House District 54A candidate viewpoint: Derrick LehrkeAs I have shown in my past experiences, I am uniquely qualified to not only work with members of both sides of the aisle, but to also stand up and vote no when a compromise cannot be reached. I will not be afraid to fight the same way for you in St. Paul. I have no IOUs to special interests, so I can truly be your voice.
By: Derrick Lehrke, South Washington County Bulletin
For the past two years ago I have been serving the citizens of Cottage Grove on their City Council. During that campaign, I met thousands of voters and I listened closely to what they had to say. They told me they wanted common-sense spending decisions, fiscal responsibility and a council member who will stand up and do what’s right, not just what is easy. I took that message to heart. I am proud of my record of accomplishment on the council, from fighting against the multi-million-dollar City Hall project to reducing the interest rate property owners pay on road assessments.
During this campaign I’ve met with even more voters and the message is the same. They want the partisan politics to stop. They want somebody to stand up and fight for them, much the same way Rep. John Kriesel has done the past two years at the Capitol and just as I’ve done on the City Council. Voters want somebody who will work hard every day of the year to ensure that the issues that are important to the people of this district are brought to the forefront in St. Paul.
For the last two years, I have stood and protested when I thought unwise decisions were being made. I voted against the majority, not to grandstand, but to let the citizens know that someone at City Hall heard their concerns and shared their vision for the city. I believe very strongly that I can take this same approach with me to St. Paul when I serve as your state representative.
Much like Kriesel, I will stand up to my own party and the opposite party if I feel they’re not serving the best interests of the people. Kriesel has enthusiastically endorsed me in this race because he knows I will provide the same type of strong, principled leadership that he did. He has seen how I handle tough situations and difficult conversations. These are tools I use successfully every day in my private sector interactions.
There are only a few short weeks before the end of this campaign. Like myself, many of you have likely grown tired of the partisan attacks and smear tactics. In a recent letter to the editor in this very paper I was accused of impersonating a firefighter. This assertion is as offensive as it is false. I am proud of my EMT training and that is no secret. If you’ve seen a photo of me in EMT training gear and were misled into believing I was a firefighter, I apologize. Photos of me wearing a suit and tie are not intended to mislead you into thinking I am a lawyer either. This campaign should be about issues, not personal attacks.
This state is facing many serious issues. We have to find a way to fully fund our budget and pay back our schools. Using accounting gimmicks to shift money around is not a long-term solution. A successful public education is the bedrock of a strong community. We want the best teachers teaching our kids in the best schools. More can be done to make that happen.
We need to balance our state’s budget without burdening taxpayers with more and higher taxes. We need to improve our business climate by making Minnesota friendly to businesses by lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating duplicative regulations so businesses can grow and create jobs.
As I have shown in my past experiences, I am uniquely qualified to not only work with members of both sides of the aisle, but to also stand up and vote no when a compromise cannot be reached. I will not be afraid to fight the same way for you in St. Paul. I have no IOUs to special interests, so I can truly be your voice.
On Nov. 6, I would be honored and humbled to receive your vote .