Magnus takes Senate seat
WORTHINGTON -- There are new faces, there are familiar faces and there are familiar faces in new places. Republican Doug Magnus, a familiar face in the Minnesota House since 2002, was elected to the state Senate in a win against DFLer Kevin Vicke...
WORTHINGTON -- There are new faces, there are familiar faces and there are familiar faces in new places.
Republican Doug Magnus, a familiar face in the Minnesota House since 2002, was elected to the state Senate in a win against DFLer Kevin Vickerman. It was a first bid for a Senate seat for both.
"(Vickerman) was a gentleman in the fact that he called me this morning and left me a message," Magnus said. "I was out on the road trying to pick up signs. He thanked me for running a good, clean race, which he also did. I never mentioned his name and never criticized him, and he was a gentleman in that way."
Magnus said a majority of the incoming caucus are newcomers, which will make for an interesting situation.
"There will be a lot of new faces with a lot of new ideas," he laughed. "With 37 members, 31 one them are new. There will some interesting times ahead."
Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, will once again be serving District 22B in the House, having won out over Democratic challenger Bill Brandt of Lakefield. Hamilton garnered 8,558 votes compared to Brandt's 3,811.
"I feel energized, optimistic and up to the challenge," Hamilton said Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to working with my good friend Doug Magnus in the Senate -- that's going to be exciting."
Hamilton isn't the only on excited and looking forward to his term. Newcomer Joe Schomacker,, a Luverne Republican who was victorious over DFLer Ted Winter for the District 22A House seat, said Wednesday he is feeling good and looking forward to what he can do for southwest Minnesota.
"It hasn't totally sunk in yet," he admitted, "but part of me hopes it doesn't. It feels pretty good right now and when we really start talking about the issues in the state ..."
All three men said the results came in slower than expected, but in the end, all they could do was wait.
"I had to leave it up to the powers that be," Schomacker said. "There wasn't anything more I could have done for this campaign. My opposition did all he could do. It was up to the people."
Hamilton said it had been a long couple of days.
"I think the ground is still shaking," he laughed. "Wasn't that something? To watch the way it all unfolded all the way across the nation and in Minnesota. ... The Republicans have taken the majority in the House and the Senate."
Magnus didn't quite share Hamilton's enthusiasm for the voting results, stating that the questions surrounding the elections would only bring about more inquiries.
"There are some concerns and we'll have to see what shakes out," Magnus stated, citing several House races and a possible Senate race separated by less than 100 votes. "The governor race is in question, and the majority of the House is in question. Right now it is with the Republicans, but that is dependent on the recount."
All three men also agreed that working on the deficit and solving the state's problems would not be simple.
"People were very disappointed in what's going on with our country," Magnus said, "They just were not going to put up with the agenda that was out there."
That is why, he believes, so many new faces are going to be showing up in the Senate in January.
Schomacker said the freshman class of representatives is the biggest group in quite some time, which he thinks is a good thing.
"That means a lot of new ideas," he stated.
First on his to-do list is getting an agenda put together for job creation, building up the economy and getting the government to live within its means.
"There are a lot of tough decisions to be made, and they aren't things we can solve overnight -- there are a lot of long nights ahead," he added. "But it will be worth it when we have this amount of people with this kind of thought process on board."
Hamilton also knows solving the problems aren't going to be easy, but thinks a key factor in doing so will be working with and building relationships with people on all sides of an issue.
"That is what it's going to take to address the deficit we have," he explained. "If you have any advice, I'm all ears."