Q&A with the Candidates: FMWF’s Midterm Elections 2018
Q&A with the Candidates: FMWF’s Midterm Elections 2018
One of the foundational pillars of our Chamber is advocacy. With election season upon us as we head into the 2018 midterms, we wanted to provide our members and the community the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates up for various seats on the ballot next month. See what they had to say in this question-and-answer forum below.
Make sure to vote on November 6! Want to hear more? Engage with the candidates at our Cracker Barrel on Thursday, October 18 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Hjemkomst Center Auditorium. Attendance is free, but registration is required.
Please note, The Chamber does not endorse candidates. We invited everyone running to participate in this questionnaire and in the Cracker Barrel. Below are the candidates that have provided written responses so far. More will be added as they are received. We asked everyone this: What will be your top priority if elected, and how will you advocate for the issue as to have a measurable impact? What makes you qualified to solve this problem?
Below you will find the names, contact info shared, and their answer to this prompt if provided. Each candidate was allowed 100 words to answer. Their answers were only edited for punctuation, format, and for length if it was received over the specified word count. Those that did provide answers are listed by name only.
Moorhead Mayor’s Race
- Newzad Brifki
- Brenda Elmer
- Johnathan Judd
Creating sustainable economic and business growth in Moorhead that is mutually responsive and profitable to business developers and city residents. I would advocate for this issue by having conversations with city council, staff and interested parties, including new and established local entrepreneurs. The purpose is to understand and formulate a holistic vision for future economic and business growth. My qualifications are that I have been actively involved in the community and built relationships from serving on non-profit boards that have been involved in partnerships with private businesses in Moorhead. I have also served on city commissions working with businesses.
Moorhead Council Ward 1
- Shelly Dahlquist
- Riley Maanum
I believe economic development is one of the most important issues that Moorhead faces. We need to attract new businesses and residents to our community. Business growth will stabilize our tax base and keep our tax rates competitive with surrounding communities. Residential growth will create a broader tax base. I will strongly support the economic development department and the sensible use of tax incentives. My connections with local/state legislators will benefit Moorhead as we work to minimize unfunded mandates and code issues that increase costs to our community. We need to be competitive or we will lose developments for Moorhead.
Moorhead Council Ward 2
- Shelly Carlson
There are multiple priorities I would work on if elected: Continuing the forward momentum currently occurring in downtown Moorhead while simultaneously focusing on other areas in Moorhead; supporting the Moorhead Police Department and Moorhead Fire Department with determining ways to retain employees while assessing ways to increase safety within Moorhead; and determining ways to build healthy neighborhoods and increase quality of life for Moorhead residents. I would support measurable impact (quantitative and/or qualitative) to ascertain success of each initiative. I believe I am qualified for this position based on 24 years of experience working with the public and building community collaboration.
- Ben Hammer
- Drew Sandberg
Moorhead Council Ward 3
- Karl Deilke
My top priority is growing our business community. I will promote the image of Moorhead as a great place to do business. Moorhead is seeing a lot of new growth, and I will work to keep that momentum going. Border city legislation is one area that we need to continue to monitor so we level the playing field. I will work with Derrick LaPointe (the new EDA director) to help recruit new business and retain existing business; and to keep desirable tax incentives for businesses. As a lifetime Moorhead resident and business person, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to handle this position.
- Troy Krabbenhoft
- Deb White
Moorhead is a growing, friendly community with many strengths. However, we have not always done well at engaging stakeholders. I will ensure that residents, business owners and other stakeholders are well informed and have voices in decision-making. I will seek to improve our notification processes, create listening sessions, and pursue other ways to build a more open and collaborative local government. As a former business owner and Moorhead Planning Commissioner, neighborhood advocate and experienced leader, I have the knowledge and skills to effectively engage stakeholders. By doing so, we will enhance economic development, protect homeowners’ investments, and promote neighborhood vitality.
Moorhead Council Ward 4
- Marc Hedlund
My top priority, if elected, would be to continue to help Moorhead grow the business side of things. Moorhead is a great community and we need more amenities for the citizens of Moorhead. I would work hard with the Economic Development committee as well as local business owners to fill the gaps that they need, as well as work with potential new businesses to create plans that will sustainable for them to bring their business to Moorhead.
- Chuck Hendrickson
My top priority if I am elected would be to keep working on infrastructure projects and make sure those projects are completed. The top three infrastructure projects for the City of Moorhead include: Permanent flood protection for the metro area; Solid Waste Transfer Station; and 20/21st Underpass. As a member of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and the Moorhead City Council, I have the experience to keep these projects moving forward.
Clay County Commission – District 3
- Jenny L. Mongeau
Clay County Commission – District 4
- Kevin Campbell
Permanent flood protection always tops all. Because that process continues to move forward, we need to build our workforce. With our baby boomers retiring, we will need to retain our young people and recruit others to move here if we want to entice more high paying jobs. Economic development cannot happen without a strong workforce. We need to keep and improve our community amenities so that our 2 and 4-year college graduates have a reason to stay here. My experience is shown by Clay County being the fourth largest growing County in Minnesota over the last seven years.
- Mari Dailey
State Legislature – House District 4A
- Ben Lien (D)
My top priority for the 2019-2020 legislative session is to make Moorhead stronger by supporting the local business community and area infrastructure. I’ll continue fighting for the Border City Enterprise and Development Zone program with other Red River Valley legislators to make the program better for businesses through permanent appropriations. Area infrastructure includes a new Clay County solid waste transfer station, planning for a downtown Moorhead railroad underpass and flood mitigation projects. I’ve proven to be effective in achieving results for Moorhead by working with Democrat and Republican legislators over the last six years as a state representative.
- Jordan Idso (R)
State Legislature – House District 4B
- Paul Marquart (D)
- Jason Peterson (R)
My top priority is to fight so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. Stopping the rising the cost of healthcare and providing solutions to lower costs for families while protecting the relationship between patients and their doctor is critically important. One of the first action items when I’m elected will be to support moving Minnesota into conformity with the federal tax overhaul so that all Minnesotans can realize the full benefit of tax relief – something my opponent failed to do. I have the relationships necessary and the enthusiasm required to make a lasting impact and get the job done.
State Legislature – Senate District 11
- Tim Mathern (D)
- Todd McMichael (R)
My top priority if elected would be: Help ND maintain its prosperity and traditions. North Dakota is a wonderful state with many opportunities. In order to do this, we must make sure the agricultural and energy sectors stay strong. We must also strengthen our higher education system, not just the four year colleges but also our trade schools. Also many of North Dakota’s traditions revolve around the outdoors and I would work with Game and Fish along with Parks and Recreation to maintain and grow these traditions.
State Legislature – Senate District 13
- Judy Lee (R)
- Carrie Leopold (D)
State Legislature – Senate District 21
- Kathy Hogan (D)
- Sierra Heitkamp (R)
State Legislature – Senate District 27
- Quinn Garrick (D)
My top priority if elected is to focus on the economic security of all individuals within the state of North Dakota. In order to achieve this, we need to put in place new standards for quality work environments and employee wages and benefits. Furthermore, we need to invest in and expand opportunities for North Dakotans, particularly for young people in the state. We must do this to foster an innovative and entrepreneurial economic environment, one that embraces all citizens regardless of upbringing or privilege. As a policy advocate for RESULTS, I’ve worked extensively to push forward policies to alleviate poverty.
- Kristin Roers (R)
State Legislature – Senate District 41
- Kyle Davison (R)
- Paula Thomas (D)
State Legislature – Senate District 45
- Danielle Pinnick (D)
- Ronald Sorvaag (R)
My top priorities for the 2019 session will be the adequate funding of K-12 education. Funding for higher ed will also be important, so that we can keep it affordable for our future workforce. The other priority will be critical infrastructure funding. I am a member of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate, and will be involved with these issues and others and have an impact on the final budget that comes out of the Legislature.
State Legislature – House District 11
- Gretchen Dobervich (D)
North Dakota has experienced a dramatic increase in suicides. Crisis lines are an evidence-based, low-cost suicide intervention. An investment in North Dakota’s 211 system will add an additional statewide suicide crisis line, enhance the existing database system, and increase program capacity. I hold a Bachelor of Social Work and a ND social work license, work at the NDSU Public Health Department American Indian Public Health Resource Center as a policy program manager, served on the ND Legislature Health Services interim committee, previously worked as Director of Operations at FirstLINK and am pursuing a Master of Public Health at NDSU.
- Bridget Ertelt (R)
- Ron Guggisberg (D)
- Kathy Jorgenson (R)
State Legislature – House District 13
- Dianne Hyndman (D)
- Kim Koppelman (R)
- Landis Larson (D)
- Austen Schauer (R)
State Legislature – House District 21
- LaurieBeth Hager (D)
- William Kloubec (R)
- Madison Rodgers (R)
- Mary Schneider (D)
State Legislature – House District 27
- Thomas Beadle (R)
Workforce shortages greatly impact our economic growth. If we want to diversify and strengthen our economy, we need to ensure a skilled workforce is available. I have worked hard in the legislature to promote economic development opportunities, and to keep successful programs like Angel Investment Funds and Renaissance zones in place. We have a good foundation, now we need to take the next step and reinvest in our education system to train and attract the next generation of workers, and to prepare ourselves to meet the needs of the global marketplace. We have done well, but we must do more.
- Randy Boehning (R)
- Ruth Buffalo (D)
As a lifelong North Dakotan, I am committed to improving our quality of life. Ensuring affordable, quality health care for every North Dakotan is important. As a public health professional, parent, and educator, I know how important it is to have a knowledgeable and skilled advocate working hard on their behalf. From families to farmers, to a flourishing business sector each relies on a legislator who has the focus and drive to get the job done. My unique experience and background provides a fresh and informed perspective to this seat and for our state.
- Jon Kitzman (D)
State Legislature – House District 41
- Pamela Anderson (D)
- Al Carlson (R)
- Brandon Medenwald (D)
My top priority will be a balanced budget. As the owner of a software company I started with only a $100 bill and hard work, I know how to balance a budget while still investing for the future. We need to protect higher education in Fargo and more to bolster our workforce right here in the Red River Valley.
- Michelle Strinden (R)
State Legislature – House District 45
- Tim Hoye (D)
- Mary Johnson (R)
- Tom Kading (R)
- Lukas Maughan (D)
Cass County Commission – District 2
- Rick Steen
Cass County Commission – District 4
- Duane Breitling
U.S. Congress - North Dakota House
- Kelly Armstrong (R)
If a five-year Farm Bill hasn’t been passed, that will be my top priority, and advocating for this is the same as advocating for all bills important to North Dakota. As a legislator, I have a proven track record of helping pass some of the most significant legislation in the state. This requires working with parties on both sides of the aisle as well as the administration and government agencies. I’ve always been good at building maintaining relationships with stakeholders, including those that I may not always agree with, and this is something I plan to continue in D.C.
- Mac Schneider (D)
My top priority is working with Republicans and Democrats to enact policies that grow North Dakota’s economy and create opportunity for hard-working families. That means working on a bipartisan basis to end the harmful trade war that is hurting our family farmers, preserving healthcare gains like North Dakota’s Medicaid expansion, and passing a balanced budget. In the North Dakota Senate, I was proud to work with business leaders and legislators of both parties to provide property tax relief, invest in education, and advance critical infrastructure projects like Fargo flood protection. I would take a similar bipartisan approach in Congress.
Note: Other races are being held across the city, state and nation, and may appear on your ballot. To view the other races and candidates, visit your respective Secretary of State’s website. Or check out these links to input your address and view your ballot: four measures on the North Dakota statewide ballot, and one on the Fargo city ballot. View the official measure and ballot language HERE; and the stances we have taken can be found on our website.