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Candidate Viewpoint: Dan Schoen

Hello. My name is Dan Schoen. I respectfully request your vote in the race for District 54A in the Minnesota House of Representatives. As a 10-year veteran of the Cottage Grove Police Department, I proudly serve the residents of Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport and Grey Cloud Island Township every day. My role as a police officer/paramedic takes me into your homes, schools and work places, and allows me to see firsthand the impact state laws have on the day-to-day lives of hard-working people.

I'm running for the House because I feel that the priorities of the current Legislature are out of whack with the needs of families here in our district. Over the last two years we have heard the leaders of the House and Senate say they were focused on jobs. Two years ago they said they were not going to push divisive social issues; they were focused on jobs. But they did push social issues. This year they said they were focused on jobs again. What happened? This November we must now vote on divisive language amending our state constitution that has nothing to do with our economy or creating jobs.

If elected, I will work hard to bring jobs and economic development to our communities by partnering closely with local elected officials and community leaders. I will fight for our children to have the highest quality public schools in the nation.

As the father of two children, ages 6 and 3, I am a passionate advocate for early childhood education, all-day kindergarten, comprehensive special education services, teacher training and fair funding for our public schools.

After graduating from MACCRAY High School in 1993, I earned my criminal justice degree from Ridgewater College in Willmar. I went on to work there for five years as a paramedic, where I was the founding president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3943. I am currently a member of the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association and The Fraternal Order of Police. I am a resident of St. Paul Park and serve on the board of directors for the St. Paul Park/Newport Lions Club, who awarded me the Melvin Jones Fellowship for Humanitarian Services in 2011. Recently, I worked closely with Sen. Katie Sieben to ban synthetic marijuana in Minnesota by testifying at the Capitol for a public safety committee. My entire life is committed to service and creating safe, healthy communities in our district and state.

When I was a child, my dad, a farmer, was nearly killed in a serious car accident during the height of harvest season. As my dad was lying unconscious in the hospital, all of our neighbors showed up with their own equipment and harvested our crop. Why? Because here in Minnesota, when someone needs help, we don't judge or drive by. We don't ignore them. We get to work and we help.

Minnesotans want open-minded, fair leaders who know how to compromise and work together. Our voice in St. Paul must be someone who exemplifies those qualities: Someone who will work tirelessly for justice for all Minnesotans, regardless of financial status, race, color, sexual orientation or national origin. I am that person. I am that voice. Every person I interact with in my job is treated professionally, fairly and without judgment under the law. Not simply because of my training, but rather because those are my values. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I promise to represent those values at the Capitol, just as I have always done at work or in my various volunteer efforts.

Please put me to work for you, your friends, and all of the families in District 54A who need a representative in St. Paul who understands what fairness and justice really means. Again, I humbly ask for your support and your vote. Thank you.

Schoen is the DFL Party-endorsed candidate for House District 54A. For his campaign information, go to