Ex-radio broadcaster David Allan Pundt used to report on election results. Now he's a candidate.
Pundt on Monday announced his candidacy for the Legislature's House District 12A seat. The district includes Brainerd, Baxter and Nisswa, Crosby-Ironton, Riverton and Trommald. Pundt will seek the endorsement at the Crow Wing County Republican Party convention on June 10.
Rep. John Ward, DFL, currently serves House District 12A.
Pundt has spent the last eight years as KLKS news director in Breezy Point and has worked at five other broadcast stations in radio journalism. Pundt, 62, retired from his KLKS job on Friday.
Once, when Pundt asked a candidate why he was running for office, the candidate told him there were a couple of choices - complain and see nothing accomplished or get involved and change something to make it better.
David Allan Pundt
"That connected," Pundt said. "I'm very excited about this. As soon as I made the decision I wasn't sorry. I was enthused. I was excited about it. I'm ready to go. I'm excited to get going and get out and campaign."
Pundt moved to Crow Wing County with his parents in 1958. He attended Washington High School in Brainerd and Brainerd Junior College and spent a couple of summers working at the Potlatch paper mill. After two years of college, he joined the United States Air Force and served in Vietnam.
Pundt said he was always interested in government and started to major in political science in college but switched to broadcasting. This is his first candidacy for public office.
Regarding issues, Pundt said he is interested in less government and lower taxes, adding there are many issues in which government intrudes in people's personal lives.
He didn't have specifics about programs he would cut or shrink.
"If there was an easy, short answer someone else would have come up with it by now," he said.
Pundt said he was in favor of several recent health care reform measures, such as tax credits for health savings accounts, but he believes the free market has to be involved if costs are to go down. He favored repealing the recent state gas tax increase. He said if it's true highway and bridges need more repair, there are other options such as a bonding to pay for projects.
One area Pundt wants to focus on is education. He plans to put together a retired group of educators to talk about ways to improve education that won't necessarily make it more expensive. Many times, Pundt said, he's heard people say the school system uses a 1940s model in the 21st century.
"It doesn't seem like public education is always concentrating on students," he said.
In regard to balancing both demands for services and reduced government, Pundt said he didn't have concrete answers, but if taxes go up businesses are going to leave the state, jobs will go away and opportunities will disappear.
"I don't have the specific answers," Pundt said. "But there has got to be a better way. There are ways out there to streamline government."
And Pundt said he's looking forward to campaigning and finding out how the people of Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa and western Crow Wing County would put the state back on the right track and what they want done.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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