For Republicans, the Senate is their only slice of power in St. Paul. If they keep the majority, they maintain influence over the state’s massive $48 billion budget and the redistricting process that will play out next year. If Democrats flip the Senate, they could be in charge of all levers of state government with Gov. Tim Walz and if the DFL holds onto the House.”Fox 9 News
Washington County, Minn.
Minnesota represents one of a small number of states that voted for Clinton in 2016 that presents Trump with a chance to expand his map in 2020. If he wants to win here, he must carry Washington County, along the border with Wisconsin.
The first white settlers arrived along the banks of the St. Croix River to log its rich forests. In 1838, early residents in Stillwater, the county seat, formally petitioned Congress to create a new state called Minnesota. Today, its residents are more likely to commute to the booming Twin Cities. A fifth of its residents have moved in since 2000, blending its rural roots with exurban sprawl.
Washington County voted twice for George W. Bush, then twice for Obama. Clinton carried Washington County by just 1.8 percentage points, almost exactly the margin by which she carried Minnesota as a whole.
“President Trump has already transformed rural politics in his favor, so increasing support from suburban voters will be key to the outcome of the election,” said former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who carried Washington County in both his runs for governor.
Hear Senator Susan Kent’s Conversation
Woodbury Area Chamber Candidate Forum
3:00 PM – Minnesota Senate District 53
1. Opening Remarks 7:00
2. Candidate Introductions 9:47
3. Question 1 17:25
A. COVID-19 has had an effect on our economy worldwide. What steps will you take if elected to help businesses and residents to recover from the pandemic?
4. Question 2 22:07
A. Excluding the impacts of COVID, what are the biggest issues facing your district as a whole and how do you plan to address those issues?
5. Question 3 27:16
A. How will you work the business community to help them grow and prosper?
6. Question 4 31:41
A. What are your views on state mandated paid leave programs? This would be required paid time off for sick leave or family leave. How much time off is appropriate? How should this time off be funded and who pays?
7. Question 5 36:39
A. Minnesota is facing a potentially steep budget deficit heading into next session. Balancing the state budget will be the top priority for legislatures. What is your approach to addressing this issue? Where can the state reduce spending? Please be specific on programs you would look at to reduce spending. If you support tax increases, which taxes should be increased? On what or on whom?
8. Question 6 42:03
A. What do you believe are the biggest issues facing small businesses in this district? How will you support them to get through these issues?
9. Question 7 46:25
A. Would you support an increase in the gas tax to help fill the short fall in transportation revenues that we’re experiencing due to the pandemic and economic fallout associated with it?
10. Closing Statements 50:48
Susan Kent, MN Senate District 53, Candidate Profile
2020 has turned our lives upside down. But there is hope. From checking in on our neighbors, to raising our voices to protest injustice, to supporting our frontline workers, we’ve seen Minnesotans come together. And I’ve been proud to work across the aisle in the Senate to secure workers comp for first responders, and critical support for our hospitals, small businesses, and those struggling as a result of the pandemic.
Senate District 53 Debate Night Questions
Did you miss debate night, hosted by the League of Women Voters? Watch the video to see the full evening. To skip to just the issues you most care about, here is the list of questions along with their spot in the video.
Opening Remarks – 0:10
Candidate Introductions 2:30
Question 1 – 8:21
What is your perspective on the state government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what action do you see the legislature taking in response to the pandemic?
Question 2 – 16:04
Parties in the state legislature seem to have become more rigid to support ideological party positions that may not reflect the majority of their constituents. How or when would you deviate from alignment to the party line?
Question 3 – 21:55
The state faces a likely revenue deficit due to costs combating the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced income from businesses and individual taxes. What remedies do you propose to avoid a deficit?
Question 4 – 27:21
If you are elected to the legislature, will you commit to creating an independent redistricting committee for congressional and state legislative boundaries. Why or why not?
Question 5 – 31:26
Do you support laws that require background checks on private gun sales, and red flag laws which give law enforcement the ability to confiscate weapons from those believed to be at risk to themselves and others?
Question 6 – 35:57
The economic health of greater Minnesota is tied to broadband equality. What will you do to expand broadband?
Question 7 – 39:52
What can Minnesota do to address the climate crisis? What is your plan to make the environment more sustainable?
Question 8 – 46:12
Do you think Minnesota should become a right to work state? Why or why not?
Question 9 – 48:47
If elected what will you do to ensure that our public schools are adequately funded?
Question 10 – 53:50
Do you support automatic voter registration at drivers license centers?
Closing Statements – 55:51