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Forum Communications Co. endorsements: A summary of our Minnesota endorsements for Election 2022

Here are the FCC endorsements for U.S. Congress and state races in Minnesota. These endorsements represent the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management.

FCC Editorial Advisory Board
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We are part of The Trust Project.

Forum Communications Co. and its newspapers provide a variety of endorsements in political races in the general election. ... We endorse candidates and issues because we believe it is our newspaper's responsibility as active and informed members of our community to express our informed ideas. ... Each voter should then make their own decision when they cast their absentee or early ballot or on Nov. 8 in the voting booth.

These Minnesota endorsements represent the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management and were written by the company's FCC Editorial Advisory Board.

Below is a summary of Forum Communications Co.'s for U.S. Congress and Minnesota state offices for Election 2022.

U.S. Congress

Minnesota Congressional District Map, 2022
Minnesota Congressional District Map, 2022
Minnesota Legislature / Legislative Coordinating Commission

House — 7th District

U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., the freshman who represents western Minnesota’s 7th District, was among the majority of Republicans who voted to dispute the (Electoral College) count, part of efforts to subvert the will of voters and keep then-President Donald Trump in office. ... The vote, which Fischbach has not repudiated, was not only notorious, it was disqualifying. ...

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Fischbach failed to exercise independence and good judgment. She joined the pack, placing loyalty to party above loyalty to country. She has not earned our endorsement for re-election, and she does not deserve it. ... (Her vote) set a "horrible precedent" and we cannot endorse her for re-election.

Fischbach’s DFL challenger, Jill Absahain, hasn’t mounted much of a campaign. ... Travis "Bull" Johnson is the Legalize Marijuana Now candidate.

We are therefore unable to endorse any candidate in Minnesota’s 7th District race.

Michelle Fischbach's irresponsible vote to dispute Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election set a "horrible precedent" and we cannot endorse her for re-election.

House — 1st District

Brad Finstad
Brad Finstad
Submitted photo

Both (Jeff) Ettinger and (Brad) Finstad seem closer to the middle of their respective political parties than to the extremists who dominate today's discourse, and while the two have followed very different career paths, they each have skill sets — particularly in agriculture — that could serve the 1st District quite well. ...

Ultimately, however, we choose to endorse the candidate who will best represent and is most connected to the people who live, work and raise their families in southern Minnesota. That candidate is Brad Finstad ...

Ettinger, on the other hand, comes across as a bit more of a political renegade. The California native and former CEO of Hormel Foods in Austin has no previous political experience, and despite his age, his candidacy has more than a little “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” vibe to it. If there is such a thing as a pragmatic idealist, Ettinger might be one. ...

We agree with a lot of the positions Ettinger holds, but Finstad checks a lot of very important boxes – especially for voters who want “deliverables” for the 1st District.

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We are confident that he would wield the power of his position for the benefit of all Minnesotans, not just those who agree with him.

House — 8th District

Jen Schultz talks with her supporters as she announces she is running for the U.S. House of Representatives
Jen Schultz talks with her supporters as she announces she is running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Minnesota’s 8th District on Monday morning, March 28, 2022, in the Duluth City Hall Rotunda.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

For eight years, Jen Schultz served in a politically divided state legislature — and was able to get important measures passed anyway to help everyday Minnesotans facing addiction, mental health challenges, homelessness, difficulties affording their prescription drugs, and other matters. She has stepped up where the government is counted on to provide help and make a real difference.

Schultz is running now to represent an 8th Congressional District that largely has been abandoned by an incumbent seemingly more focused on party, and even extreme tangents within his party, than on the people he was elected to serve. Perhaps most disqualifying, Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber of Hermantown signed on to the Texas lawsuit that sought to overturn the will of the voters following the 2020 presidential election, making him part of the same coup that led to the violent and deadly Jan. 6, 2021, overrun of the U.S. Capitol.

“I will represent everyone,” Schultz vowed, in stark contrast to the current representation, in an exclusive interview this fall with Forum Communications. ...

Meanwhile, in Congress, Stauber’s votes increasingly have become partisan rather than what’s in the best interest of Minnesota and his constituents. He voted against lowering pharmaceutical and insulin costs, against an independent investigation of Jan. 6, against equal pay, and against grants to make needed repairs to regional airports, as just a few examples. Despite voting against the airport grants, he attempted to publicly tout them anyway . ...

Stauber is no longer the same devoted representative Northeastern Minnesota first sent to D.C. on our behalf in 2018. He’s become unresponsive to constituents and the media alike. ...

Voters on Nov. 8, or sooner via early voting, can give her that chance.

This endorsement represents the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management.

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Minnesota

Governor

Dr. Scott Jensen
Dr. Scott Jensen, Republican governor candidate, 2022
Submitted / Elizabeth Rymer

While Gov. Tim Walz can argue that he and his administration faced unprecedented situations during his four years in office, the fact remains that in the biggest moments, Walz and his cabinet made decisions that caused or contributed to the economic hardships, anxiety, depression and lawlessness that continue to plague Minnesota.

We've seen enough. On Nov. 8, voters should fire Tim Walz and hire Dr. Scott Jensen to be Minnesota's 42nd governor. ...

We have no doubt that Scott Jensen has learned from the mistakes of Minnesota's current governor and will not repeat them. Furthermore, we're convinced that he's the leader we need to expand our economy, improve our mental health and return to the time when our public schools were the envy of the nation.

From the editorial: "We've seen enough from Tim Walz to know that we don't trust his instincts. ... We have no doubt that Scott Jensen has learned from the mistakes of Minnesota's current governor and will not repeat them."

Attorney General

Jim Schultz.jpeg
Jim Schultz

The Minnesota attorney general race is expected to be the closest statewide race on Nov. 8. ...

A fifth-generation Minnesotan from Stearns County, Jim Schultz is the Republican challenger seeking the Attorney General's Office. (He) practiced law in the private sector, working for two prominent law firms and a Minnesota company specializing in business, regulatory and compliance law. ...

Keith Ellison, 59, is seeking a second four-year term. However, he has spent too much time focusing on fighting Minnesota’s businesses. ... The attorney general also has joined the effort against the fossil fuel industry, seeking climate-change damages, which could impact the Midwest economy. ... And Ellison has not been aggressive enough in fighting the violent crime increase of recent years. ...

Schultz is the better choice for Minnesota’s Attorney General office to fight violent crime, support state businesses, fight for consumers and support law enforcement. He deserves Minnesotans’ vote on Nov. 8.

Republican Schultz's campaign focus has been public safety, economic prosperity, the Constitution and consumer protection. He continually promises to address the state’s violent crime trend by expanding the Attorney General Office’s criminal division. He also has the endorsement of nearly two dozen county sheriffs and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

Secretary of State

steve-simon.jpg
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon
State of Minnesota photo

If the Nov. 8 election was an employee performance review, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon could make a pretty convincing case for a pay raise. He certainly wouldn’t deserve to be fired. ...

In contrast, Simon’s Republican opponent, Kim Crockett, denied the results of the 2020 election and referred to the vote as rigged. ...

“I want to build on Minnesota’s success story; 2020 was the ultimate stress test for our democracy, and we passed the test. In Minnesota, I’d say we aced the test,” Simon said in an exclusive interview this fall with Forum Communications.

This Forum Communications Co. editorial represents the views of Forum Communications Co., this newspaper's parent company. It was written by the FCC Editorial Advisory Board. Readers may send feedback to:
fccadvisory@forumcomm.com

Newspapers make political endorsements to provide voters insight and an opinion of the best candidate to govern. The final decision lies with each voter when they enter the voting booth.
These endorsements represent the opinion of West Central Tribune Editorial Board. The final decision lies with each voter when casting their secret ballot. Please remember to vote.

The FCC Editorial Advisory Board is a collection of Forum Communications Co. leaders and editors who advise management and write editorials and commentary on the company's editorial positions and operations periodically.
Readers may contact the editorial board via email:
fccadvisory@forumcomm.com
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