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Heads of Minnesota political parties weigh in on importance of upcoming election

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 28, 2020 06:27 PM

We're less than 100 days away from what some are calling the most important election of our lifetime. WDIO spoke with the chairpersons of both Minnesota political parties about the importance of the Northland in this election.

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The state was close in the 2016 presidential election and the heads of both parties expect it to very close again this year.

"With how well the president did there in 2016 and seats that we were able to flip at other levels like state, legislative and also congress, indicates to us that this district continues to shift in the right direction for Republican candidates," said Minnesota Republican Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan.

Carnahan believes Congressman Pete Stauber's values align with President Donald Trump and his supporters but DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said their party would be better for blue collar workers who care about the economy and health care.

"We have seen a number of those folks who actually ended up voting for Donald Trump in 2016 who are coming back our way who have buyer's remorse who really regret the choice they made in 2016," said Martin.

Mining is a big concern for both parties. Carnahan said party leaders recently visited the Iron Range and saw struggling communities. She said they want to bring back jobs and said they believe they have strong candidates for northeastern Minnesota's legislative seats.

"I saw candidates that had a passion and a heart for running in seats that have been difficult for republican candidates before that gives our party all the confidence in the world to make progress and inroads in these difficult areas," said Carnahan.

Martin said they want to continue to support miners and their families as well as support taconite mining. Martin said they also want to look at diversifying the area.

"We also need to think about how we diversify our economy in northeastern Minnesota,  how we are investing in jobs of the future and making sure that we are helping to provide the resources to train people and educate folks in northeastern Minnesota," said Martin.

Martin said they've been doing deep investments in organizing and mobilizing and turning out the vote in the state, recognizing the importance of voter support in this election.

"This will be one of the largest campaigns that we have on the ground here in Minnesota in recent time and we're certainly not taking this day for granted," said Martin.

Carnahan said they've also been going across the state to talk with republican candidates and voters about the accomplishments the country and Minnesota has seen with Trump.

"We believe with this concentrated strategic effort that we have an incredible opportunity to make history in Minnesota on November 3rd," said Carnahan.

Martin said the DFL party wants to focus on issues relating to affordable healthcare and investing more in educations and jobs.

"Affordable healthcare couldn't be more important right now as we're dealing with a global pandemic. It's been made worse because of the failed response on COVID-19. We also have a lot of work to do because our education funding has dropped precipitously over the last decade. We are seeing record high unemployment right now that's only going to get worse as this virus continues to surge so we need to be creative in how we rebuild this country," said Martin.

Carnahan said the republican party wants to focus on COVID-19 and helping businesses like those affected by the riots after George Floyd's death and other voter concerns they've heard like defunding police.

"Concerns about the conversation that voters are seeing out of the metro area about defunding the police and the anarchy and lawlessness that happened in our state for nearly two full weeks straight. We can't forget the great accomplishments that our country has seen over the past four years under President Trump with passing the tax reform and the job act, standing behind businesses to boost our economy," said Carnahan.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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