses can treat border-city patients through the Nurse Licensure Compact, and directly reduce costs by eliminating the tax paid just to visit the doctor. I would also seek out policies that work with farmers and landowners on water quality issues. Too often the state uses a top down approach, and I have seen more success when it’s a best practices and friendly approach versus punitive.