Compiled by TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
When you head out to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4, you’ll get the opportunity to select your top picks for the top state offices, including Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Attorney General, as well as U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representative.
Also on the ballot will be State Representative for Districts 64A, 65A, 66A and 66B, those areas within the Monitor coverage area.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 64A
Andrew Brown – R
Andrew Brown’s campaign platform is this: fix our horrible roads, stop wasteful spending, lower property taxes, careers not jobs, reduce the tax strain and level college costs.
Brown works for his family’s funeral product business as a welder and a salesman. He was born before the Berlin Wall was torn down and during President Reagan’s second term in office. Brown currently attends the University of St. Thomas where he studies business management. From fall of 2013 to spring of 2014 he was the Vice-Chair of the University of St. Thomas College Republicans. He will graduate in the spring of 2015 and then continue working with his family’s business. He has been endorsed by the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee.
Erin Murphy – DFL
Murphy graduated from high school in Janesville, Wis., and later attended the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, receiving her B.S. in nursing in 1984. She earned her M.A. in organizational leadership in health care at the College of St. Catherine in 2005, and also attended the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota from 2005 to 2006.
Murphy is a former executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association and has also worked for the organization as a lobbyist and organizer. She previously worked in state government as legislative director for former Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III, and as community relations director for the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning. She was also an operating room nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
Murphy served on the board of directors of Citizens for a Safer Minnesota from 1999 to 2001, and as a member of the board of trustees of the American Nurses Association political action committee. She was also an executive board member of the Minnesota chapter of the AFL–CIO.
Murphy was first elected in 2006, and has served four terms. After the 2012 elections, Murphy was elected by the DFL House caucus to be Majority Leader.
She is married to Joe Faust, and has two children.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 65A
Lena Buggs – Green
Lena Buggs’s campaign platform includes five areas of focus: living wages and union rights, affordable housing, job and economic development, education, and environment.
Buggs was born in South Minneapolis, but she has lived in St. Paul for nearly six years. She resides with her wife Nicki and their two children, Amy and Aubrey, in the Lexington-Hamline neighborhood.
She has served the community as a member of the small business community, as co-founder of African American Women In Politics – an organization created to empower American Women of color in understanding the electoral process, political affiliations, and the voting process. She serves as a member of the Lexington-Hamline Housing Committee, facilitating loan programs that are designed to offer market or below market rate financing to the community.
As an organizer, she worked to defeat Voter ID and Marriage Amendments. She co-organized with the Welfare Rights Committee, and pushed for living wages, housing, and a fair economy for all. Most recently, she organized with The 15 Now Campaign, along with the 4th Congressional District of the Green Party, to coordinate labor efforts promoting a $15 an hour living wage.
Anthony Meschke – R
Anthony Meschke’s platform includes five areas of focus: privacy rights and government spying, decriminalization of victimless crimes, responsible government spending, public-private partnerships, and education and school choice.
Meschke was born and raised in a small southern Minnesota town. He grew up working on the family and neighbors’ farms. His mother ran a daycare and his father was a mechanic. After his high school graduation from a small, Lutheran school, he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for 2 years and other bases in the United States. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Menschke is currently employed as a Project Engineer at Flint Hills Resources in Rosemount, Minn.
He has been married to his high school sweetheart since 2011. They have a two-year-old daughter and are expecting their second child in December. They have lived in St. Paul since 2010. In his spare time he likes to tinker in the garage and work on projects. He installed electric and hot air solar panels on his house and works on other energy saving projects. With his wife, he also gardens and makes wine from the fruits in their yard.
Rena Moran – DFL
Rena Moran has seven areas of focus: education, women’s economic security, minimum wage, healthcare, seniors, taxes and Giving Minnesotans a Second Chance.
Moran is the mother of seven children. Ten years ago, she moved to the Twin Cities in search of a better life for her kids. Homeless, she and her children stayed in a Minneapolis shelter for several months. It wasn’t long before she and her family went from homeless to homeowners. She found her first job in Minnesota earning minimum wage at Camp Snoopy, then at the YMCA on University Ave. before moving on to work at a commodities trading firm in downtown Minneapolis for five years. During this time, she began to get involved in social change work. After five years, she left the comforts of her corporate job to become a Wellstone Organizing Fellow and embark on her new vocation of community organizing. Moran was sworn into office as the representative from Dist. 65A on Jan. 4, 2011 as the First African American to represent St. Paul at the Capitol.
She is a member of the following committees: Health and Human Services Policy Committee (Vice Chair), Health and Human Services Finance Committee, Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee, Education Finance Committee, and Housing Finance and Policy Committee. Also, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Moran to serve on: Minnesota Task Force on Prematurity, Council of Black Minnesotans and Visible Child Work Group.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 66A
Alice Hausman – DFL
Hausman was first elected in a 1989 special election. She has been re-elected every two years since then. Hausman was born in Breman, Kansas and raised on a farm. She moved to St. Paul in 1977. She earned both her B.S. in education and her M.A. in education from Concordia University. She is a former St. Paul teacher. Hausman is married and has two children.
Hausman serves on these House committees: Capital Investment (Chair), Legacy, Transportation Finance and Ways and Means.
Last session, in a continued effort to support Minnesota’s improving economic health and address our aging infrastructure, Hausman sponsored a bipartisan capital investment package containing $1.046 billion in strategic investments spread across the state. These measures will fund investments in college campuses, transportation, clean water and wastewater system improvements, flood prevention and mitigation, parks and trails, housing, public safety, and important economic development infrastructure. After a 10-year effort to construct a new facility to house the state’s natural history museum, Hausman was successful in getting legislation enacted that authorizes funding for a new Bell Museum and Planetarium. Hausman also sponsored a bill to invest $100 million in permanent supportive and affordable housing located throughout the state to help end homelessness. A long-term solution to improving the state’s transportation system will be a top priority in 2015.
Jon Heyer – R
Jon Heyer is a Minnesota native, the eldest of five children. Heyer grew up in the Roseville area, and graduated from the former Alexander Ramsey High School in 1974.
A recently retired educator with over 35 years of experience, Heyer has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in Theology from Saint Catherine University. He understands the importance of a solid education, strong family values, vigilance and providing our children and future generations with a brighter tomorrow.
Heyer and his wife Teri, who works for the United State Forest Service, have been married for 29 years. They have lived in St. Paul for 29 years and have two daughters and one grandchild. Jon’s two son-in-laws are both in the service – one in the United States Air Force and the other with the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Heyer’s call to political service is grounded in his belief that we need to restore fiscal sense and personal responsibility to our local government. Time to put into practice JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 66B
John Lesch – DFL
John Lesch was first elected as State Representative in November of 2002. His focus in the legislature is on consumer protection, crime and public safety, and economic justice issues. Lesch currently serves as chairman of the House Committee on Civil Law. In addition to his role as a legislator, he also prosecutes domestic assault crimes as an Assistant City Attorney for Saint Paul. In 2009, Lesch enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard where he currently serves as a staff officer in the 2-135 Light Infantry Battalion.
Lesch’s past community involvement includes a term as Chair of the Senate District 66 DFL party from 2000-2002, as well as staff to various local and statewide candidates. He has been a Sunday School teacher and a member of his church finance council. Lesch was a founding member of South Como Block Clubs and an active participant with the District 6 Community Council, North End Area Revitalization, and the Great Northern Corridor redevelopment.
Lesch earned his B.A. from Saint Louis University in 1995 with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology, and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in 1998 with a concentration in Government and Regulatory Affairs.
He lives with his wife, Melissa and his daughter, Alice, in St. Paul’s Como Park neighborhood.
Elizabeth “ Lizz” Paulson – R
Lizz Paulson’s campaign platform includes these goals: prioritize private sector job creation, reform (fair) taxes, prioritize quality public safety services, roads and education for all, reform current education, reduce government regulations and reduce irresponsible spending.
Paulson is a long-time, east side St. Paul resident. She is a licensed teacher (Elementary English Language Arts) with 34 years of regular and special education experience in preschool through elementary, with 10 of those years in the St. Paul Public Schools. As a professional reading tutor at the East Side Learning Center (ESLC), she works every day to reduce the achievement gap, one child at a time, and the program delivers: students make significant gains in reading through individualized, flexible curriculum and model/teach parents how to use similar teaching games/activities at home. Because the ESLC involves the community and is very responsible with financial resources, costs remain low.