There’s a Democratic primary race for the state House and Senate seats representing the northern half of West St. Paul. Three candidates are running for Senate District 65 and two candidates are running for House District 65B (newly redrawn with this year’s redistricting). The winner in each race will advance to the general election in 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 primary election on August 9. See our 2022 primary voter’s guide for more.
We’ve also asked about the candidates’ top issues, the surplus and divided government, and Democratic politics. This time we’re asking about representing West St. Paul. There’s also a series of yes/no questions about basic political positions in our printable voter’s guide.
The northern half of West St. Paul is a new addition to this legislative district. What differences do you see between West St. Paul and the rest of the district? How will you address the needs and concerns of West St. Paul residents?
We posed this question to all candidates. Here are their responses:
Candidates for State House District 65
Having been raised on Stryker and Annapolis, West Saint Paul has been part of my community all my life; just by crossing the street, I would be in Dakota County, with different laws, departments, and schools. I graduated from high school in West Saint Paul while working as a cashier at the West Saint Paul Cub Foods. So, throughout my youth, I learned the history of Forty Acres, played basketball in Harmon Park, rode my bike throughout Robert Street, watched movies at the old Cina 5 Theatres, and shopped at the original Signal Hills shopping center.
While the differences between West Side and West Saint Paul have been ingrained in me from an early age, I am much more interested in discussing ways to build bridges between our neighborhoods. So many of West Saint Paul’s small businesses have persevered throughout a pandemic, and in uplifting and supporting them, we can learn to build more sustainable communities. At the same time, the West Side has led the way in advocacy for renters protections, and we have a unique opportunity to explore cross-pollination in city policy initiatives to improve safety nets for all area residents.
Candidates for State Senate District 65
West Saint Paul is its own unique city with its own unique values. Many of them are working class that value fair pay for fair work. Expanding issues statewide like increasing the minimum wage, stabilizing rent, and making healthcare affordable will help working people and their families in WSP. I think it’s also important to acknowledge that they are part of Dakota county and the leadership now needs to work with local governments from both districts to help build the community.
I see many similarities. Many WSP folks grew up or lived in St Paul prior to before moving to West St Paul. I see there are also many citizen activists in both cities.
One difference is that WSP is a small city, a close knit community with its own traditions and celebrations. St Paul has some of that too but more in its various neighborhoods.
I will be an active supporter and advocate for the needs of WSP. I’ve already met with city officials and council members to get updates. And I’m hearing from residents as I go door to door.
Vote on August 9
See our 2022 primary voter’s guide for more on the candidates and other races.
Thank you to the candidates for taking the time to respond to our questions.
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