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2020 West St. Paul Mayoral Primary: Biggest Challenge

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West St. Paul voters will take to the polls on August 11 (or earlier) to decide who will compete to be mayor in the November general election. There are three candidates contesting the mayoral primary in 2020, and the top two will advance to November.

We’ve asked the candidates a series of questions to see where they stand on the issues. We’ll share one question and the responses at a time leading up to the election. Here’s the first one.

What do you think is West St. Paul’s biggest challenge and what will you do about it?

We posed this question to all mayoral candidates (Jeramie Torkelson has dropped out, though his name will still appear on the ballot). Here are their responses:

Jonathan Diamond

(no campaign site)

Over spending and spending stupid money.

Kimetha “KaeJae” Johnson

(campaign site)

We will always face challenges. A lack of engagement with the range of people who live in our city is an overarching issue that makes our challenges more difficult to resolve. I will work to develop a stronger relationship between residents and their city government, and a deeper sense of shared community across all who call West St. Paul home. There are a wide variety of talents and interests in this community, and many, many people who are more than willing to offer some assistance to their city and their fellow residents. What we need are some basic structures to harness this powerful, untapped resource and match people’s availability with the needs of the city and those who live here. What we, as a city, can achieve is essentially limitless if we work together and take care of our own. We can engage all segments of our community to develop more effective solutions to any challenges that come along. Community support teams and specialty volunteer groups are just a couple examples of the kinds of structures we can put in place to build a stronger community and city that is more inclusive, connected, and self-sufficient.

Dave Napier

(campaign site)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is and will be West St. Paul’s biggest challenge as the
timetable for its disappearance remains unknown. To assure the best care for our
vulnerable citizens, we must continue to support the efforts of our assisted living and full
care facilities. This pandemic has created numerous obstacles for our local economy
and our daily lives. Together we will work through the challenges we are faced with by
following the State of Minnesota and CDC guidelines. I will continue to work with local
businesses to ensure West St. Paul is well equipped to limit the impact on their daily
operations. We cannot allow this pandemic to permanently shut down the small
businesses in our city.

Vote on August 11

The primary election is on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. The West St. Paul city website has details on where and how to vote. You can also vote early with an absentee ballot, either by mail or by stopping at the Dakota County offices.

We’ll be sharing more information about the primary election and where the candidates stand.

Thank you to the candidates for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Support West St. Paul Reader to ensure local election coverage can continue.

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