Democratic educator, businessman challenges Lohmer
Tom DeGree, a small business owner and teacher from Lake Elmo filed Tuesday to run for the District 39B state House of Representatives.
DeGree said he is running for state representative to ensure that businesses have an environment where they can thrive and youth continue to have quality educational opportunities.
"The lawmakers at the state legislature are not working for the citizens, and they haven’t been for a long time. Under this legislature, we have seen skyrocketing property taxes, ever-increasing deficits, and legislation that does nothing to create a single job," DeGree said. "It is time to end the madness, and get back to our historic Minnesota values. We need legislation that helps our community. We need legislation that creates jobs and strengthens our economy."
DeGree believes education is a critical component to long-term economic competiveness. He said one of his priorities is to focus on repayment of the $2.4 billion that was borrowed from K-12 schools last year by the Republican-led legislature.
"Good schools and a quality education pave the way to good jobs and economic success," DeGree said. "We can’t let Minnesota slip back when it comes to our world class education system."
DeGree has taught for 16 years in the St. Paul school district and spent four of those years as education director of Belwin Environmental Center. He started a business eight years ago when he opened the Wilde Roast Caf