A guide to the 2018 Midterm Elections

A guide to the 2018 Midterm Elections

Madelyn Swenson, Sports Editor

With Midterm Elections coming up, it can be confusing to know who to vote for. Compiled below is a list of every position that can be voted for in the 2018 Midterm Elections in Winona, Minnesota.

Minnesota Governor:

Tim Walz, democratic farmer labor, and Jeff Johnson, republican, are running for Minnesota Governor.

Walz is a teacher, veteran and football coach from Minnesota. He served as a southern Minnesota Congressman.

“I am committed to a One Minnesota agenda,” Walz was quoted saying in the Star Tribune.

Johnson was the Hennepin County Commissioner, served six years in the Minnesota House of Representatives and started Midwest Employment Resources in 2001.

State Spending Believes that when Minnesota is in a strong fiscal position that it must be reflected in its communities. Calls for honest conversation about priorities for education, health care and infrastructure in the state. Believes the government spends too much and that Minnesotans are taxed more than any other state in the U.S.
Schools Wants to fully fund classrooms. Supports access to pre-k, recruitment of quality teachers and expand technical education. Believes the top-down education policy has failed and wants to free parents, teachers and students from it. In order to do so, he will roll back mandates, simplify funding, give parents more choice in where their students can go to school and more freedoms for teachers.
Guns Supports assault weapons ban, closing the gun show loophole, funding research into gun violence and instituting criminal background checks. Opposed to new restrictions. Says that they will not solve problems. Believes there needs to be discussion about family breakdowns, mental illness, celebration of violence in pop culture and policies that ignore violent student behavior.
Refugees Believes that refugees strengthen that state’s communities. Says the state much continue the tradition but more thoroughly vet. Says resettlement programs are not working and that the program needs to be stopped until it is fixed.
Health Care Will fight to lower cost, increase transparency, lower prescriptions cost and provide public health care through option MinnesotaCare buy in. Wants to protect those with preexisting conditions while forcing more competition into the health care system.


Other candidates include Chris Wright (Grassroots – legalize cannabis), Judith Schwartzbacker (Grassroots – legalize cannabis), Josh Welter (Libertarian) and Mary O’Connor (Libertarian)


Minnesota Secretary of State:

Steve Simon, democratic farmer labor, is running for reflection of the Secretary of State against John Howe, republican.

While Simon was in office, he worked to protect the state election systems from foreign attacks and helped to return Minnesota to the top voter turnout in the nation.

If re-elected, Simon would defend voter rights and election reform and secure the system from outside threats.

Howe, on the other hand, was a former corrections officer, loss prevention manager, firefighter and store owner, former major of Red Wing and former state senator of Red Wing.

If elected, Howe would work to make Minnesota elections the most secure in the nation and use office’s business licensing to enhance growth.

Howe believes that the extent of which ineligible voting in Minnesota is unknown and that greater analysis is needed of the state’s level of election integrity.

Other candidates running for this office include William Denney (Independence).

House of Representatives, MN District 1

Dan Feehan, democrat, and Jim Hagedorn, republican, are running for the U.S. House of Representative for Minnesota’s first district.

Feehan served two tours after 9/11, taught middle school math and served at the Pentagon.

Hagedorn is a former congressional staffer, U.S. Department of Treasury employee and a manager of southern Minnesota businesses.

The Star Tribune reported on the candidates’ views on tariffs, taxes, national debt, immigration and guns.

Tariffs: Knows that farmers are hurting because of tariffs because they are closing markets. Due to this he believes Congress needs to be more involved and the trade war needs to end. Does not favor tariffs and wants to work with President Trump to improve trade policies.
Taxes: Believes that Congress needs create real, direct tax relief for middle class. Says that the 2017 gave bill gave most benefits to the ultra-rich. Supports the 2017 tax bill, citing new jobs in Minnesota, tax cuts for families and reduce corporate taxes on state businesses.
National Debt: Does not support balancing the budget expense of retirement funds. Says that Congress should cut debt by ending the “perpetual war” following 9/11. Does not support entitlement cuts. Believes that those who contribute to Medicare, social security must be given the promised benefits.
Immigration: Supports comprehensive reform must strengthen borders and the economy and minimize migration under dire circumstances. Supports the border wall, merit-based immigration, work programs. Does not support of “catch and release,” and sanctuary cities.
Guns: Believes this to be a personal issue because he was a soldier and teacher. Supports to end gun violence with research, bar violent criminals from getting guns. Against new limits on gun sales. Supports allowing service members to carry guns on bases.


No other candidates are running.


U.S. Senate: General

Amy Klobuchar (democrat) and Jim Newberger (republican) are running for the U.S. Senate in the general election.

General election means that Klobuchar’s seat is open. However, she is running for re-election.

Amy Klobuchar was ranked first for the number of bills she put into law in 2016. She also has one aim which is a “Strong Minnesota.”

Jim Newberger was a paramedic for 30 years, a state representative for three terms, Vice Chairmen of House Jobs and Energy Committee, a Christian mission’s team leader and Becker Planning Commission for two years.

The Star Tribune reported on the pair’s personal views on the issues of taxes, national debt, immigration, health care and guns.

Taxes Supports decreasing middle tax rates, simplifying the tax code and bringing back money that is overseas. Wants to make the 2017 tax cuts permeant. Supports the repeal of estate taxes (to help farmers). Is against to medical device tax.
National Debt Does not support the privatization of social security and Medicare. Does support closing loopholes and cutting subsidies to oil companies Plans to protect social security and Medicare.
Immigration Has worked for a comprehensive reform that includes border security and an accountable pathway to earned citizenship. Supports the Mexico border wall, promote legal immigration, end sanctuary city places and shut down refugee resettlement program.
Health Care Believes that Congress needs to improve not get rid of the Affordable Care Act and reduce premiums through federal reinsurance and cost-sharing Will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it will a free market system. Supports reducing the price of prescription drugs. Thinks that all Minnesotans should be insured by Minnesota Care as a safety.
Guns Supports universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole and keeping guns from terrorists, stalkers and the mentally ill. Supports the Second Amendment. Believes that mental health issues should not affect gun rights.  Supports high school trap shooting leagues.


Other candidates include Paula Overby (MN Green Party) and Dennis Schuller (Legalize Marijuana Now).


U.S. Senate: Special Election

Tina Smith (democrat) and Karin Housley (republican) are running against each other in the U.S. Senate special election race.

Whoever wins on Tuesday, Nov. 6 will be filling the rest of Al Franken’s term, which is three years.

Tina Smith moved to Minnesota 34 years ago to work at General Mills, whereas Karin Housley was born and raised in Minnesota.

Both are business owners.

Housley was in the state Senate in 2012, where she chaired the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee.

The Star Tribune reported on Smith and Housley’s stances on taxes, national debt, immigration, health care and guns.

Taxes Supports tax cuts that make American families a priority rather than rich Americans and large corporations. Wants to make the 2017 GOP tax law permeant.
National Debt Believes that the parties need to work together but does not want to cut programs that Minnesotans rely on. Supports balancing the budget, cutting taxes, encourages innovation, bipartisan fix to protect benefits and keeping the retirement age. She is opposed to privatizing social security.
Immigration Believes that a fair immigration process is needed. Believes that immigrants have done things to benefit the country, similar to the for father but thinks that fixes are needed for the nation’s economy to thrive.
Health Care Does not want to cut the Affordable Care Act. She wants to discuss the rising prices and hold the drug companies responsible. Would repeal the Affordable Care Act on the belief that it raised premiums and reduced care quality. Would support keeping children on plan, pre-existing condition protection, increase transparency, and promote generic prescriptions.
Guns Wants to pass the common-sense gun reforms. Would enforce current laws, improve mental health treatment. Supports reasonable bump stock ban but is open to more dialogue.


Other candidates running for this office include Sarah Wellington (Legal Marijuana Now) and Jerry Trooien (unaffiliated).


Winona City Council:

In the second ward, Gerry Krage and Eileen Moeller are running against each other.

Krage has served on the city council for 32 years. He wants to serve one last term.

Krage wants to see the completion of the revitalization of downtown, as well as continue his work on taxes, public safety and opportunities.

He currently works for the Winona Workforce Center.

Moeller, on the other hand, has no political experience. However, she is involved in the political experience.

She is a board member of Women’s Resource Center (WRC) of Winona, Fine Arts Commission Member and Blandin Community Leadership Program Graduate. She volunteers at WRC, MMWF, FRFF, Boats and Bluegrass, Big muddy and others.

“I learned at an early age how important it is for community members to support and uplift one another,” Moeller wrote for the Winona Daily News.

Moeller works for Great River Shakespeare Festival as the Marketing and Sales Director.

She said that she will work for the transportation needs of the city including fixing streets, bike lanes, bus routes, curb bump outs and others.

In the fourth ward, George Borzyskowski is running for re-election.

He has served on the council for 20 years.

Borzyskowski will continue to push for a solution for the trains that block traffic and crossings and keep neighborhoods safer and cleaner.

He currently works for Peerless Chain as a Material Handler and a forklift instructor for Minnesota Southeast Technical College.

For the at-large seat, Michelle Alexander is running for re-election.

She has served eight years on the council.

Alexander stated in a Winona Daily News article that she will be actively involved, continue to support arts and culture and sports and recreation and improve the passenger rail system.

She is a self-employed real estate and property manager.