Forum editorial: Experienced lawmakers among our choices for the Minnesota Legislature
At a time when Minnesota's smaller cities are at risk because of the state's projected shortfall, former Moorhead Mayor Morris Lanning is the right man for the Legislature. Lanning is running in House District 9A for the seat being vacate...
At a time when Minnesota's smaller cities are at risk because of the state's projected shortfall, former Moorhead Mayor Morris Lanning is the right man for the Legislature. Lanning is running in House District 9A for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Kevin Goodno.
Lanning is qualified by the depth of his experience in city government, higher education and a long history of lobbying the Legislature to protect the interests of out-state cities. In others words, he's been there, and won't be intimidated by the forces that sometimes dominate the legislative process.
Green Party candidate Wade Hannon also is on the ballot.
Also running is Larry Anderson, a thoughtful, informed and sincere candidate. But Lanning's experience better qualifies him to represent District 9A.
In House District 9B, former Dilworth Mayor Paul Marquart has our unqualified endorsement for re-election. Like Lanning, Marquart understands the complex relationship between local governments and the state. In his first term, Marquart proved to be energetic, a quick study and an effective voice for his district and rural Minnesota.
David Sohl of Detroit Lakes is challenging Marquart. There is no question that Sohl is a competent, thoughtful candidate. He has extraordinary skills when it comes to working directly with people. We urge him to remain active in politics and public life.
In Senate District 9, veteran Sen. Keith Langseth of Glyndon brings 22 years of experience to the job. He should continue to work for the region and the state. He's one of the Legislature's recognized experts on transportation, bonding and education. He will defend aid to local governments, a program he believes will be targeted by urban and suburban budget-cutters.
Brad Monson of Detroit Lakes also wants the Senate seat. He's has good ideas about most of the challenges facing the state and believes the growth in state spending has been excessive. But his reasons for challenging an effective incumbent -- "we need new ideas" -- are not sufficient to oust Langseth.
Rep. Bud Nornes is seeking his fourth term in House District 10A. He should be re-elected because of his solid understanding of state issues, his openness to the possibility of a gasoline tax to fund road and bridge work, and his effective work in preserving and protecting the regional treatment center at Fergus Falls.
Dan Peterson of Vergas is challenging Nornes. Peterson is one of the best challengers this year. He's intelligent, informed and sensitive to the needs of the people of the district. He understands that effective legislating cannot be accomplished by being locked into a political party's agenda.
That being said, we still like the experience and common sense Nornes brings to his work.
In Senate District 10, veteran Sen. Cal Larson has earned another term. Few members of the Legislature have such a good grasp of public policy issues as does Larson. His experience in the private sector, in higher education and, of course, in St. Paul equip him to continue to serve effectively. He likes the idea of a modest gasoline tax, but cautions that in order for the state to balance the books, every unit of government will have to become more efficient.
Dairy farmer Karl Hanson wants Larson's seat. Hanson says Larson is out of touch with the people of the district, which makes no sense in light of Larson's success at the polls. Also, Hanson seems so involved with the problems of agriculture (a legitimate concern) that his understanding of other vital matters is incomplete.
Larson should be returned to the state Senate.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board