Recently I read with great disappointment comments from former DFL Representative Steve Wenzel. He suggested that my family should not move to East Gull Lake to represent Senate District 9 that includes Morrison County. Part of my disappointment with Steve’s letter was he didn’t first call to ask why we were moving. I know Steve well and this behavior is completely uncharacteristic of him.
I’ve spoke many times at Steve’s college classes about my role as a state senator and he has done an exceptional job of representing our community. With the sudden division of Senate District 12, there were many left uncertain how to proceed. Several other legislators were also displaced. Four pairs of GOP senators were pitted against each other while only two pairs of DFL senators were pitted against each other. Many new districts now have no current senator in them at all.
I have had the privilege of representing Morrison County in the Minnesota Senate for nearly a biennium. I recognize the necessity and support both agriculture and small businesses. I’ve co-authored legislation that removes government barriers from small businesses and speeds up environmental permits from state agencies. I was on the conference committee to repeal Green Acres and modify the rural preserve program. SF 1945 is a bill I am carrying that will establish a hunting and trapping season to regulate the overpopulation of wolves in Minnesota. This helps farmers across Minnesota, particularly those who see an increase in wolves.
No legislative position belongs to any one person, as Steve Wenzel’s letter claimed. It is the people’s seat. If I have the honor of serving as the senator from Senate District 9, it will be because the people have given me their vote of confidence.
State Senator Paul Gazelka