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2010 Voter Guide: Autumn Lehrke

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Autumn Lehrke

City: Cottage Grove

Age: 28

Family: Married

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Occupation: Small business owner

Why are you the more qualified candidate to represent south Washington County in Stillwater?

"We need someone in office who knows how to manage a budget with budget constraints," Lehrke said. "That's what I've been doing (as a small business owner) for the last ten years."

Lehrke has said she would offer a "fresh set of eyes" on the county board and "is proud to say" she isn't a politician.

"With budget challenges we are having and will have, we need someone with real-life business experience," she said.

Much of the county's budget is a result of state mandates. What would you cut?

"We should be challenging these mandates," Lehrke said. County officials "should take a proactive approach" to looking for waste and inefficiencies in Washington County-run programs.

Lehrke has said she is against cutting off funding to the county 4-H program, but says other programs would have to deal with less funding because of another expected decrease in state program aid.

"We have to stay within our means," she said. "If some programs have to take a hit, they have to take a hit."

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