As a representative from rural Minnesota, you’d think Rep. John Ward might actually vote with rural Minnesota’s best interests in mind.
On the first day of the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Ward allowed a Minneapolis environmentalist to take control of funding for agriculture and rural Minnesota economic development programs. Rep. Jean Wagenius, an environmentalist representative from Minneapolis, now chairs the committee whose decisions directly impact jobs in our area.
Rep. Ward had an opportunity to resolve this problem, but he failed. He voted against an amendment which would have put rural decisions in the hands of a committee run by a representative from a more fitting place: Austin. Instead, for only the second time in nearly 150 years, a Twin Cities lawmaker will be calling the shots for agriculture.
People from greater Minnesota should make decisions pertaining to agriculture. That is the way it almost always has been and the way it should be today. Yet the very first “real” vote Rep. Ward cast on the House floor this year left rural Minnesota’s future in the hands of an environmentalist from Minneapolis.
I hope Rep. Ward will reconsider his vote, and support any further efforts to recombine the two committees. Together we can help ensure that rural Minnesota is properly represented at the Capitol.
State Rep. Kurt Daudt
State Rep. Rod Hamilton