MN Caucuses Point Out Front Runners and Key Issues - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Caucuses Point Out Front Runners and Key Issues

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Voters in Minnesota jumped into another election year tonight with caucuses around the state.

Parties gathered in Moorhead to discuss new candidates and pressing issues. Democratic voters won't see much of a change in their party. Most major seats are running for re-election, including Governor Mark Dayton. But, the GOP is looking to shake that up.

State Senator Torrey Westrom took the stage at the Moorhead High auditorium to announce his candidacy for the House of Representatives District 7. That pits him against Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson. Westrom opposes Obamacare and raising the debt ceiling. 

Westrom lost his eyesight in a car accident more than 15 years ago, though it hasn't let it stop his political career. He comes from Elbow Lake, Minnesota and says his small town upbringing is the basis of his campaign's platform.

"Rural Minnesota has a lot to offer Washington D.C.," Westrom said. "We need to bring that common sense into how our government operates. Rural Minnesota knows that you have to live within your means. Rural Minnesota knows you can't spend more than you take in."

Across town, the DFL met at MSUM with no contested races to discuss. Instead, many voters came to discuss the issues the state legislature is expected to address this year.

"Bonding, of course, will be big this year. I'm very hopeful we can finish the Moorhead and Oakport Township flood projects," Representative Ben Lien (DFL) District 4A said. "Minimum wage will be an issue I'm sure will come up. The budget surplus, I think that will be a big issue, what to do with some of that money."

The GOP held straw polling tonight for a closer look at who will be going up against Governor Mark Dayton. Those candidates include Kurt Zellers, who is from Grand Forks, and Jeff Johnson, whose hometown is Detroit Lakes.


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