Candidate profile -- Denny McNamara, incumbent, R
Q: Why did you decide to seek this office?
A: I feel the legislature needs more common-sense leaders who have raised a family, operated a business, are active in the community and who understands the impact laws have on the everyday citizens.
Q: The State of Minnesota continues to face an ongoing financial budget shortfall. How do you believe this should be addressed now and in the future?
A: I would balance Minnesota's budget the same way every family balances its budget - by living within its means. It's time Minnesota begins prioritizing its spending and its programs - not simply asking the taxpayers for more money so government can continue to grow at rates significantly above inflation.
Q: What are the other major issues facing this state? How should they be addressed?
A: The biggest problem in Minnesota right now is a lack of jobs. Minnesota is in dire economic straits because unemployment numbers remain high. And this isn't surprising because current legislative leadership continues to pursue policies that maintain high tax rates and over-regulate businesses. If we could create a business climate that's more conducive to businesses and allow them to grow their companies and put more people to work, our economy will improve. More Minnesotans working means more money being paid in income taxes and sales taxes. Those who believe raising taxes in this environment need to realize that the action not only hurts every struggling family out there right now, but it also discourages business owners from expanding and fails to address the fact that Minnesota has a spending problem.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for this position - why should people vote for you on Nov. 2?
A: I believe I'm the best candidate for the job because I understand the issues that are important to the people of Hastings, and have a proven record of getting the job done.
Each year I walk door to door to visit with residents in order to hear firsthand how they feel their state government is operating. They want state government to stop wasting their money, and they're tired of government bailouts. They don't want lawmakers telling them to pay higher taxes while facing layoffs or reduced hours and wages. They want more and better job opportunities. I believe legislators should represent their constituents, not special interests. That is why I am proud to again be one of the few legislators or candidates who has never taken any campaign money from special interest groups, lobbyists or PACs.
My experience as a 30-year successful business owner who has hired employees, provided seasonal employees with year-round employer-provided health insurance and a 100-percent employer paid pension plan through good times and bad, certainly shows that I know how to maintain a budget and live within our means. I believe my real world experience will continue to be beneficial as we begin to craft improved job opportunity and economic development policies at the state capitol.
Q: Are there any other comments you care to make?
A: It has been a privilege to serve as your state representative for the past eight years, and it's been my honor to get to know many residents personally as I visit homes throughout the district. One thing I never forget is that the seat I hold is yours - my job is to act in your best interests. As in the past, I will continue to be accessible and available to you in addressing your interests and concerns through surveys, phone calls, emails, and community meetings. Together, we can make our community a better place to live and work. I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 2.