McCollum, Hernandez square off in District 4

Incumbent District 4 U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum turns here attention to facing challengers Republican Tony Hernandez and Independence Party candidate Steve Carlson after McCollum and Hernandez won easy victories in their party primaries Tuesday.

McCollum won a three-way Democratic primary with 84.18 percent of the vote while Hernandez won a two-person Republican race with 64.05 percent of the vote.

McCollum seeks a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She released a statement saying: “I am honored to be on the ballot this November, representing middle class families and our seniors. My focus in this election is on strengthening this economy and creating jobs. More than anything, keeping Minnesota families strong and successful is why I am running.”

McCollum’s schedule today prevented The Gazette from talking with her further before deadline.

Tony Hernandez, a first-timer in this political race, is looking forward to the November election.

“I am so thankful for team Hernandez and I’m looking forward to holding McCollum accountable for 11 years of votes for big spending.” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he did a lot of door knocking while he was in Stillwater during his campaign and said the main issue he encountered with most residents was her opposition to the new Stillwater Bridge.

“I’m not really running on that reason, I’m running because she’s the number one deficit spender. She voted for the most spending and it’s time to focus in on managing the fiscal crisis and balancing the budget while bringing back the good paying jobs and careers,” Hernandez said.

Going forward Hernandez says his campaign will continue to grow their volunteer base and engage the people of the fourth district to lead his campaign to success. He also hopes to have some spirited debates with McCollum on the issues of healthcare, careers and jobs, and the budget.

“I think the center right fiscal conservatives will have a huge victory nationwide in November,” Hernandez said. “I feel that a giant has been awoken here in America. We’re working on solving the financial crisis and I’m very optimistic about the outcome.”