Major candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota and for several U.S. Congressional, positions were at Farmfest to take part in featured forums addressing ag issues and to help voters learn more about them as candidates.
Major candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota and for several U.S. Congressional, positions were at Farmfest Wednesday to take part in featured forums addressing ag issues and to help voters learn more about them as candidates. The Senate candidates in the major parties, including Al Franken, who currently serves in the U.S. Senate and is a Democrat, as well as Republicans Mike McFadden, Jim Abeler and David Carlson and Kevin Terrell of the Independence Party participated in a forum Wednesday morning and had a number of questions posed to them by members of the media who asked about everything from climate change and transportation to renewable energy and immigration reform. Candidates of the Republican and Inde-pendence parties took their opportunities to differentiate themselves from Franken, with the Republicans, who are vying for the chance to appear on the November ballot based on results of tomorrow’s primary election, also trying to demonstrate how they are different from each other as well. “We live in a great state,” said Mike McFadden, who is the Republican’s endorsed candidate. “Agriculture is such an important part of our state. We have huge potential. We have a phenomenal opportunity.” That opportunity, he said is to send someone to Washington, D.C. who does not believe in larger government but effective and efficient government and one who would fight for agriculture and would work to serve on the ag committee in Congress. Jim Abeler said he fears for the plight of rural Minnesota, as less and less attention is being provided to it by those who represent them at all levels. “The dream you had and the dream your ancestors had is in danger,” Abeler said, adding as a senator he would work to make a difference for the people of rural Minnesota by listening to them and finding out from those who are actually doing the work. Abeler said it is the people who work in the industry who are the experts, and he would rely on them for input as decisions are made that can reflect what is best for agriculture. David Carlson wondered aloud if people were happy with what has been going on in Washington, D.C., adding the fact that the current U.S. senator has voted with the president 97 percent of the time. “Do you agree with anyone 97 percent of the time?” he asked. Carlson said as a teacher in the metro area he sees the need to help educate those who are not connected to agriculture, adding those connections can help create a better attitude toward those who feed the world.
Seventh Congress-ional District candidates Collin Peterson and Torrey Westrom also took part in a forum which was held Wed-nesday afternoon. Peterson focused his attention on the bipartisan efforts he has accomplished, especially as it relates to the House ag committee. Westrom said he believes there is a need for change in Washing-ton, D.C. and, he can be that change.