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Westrom visits businesses in Alexandria

Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake, the Republican candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, talked to local business owners in Alexandria last Wednesday.

Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake, the Republican candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, talked to local business owners in Alexandria last Wednesday.

1003677+WestromTorrey13c.jpg

Among his stops were Ace Hardware, Myron Larson Insurance, Randy’s Men’s Wear and Cowing Robards. He also checked out the new sidewalks that are on Broadway as a result of the reconstruction project. Health care was on the business people’s minds, which he said reflects the feeling of many he’s talked to on the campaign trail. “They’re worried about cost increases,” he said during an interview with the Echo Press. “And a lot of people are worried about having fewer choices in the insurance market place.” High taxes are also cutting into small businesses’ bottom line, Westrom said. “They can only squeeze out so much on the expense side,” he said. Farmers are weary of navigating through the red tape of federal regulations, Westrom said. As an example, he listed the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to redefine U.S. public waters, which would impact ditches and tile outlets. He said it’s an example of “governmental overreach” that isn’t sitting well with farmers. A potential return of the propane crisis is another big concern for Westrom. He said supplies could be limited again this winter because of a rail car shortage to deliver the propane and opposition that has blocked the Keystone Pipeline project. Westrom feels upbeat about his campaign. He said he was looking forward to talking with voters at Farmfest near Redwood Falls (August 5-7) and upcoming debates with Peterson. He noted that his race is grabbing state and national attention. He was named one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” – those deemed to have the best chance of success in their campaigns this election. Since his first election in 1996, Westrom hasn’t lost a campaign. He served as a state representative for 16 years before he was elected to the Minnesota Senate District 12 in 2012. Westrom, the first blind person elected to the Minnesota Legislature, said the cane he carries fits well with his approach to politics: “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake, the Republican candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, talked to local business owners in Alexandria last Wednesday.

1003677+WestromTorrey13c.jpg

Among his stops were Ace Hardware, Myron Larson Insurance, Randy’s Men’s Wear and Cowing Robards. He also checked out the new sidewalks that are on Broadway as a result of the reconstruction project.Health care was on the business people’s minds, which he said reflects the feeling of many he’s talked to on the campaign trail.“They’re worried about cost increases,” he said during an interview with the Echo Press. “And a lot of people are worried about having fewer choices in the insurance market place.”High taxes are also cutting into small businesses’ bottom line, Westrom said. “They can only squeeze out so much on the expense side,” he said.Farmers are weary of navigating through the red tape of federal regulations, Westrom said. As an example, he listed the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to redefine U.S. public waters, which would impact ditches and tile outlets. He said it’s an example of “governmental overreach” that isn’t sitting well with farmers.A potential return of the propane crisis is another big concern for Westrom. He said supplies could be limited again this winter because of a rail car shortage to deliver the propane and opposition that has blocked the Keystone Pipeline project.Westrom feels upbeat about his campaign. He said he was looking forward to talking with voters at Farmfest near Redwood Falls (August 5-7) and upcoming debates with Peterson.He noted that his race is grabbing state and national attention. He was named one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” – those deemed to have the best chance of success in their campaigns this election.Since his first election in 1996, Westrom hasn’t lost a campaign. He served as a state representative for 16 years before he was elected to the Minnesota Senate District 12 in 2012.Westrom, the first blind person elected to the Minnesota Legislature, said the cane he carries fits well with his approach to politics: “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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