Republicans vying for Klobuchar's seat meet in Two HarborsWhile November may seem far away, for others it can’t come fast enough. Lake County will soon be in the midst of election season and clues are mounting that it’s already begun here.
While November may seem far away, for others it can’t come fast enough. Lake County will soon be in the midst of election season and clues are mounting that it’s already begun here.
Last Saturday the Lake County Minnesota Republican Party hosted two meet and greets in Beaver Bay and Two Harbors for the three Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. The candidate to eventually win the Republican Party’s nomination would face off against incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar this November.
Minnesota Republican Party chairman Tim Jezierski said the point of the meet and greets is to introduce the candidates to the public. Dan Severson, Joe Arwood, and Tony Hernandez spoke to about 20 people at the Beaver Bay event and to about 30 residents who attended the Two Harbors event.
“So many people don’t get to hear the candidates at their starting points,” Jezierski said. “Before the primary I wanted to have people come and check out what’s going on.”
Severson, a former Navy pilot, was also a state representative and a previous candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State in 2010. He said what distinguishes him from the other candidates is his experience. Severson said he would like to defund the Environmental Protection Agency and reform the tax system and get rid of the Internal Revenue Service. He also cites his commitment to the Second Amendment and his strong stance against abortion. “I’m a strong pro-life candidate,” Severson said.
Arwood is originally from Tennessee but relocated to Minnesota later in life. He said the people of both states are “independent” and “value liberty.” Arwood said he would like to return the country to a place where “we have free markets” and believes the federal government is too large. He currently serves as a city councilor in St. Bonifacius, Minn. where he lives. He said being a city councilor has taught him a lot. “You have to have the ability to stand up for your principles,” Arwood said.
Hernandez emphasized his pride in his roots. He is a second-generation Mexican American who was born and raised in St. Paul. Hernandez said he is a “young and concerned citizen” who joined the election because he wants to change things. Hernandez currently works at as an operations manager at the MRL Company in the Twin Cities. He said he would like to concentrate on economic and fiscal issues. “No more taxes,” Hernandez said.
After the ten minute speeches each candidate was allowed to make, the potential Republican nominees mingled with the meet and greet attendees. Two Harbors resident Jim Weckman said he was glad he came. “I want to become informed so I can vote responsibly and make it better for my grandchildren,” he said. “We need to know why we should vote for someone.”
But Weckman said it was still too early to pick his candidate for the race. “I have to let these people talk in more forums,” he said.
The 2012 Minnesota U.S. Senate election is Nov. 6.