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Re-election is the trend in Senate District 43
Wiger, Lillie and Fischer headed back to state Capitol
Much has stayed the same in State Senate District 43 after the Nov. 8 election. Incumbent Charles “Chuck” Wiger was re-elected to his Senate seat and incumbent State House representatives Peter Fischer and Leon Lillie, who campaigned together with Wiger, were also re-elected. All three are members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Charles “Chuck” Wiger
Wiger, 65, received 56.95 percent of the votes in District 43, which is made up of part or all of Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, Willernie, North St. Paul, Oakdale and Birchwood Village.
Bob Zick, 70, who had the Republican Party endorsement received 35.43 percent of the district votes and Chris Belflower of the Independence Party won 7.48 percent of the vote. Write-in votes accounted for .14 percent.
Wiger, a lawyer and lifelong resident of the area, has held the District 43 seat for 20 years. He has been actively involved in the community since his days as a college student, and now works part-time for Securian as an attorney and senior compliance coordinator.
He has served as chair of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School Board, chair of the Ramsey Soil and Water Conservation District board and on the Metropolitan Council. Last legislative session while he was serving his sixth term, Wiger was on several committees including as the chair of the E-12 Budget Division, the chair of the Education committee, as a member of the Transportation and Public Safety Budget Division and as a member of the Transportation and Public Safety committee.
In a pre-election questionnaire, Wiger said that education achievement and equitable school funding will continue to be high priorities for him in the next legislative session.
He added that jobs and water sustainability also continue to be very important to him.
Fischer, 58, received 54.95 percent of the state House District 43A votes. His Republican opponent, former Maplewood mayor Bob Cardinal, 64, received 44.84 percent of the votes.
District 43A includes Maplewood Precincts 1 through 9, White Bear Lake Precincts 3 through 5, Mahtomedi and Willernie.
Fischer said after he found out he won the race, “it was very humbling and I felt very honored to be able to represent the district again.”
Fischer said that his campaign included knocking on many doors, visiting with constituents over the phone as well as attending meetings with district residents.
“I’m always concerned going into an election. That’s just the way it is. You never know if people may decide that I’ve done enough service and it’s time for somebody else,” Fischer said.
This will be Fischer’s third term, and the previous session he served on the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee, the Health and Human Services Reform committee and the Veterans Affairs Division.
In an interview after the election Fischer said that in the upcoming legislative session he plans to focus on transportation and transit as well as water, groundwater and the sustainable use of groundwater in the area. Another issue that Fischer said came up late, but that he plans to focus on is the cost and availability of healthcare and medical insurance.
“I think the big thing is it's going to be having a discussion with votes on all sides and looking for a good path forward,” Fischer said.
Fischer is the full-time director of finance and operations for Avenues for Homeless Youth. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and he lives in Maplewood.
Lillie, 55, received 59.52 percent of the State House District 43B votes. His opponent, Nathan Hansen, 40, won 40.23 percent of the votes and write-in votes accounted for .24 percent.
District 43B includes North St. Paul, the portion of Oakdale north of Tenth Street and Maplewood Precincts 10 and 11.
Lillie lives in North St. Paul and is a ground services employee at Delta Airlines. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Luther College.
This will be Lillie’s seventh term, and in a pre-election questionnaire he stated that he has worked hard to be a strong voice for Oakdale, Maplewood and North St. Paul by advocating for issues that are brought to him by residents or other local leaders.
After his re-election Lillie said he plans to continue supporting strong education programs and funding, from early childhood through the higher education institutions. He also said he wants to be sure the state is prepared to support the changes that will come with the wave of aging baby boomers retiring from the workplace, as well as the impacts they will have on the healthcare system.
Last session, Lillie served on the several committees including as the DFL lead on the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy committee. He also served on the Capital Investment committee, the Commerce and Regulatory Reform committee and the Legacy Funding Finance committee.
Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or email@example.com.