Former state Rep. Kris Hasskamp of Rabbit Lake Township filed Tuesday for the District 5 Crow Wing County commissioner seat.
Hasskamp said in her 12-year career as a state representative she acquired knowledge that could be used to serve the citizens in District 5.
Hasskamp said she is concerned for the environment and the quality of life in the county. She also would like to be a personal advocate for the citizens in District 5 to make sure all citizens are treated fairly.
With the county's $59.9 million building project, Hasskamp said, "I would have bent over backward to see what the people thought of the building plan."
Hasskamp said the citizens in District 5 already are paying higher property taxes for schools and adding higher county taxes on top of the school taxes will be a burden to low-income families.
If elected, Hasskamp said she would like to get the public more involved. One way to do this would be to televise the Crow Wing County Board meetings, she said. She also would like more night meetings so people can attend them more easily. And she suggested hosting the meetings at different sites throughout the county for more public involvement.
Another issue Hasskamp would like to explore is how tourists can help financially support the county, since the county is receiving less local government aid from the state.
Debra Copa Nagel
"We need to get some creative ideas," said Hasskamp. "We will be facing some tough times as we grow."
For the District 12B seat, Debra Copa Nagel, of Little Falls, is one of three DFL candidates who has filed for the House seat. Nagel, who ran for the seat in 2002 and received 43.9 percent of the vote against incumbent Rep. Greg Blaine, R-Little Falls, said she was encouraged by the support she received in her first go around for the House seat.
"I think I can make a difference," said Nagel, who filed Friday.
Nagel said she would like to strengthen rural communities through good jobs, economic development and health care. She said a representative needs to fight for what people need.
"There's always debates on issues you believe in, but that's not what is important," Nagel said. "The needs of the community and what the majority of the people want is important."
Filing as the Republican candidate for the District 12A House seat Monday was Paul Gazelka.
Gazelka, of Brainerd, said he is campaigning on several issues, including education, affordable health care and quality jobs -- all while protecting the natural resources of his district.
Gazelka has received the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Rep. Dale Walz, R-Brainerd, who announced he will not seek re-election. Gazelka is the only candidate who has filed to run for the seat.
Gazelka said since he started campaigning, he learned another important issue for people in District 12A and for himself is the definition of marriage, which he feels should be defined as a union between a man and a woman.
"I believe that's the best place we can raise a child in a healthy, productive society," Gazelka said.
Gazelka said he wants to work across party lines, something he feels has been missing from the Legislature recently.
"Maybe being a new face we can get a clean slate, start new and get things done," said Gazelka, noting the lack of accomplishment by this year's Legislature.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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