Minnesota governor candidate Sen. Paul Gazelka — the former state Senate majority leader — visited Winona Monday to speak with community members.
“I am surprised at how vibrant Winona is. I talked to a lot of business owners today. I talked to the Chamber of Commerce leader. I just traveled around and there’s a lot of things happening in Winona. It’s just exciting to see all these different businesses,” said Gazelka, a Republican, said about what he loved most during his visit.
“They love Winona, they want Winona to be successful. And they are asking me how I can help them help Winona be successful. The fact that the community really works together is really cool.”
Gazelka looks forward to continuing his work with Minnesota Sen. Jeremy Miller from Winona, who took over as the majority leader after Gazelka departed the position.
When asked how he would be able to help Winona if elected as governor, Gazelka said: “Many of my decisions are going to help the state across the board. So we look at how we treat businesses. Winona has a ton of successful businesses and they’re frustrated with the tax climate for businesses, regulation over businesses, the fact that inflation is frankly out of control, (and) that they don’t have the workforce available that they should. All of those are things that we can have an impact on. Me, as a small business owner, can definitely help.
“As far as college and education for our next generation, it’s critical that we have a well trained workforce. So somebody’s going through college, they need to make sure they get a degree that fits the careers that are available to them so that they then graduate and actually have a job that pays well,” Gazelka said. “So, it’s just working together with careers that are available with the companies that are providing them the education they need. And Winona really has all of it. They have a college that points people to jobs that are right in the area. I want to help them all be successful.”
Gazelka also shared while in Winona that he started his mission to become governor after going head-to-head against current Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat.
Gazelka said he believes that Walz especially mishandled the policing situation and the riots. He said he feels that people no longer appreciate the police.
Gazelka wants to continue supporting police to enable them to keep communities safe, he shared.