A crowd of Republican candidates gathered in St. Paul today as part of a mass election filing. Several area candidates made the trek and joined in a news conference featuring Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
Local non-incumbent GOP candidates filing today to run against were Duane Quam for House District 29A, Carla Nelson for Senate District 30, Charlie O'Connell for House District 30A, Mike Benson for House District 30B and Jeremy Miller for Senate District 31. Incumbents at today's mass filing included Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester, Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa and Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing.
At an enthusiastic (and very warm!) press conference, Republican candidates this morning compared this year to the GOP's landslide midterm election win in 1994.
"If you can't get excited about this year, your heart is not beating," Senjem told a crowd of enthusiastic candidates and supporters.
Local Republicans running say voters are concerned about government spending.
"The number one issue people are talking about is out-of-control government spending," said Miller, who is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona.
Benson, who is running against DFL Rep. Andy Welti of Plainview, said he believes voters want change.
"I've knocked on 1,600 doors now, as late as Saturday I knocked on 400, and overwhelmingly the people I've talked to are looking for a new direction," Benson said.
In particular, he said they want lawmakers who will restructure government and lower taxes with the goal of encouraging economic development.