Editorial - Our choice for District 11B: Amy HunterResidents in the eastern portion of Douglas County (and all of Todd County) will elect someone new to Minnesota House District 11B this November.
Residents in the eastern portion of Douglas County (and all of Todd County) will elect someone new to Minnesota House District 11B this November.
That’s because DFLer Mary Ellen Otremba decided to retire after serving seven terms. The opening has triggered a spirited campaign among DFLer Amy Hunter, Republican Mary Franson and Independence Party candidate Bert Pexsa.
It’s a close call to make but we believe Hunter has the edge to best serve the district. During her campaign she has finely articulated her priorities – creating jobs, balancing the budget, streamlining government services, improving education, and standing up for veterans and sportsmen.
Instead of pointing political fingers, Hunter has presented clear ideas on how the state can raise additional revenue by increasing taxes on those with personal take-home incomes of $250,000 (not small businesses). Those high-wage makers, she noted, contribute only 7 to 8 percent of their incomes to taxes while middle-class wage earners contribute 10 to 12 percent.
Hunter is a staunch supporter of state aid to cities and counties. She’s stated that if cuts have to be made to the aid, it must be done equitably across the state, not over-burdening the small, rural governments that need it to deliver essential services.
Hunter has a helpful background in education, business and non-profit agencies that will serve her well in the Legislature. She taught high school in Eagle Bend for 15 years and worked 21 years for the Freshwater Education District, which coordinates educational opportunities for 18 different communities. She works part-time for the Staples Motley Area Chamber and its Downtown Revitalization Board. She’s also worked with non-profit groups as a grant writer.
The two other candidates in the race also have strengths. Franson, a proud mom and daycare provider in Alexandria, would be a staunch Republican voice at the Legislature and it’s clear she has a passion for politics. Unfortunately, she spent so much time at political forums attacking DFLers, it muted her own solutions. Pexsa, a fourth generation dairy farmer from Miltona, who is also a tax accountant, is likable and down-to-earth but his ability to put his ideas into action would be limited as a third party candidate.
What impresses us about Hunter is that she appears the most willing to put party politics aside, do what is best for the residents of her district and get things done. Hunter hits the nail on the head when she says that people are tired of the political rhetoric and blame games at the Capitol.
District 11, which has long been represented by a Republican in 11A and a DFLer in 11B, has provided a balanced “yin yang” mix of good ideas, strong rural leadership and a close connection to citizens. It would work best with Amy Hunter representing 11B.
Echo Press editorials are the position of the newspaper’s editorial board, which includes Jody Hanson, publisher; Al Edenloff, editor; and news reporter, Celeste Beam.