We had the opportunity to attend an Oct. 5 “Meet the Candidates” program at Boutwell’s Landing where Julie Bunn debated Karin Housley. Both women seek the seat representing District 39 in the Minnesota State Senate.
Bunn showed her strong command of the issues facing voters this election season. Her experience as a former legislator and knowledge as a trained economist allowed her to give detailed, yet understandable answers to the audience’s questions.
Housley, relying on her life experience, was tentative in many of her statements and could give only shallow responses in others.
On the important question of state budget deficit, Housley continually repeated her party’s claim that they had “balanced the budget” with a surplus last biennium.
Bunn, however, took time to correct that misleading report, laying out the true state of the budget situation, rationally counting the funds withheld from all the state schools and the expected inflation for state expenses (the other claim remarkably only uses inflation for the revenue side). The state budget deficit will still be an important issue in the coming biennium and Bunn is clearly better equipped to deal with it.
Another question was about the lack of cooperation at the State Capitol. Housley stated with no further explanation that there would be “no gridlock” if she was elected. Bunn, however, mentioned her previous record in the House of bringing both sides together and authoring important bills that were supported by both parties. Bunn and we are concerned that Housley has supported other politicians that continuously tout polarizing positions — a stance which does not help bring elected officials together to solve our nation’s or state’s pressing problems.
The contrast between the candidates was very clear. Julie Bunn is obviously much more informed on the issues than her opponent and has the experience to provide representation for all the citizens in District 39. We need to return her to the Minnesota Legislature. Vote as we will for Julie Bunn.
Dave and Ann Bucheck