6 Democrats Try To Stand Out In First Congressional District Race
DFL candidates looking to replace incumbent Democrat Representative Tim Walz upon his run for governor meet Monday night at South Central College for a Congressional forum.
Johnny Azkam, a social media consultant out of Rochester, was a big-time Bernie Sanders supporter that's running as a socialist challenging the Democratic Party status quo.
"The common person is working longer for less pay and their dollar doesn't go as far. This district voted 2:1 for Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary. They want that message," Azkam said.
Dan Feehan recently moved to North Mankato after finishing up working in President Obama's Department of Defense. The Iraq War veteran was the top fundraiser of the candidates on the DFL side.
"First and foremost - health care. How do we get affordable health care to people. Secondly, our economy. How do we make sure our kids and our kids' kids have jobs here in southern Minnesota and how can we stay ahead of that curve. And third, national security. How can we make sure we're focused on ending the wars we're in and preventing us from getting into future wars," Feehan said.
Vicki Jensen is an insurance broker and former state senator from Owatonna, after losing her seat in 2016.
"Number one - campaign finance reform. I'm very concerned about the money that's involved in the process, and how it influences the policies we get. I absolutely want to get that money out of the process," Jensen said.
Bob Ries is a former business professor and JFK assassination conspiracy theorist from Winona.
"I stand for a fairer deal. My number one issue is to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," Ries said.
Joe Sullivan is a clean energy lobbyist from Mankato.
"Far too many of our communities have old water systems, old infrastructure, transportation systems that don't allow them to get goods to market, water systems that are a cap on their community's ability to grow, and what I want to do is make sure that all of our communities can share in the prosperity of our district," Sullivan said.
Rochester area attorney Rich Wright rounds out the six candidates for Congress on the Dem side. Wright lost local Legislature elections in 2014 and 2016
"The solution is going to a comprehensive cradle-to-grave Medicare-for-all system. That includes sight, hearing, dental, mental health, parity and good reimbursement rates so our clinics don't close. This model works in other countries and it'll work here," Wright said.
-- KEYC News 12.