HUTCHINSON -- Incumbent Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, and challenger Steven Schiroo, the DFL-endorsed candidate from Cokato, are seeking election to the Minnesota Senate seat in District 18.
District 18 includes all of Meeker, McLeod and Sibley counties, plus the city of Cokato and Cokato Township in Wright County.
Newman has served one term as the district's senator and previously served two terms in the state House of Representatives from District 18A from 2004 to 2007.
The incumbent cites two reasons why he is seeking the office. The first reason is that citizens are expected to step forward to serve under our constitutional system. "I think as a citizen, that it is a responsibility," Newman said.
Second, Newman noted that his experience as an administrative law judge, three years of service just prior to his election to the Senate, puts him in the position to know how the state rules and regulations affect businesses, because he heard and decided exactly those types of cases.
Schiroo did not respond to multiple requests for an interview with the Tribune. He did tell the Hutchinson Leader while he's always been interested in policy and creating an equitable system of government, he decided to get involved when he was working at a group home while the state government shut down in July 2011.
He also told the Leader that he is primarily concerned about education and preparing our infrastructure for the future.
"I think that we need to do everything we can now to retake the top in the nation for education," Schiroo told the Leader. "That's why companies have come to Minnesota in the past even though our tax rates appear higher, because we've got strong workers, people that really know how to work hard and we've got educated workers."
Newman lists regulatory reform as one of his leading priorities. While he believes there is a need for government involvement with rules and regulations, today's rules have "a lot less to do with health and safety than with perpetuating the growth of government," he said.
Family: Wife, Ginny; three children; five grandchildren
Career: Legislator, former Hennepin County sheriff's deputy, private practice attorney for many years, administrative law judge
Civic experience: Involved in many civic and fraternal organizations, current or past member of several conservation groups and civic organizations in the Hutchinson area
Career: previously worked for Hutchinson Technology, now works at group home in Cokato.