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Editorial: Koenen is best for Dist. 20 Senate

Voters of Senate District 20 lost a true servant of the people recently when Sen. Gary Kubly died.

On Tuesday, voters in this district will go to the polls in a special election to decide who will replace Kulby.

The candidates on this special ballot are Leon Greenslit, Indpendence.-Olivia; Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City; and Gregg Kulberg, GOP-Hector.

Independence candidate Greenslit, 77, is involved in farming. He is also a CPA at a tax business he owns in Mound. His priorities are to restore delayed payments to local school districts, protect agriculture from animal welfare groups, reduce wasteful spending, enable local governments to utilize highway and bridge funding and supporting voter ID. He is considering running for the new Senate District 17 in the fall.

Democrat candidate Koenen, 55, is the current state representative for District 20B and a lifelong resident off west central Minnesota. His priorities include a balanced budget with a focus on health care and education, a less regressive state tax system, improving state infrastructure, improving internet access in rural Minnesota and economic development. He plans to seek the DFL endorsement for the new Senate District 17 seat.

Republican Kulberg, 54, has experience in agriculture, finance, environmental management, manufacturing and retail. His number one priority he said is voter ID and his next priority is the Vikings stadium. While he said he is running to win this special election, he said he will not run for the Republican nomination for the new Senate District 17 seat and has no other plans to run for state office in the future.

In this special election, District 20 voters will be looking for someone who quickly get up to speed on Senate procedures and best be able to address constituents needs during the remained of Kubly's term.

The candidate who has the knowledge base to best to serve the voters of this district is Koenen. He has served 10 years in the House and understands the Legislature and its processes. Koenen also has worked with his legislative colleague Kubly and understands how the former senator served the district. Koenen knows and understands the specific needs of District 20.

The West Central Tribune recommends Senate 20 voters Tuesday elect Koenen as senator to represent the district for the remainder of Kubly's term.