Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert stopped through Winona Thursday to discuss his campaign planks including helping businesses grow, improving healthcare, and pushing for more affordable higher education.
Seifert, the only candidate for governor from southern Minnesota — he’s from Marshall — is running against three others for the August primary. He faces an uphill battle, according to a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll released Thursday, which found the GOP’s endorsed candidate, Jeff Johnson, and former House speaker Kurt Zellers deadlocked at 23 percent. Seifert was third with 14 percent, and suburban businessman Scott Honour drew 9 percent.
Seifert, a former state House member, has been a school teacher, college admissions counselor, and head of a hospital foundation. His running mate, State Rep. Pam Myhra, who also appeared Thursday, is from the south Twin Cities suburbs.
Seifert said one of his focuses is making the state “more competitive” when it comes to business taxes and regulations. He said he’d also like to see more options on the table for Minnesotans seeking health insurance and would work with hospitals to encourage more affordable options.
And college tuition, he said, needs to be more affordable.
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“It’s obviously too much and too high,” he said. “My humble opinion is the best form of financial aid is keeping tuition affordable. It was more affordable 20 years ago.”
Although it wasn’t on his list of talking points, when asked how he felt about frac sand mining — he has openly supported mining — Seifert said it’s copper nickel mining in northern Minnesota he’s focused on but said generally he’s “supportive of private property rights and for people to use God’s resources in a responsible way.”
Myhra said her focus is on education and helping foster quality teachers. She lived in Latin America until 6, and with Spanish as her first language, she struggled to keep up in school because she was unable to read until fifth grade.
“I had an effective teacher, an amazing teacher, who taught me to read,” Myhra said. “That changed my life. From that point I’ve been able to succeed at what I put my hands to.”
She’d like to help foster that ability for others.
“We have a lot of people that are new to our country,” Myhra said. “Their hope for living the American dream — like I am — is through a quality education. I truly believe it’s one of the most important things is to have a quality teacher.”
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