House District 42A hotly contested again

The margins in the races for House District 42A have been razor thin as of late. Rep. Randy Jessup won the 2016 race by fewer than 200 votes; in 2014, he lost the race by only 220.

Jessup is back at it again, this time as the incumbent, hoping to hold onto the seat for the Republican Party. His challenger for 42A, which consists of Arden HIlls, Mounds View and part of Shoreview, is DFLer Kelly Moller. 

The previously hotly contested district remains so in 2018. Letters to the editor have poured into the paper from district residents voicing both support for or isues with both candidates. 

The candidates answered questions via email including why they are running, what skills and experiences they will bring to office, what they believe to be the top challenges the district and state face and what issues or projects they would prioritize if elected.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

 

Jessup, 57, finishes his first term this year. He is a UPS Store owner and lives in Shoreview with his wife Jan. 

Jessup received an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He said having served as assistant majority leader in the House and with over a decade of corporate leadership experience, he’s earned strong leadership skills.  

“I want to build a strong future for our community and our state, and I want to represent District 42A well in the law-making process,” said Jessup, adding he visits with residents daily, who share goals for health, education, safety, opportunity and financial security. 

Jessup said he is running because he believes bringing people together “generates the best solutions” and that his legislative track record reflects that. 

“My parents deserve credit for modeling a collaborative work ethic and demonstrating the importance of diplomacy in relationships,” he said. 

“Divisiveness across the nation is toxic. Let’s keep it out of Minnesota,” said Jessup. 

He said health care is a top district challenge, adding affordability and access to such care have improved, “but cost transparency is lacking.”

Jessup also said school safety and education, budgets, distracted driving and partisan politics are chief challenges. He said he would continue to support robust school safety measures and investments in innovative education. Taxing seniors’ social security benefits, he said, should stop, and he said he would support tougher laws for distracted driving and advocate for victims. 

If re-elected, he said he would prioritize the issues mentioned above and carrying “the collective interests of the people of District 42A to the Capitol.”

Jessup also said he would continue meeting and listening to people in the district community. 

“I have and will host ongoing coffee shop gatherings and town hall-style conversations, visit residents at their door, even in non-election years, email weekly legislative updates  — send me your email — and respond promptly via other communication channels,” he said.

 

Moller, 45, is an assistant Hennepin County attorney. She lives in Shoreview with her husband Kevin. 

Moller has a JD from Hamline University School of Law. As an assistant county attorney and having served as an assistant attorney general, Moller said she has “a deep understanding of the law and experience advocating for Minnesotans.” She said her time as executive director of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime, and leading an initiative to reform hit and run legislation, have taught her “how to build coalitions and enact meaningful change at the Capitol.” 

As a district resident for 20 years, and a mother with children in Mounds View Public Schools, Moller said she understands and is invested in the community. 

“I never imagined running for office but was encouraged to do so by friends and family after the 2016 election,” she said, pointing out she has been seeking justice for victims for two decades, and is running “to elevate the voices of people who are impacted by the laws created.”

Moller said she has heard from many people in district communities facing challenges with rising costs of health care and prescription drugs. She said she favors cost transparency and allowing people to buy into “the already successful MinnesotaCare health care plan.”

The other chief concern, as Moller sees it, is transportation, “especially as more people will be moving here once [Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant] lands are developed.” She said the district needs a leader who will work with city and county officials to ensure the region receives road and transit funding, and that expanding transit options benefit “local businesses, the environment and our seniors.”

Moller said she would prioritize gun violence prevention. 

“I’ve seen a lot of gun violence as a prosecutor, and I’ve heard from others in our community that they are concerned about the safety of their children,” she said, adding most Minnesotans prefer “keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people by enacting universal background checks and red flag laws.” 

Moller said it’s time to enact “common sense gun law,” and that she will lead the efforts for this legislation at the Capitol. 

 

For more information about voting, go to www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.

 

-Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

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