Wright County voters will decide between two candidates to represent the Republican Party in the race for the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 30B, which includes the communities of St. Michael and Albertville and portions of Hanover, Otsego and Dayton. Candidates are St. Michael City Council member Kevin Kasel, and Dayton City Council member Eric Lucero, who was endorsed at the party’s Wright County convention earlier this year.
Kasel entered the race after the endorsing convention.
Voters in the primary can vote for either party, but must cast a so-called party ballot, where each vote is cast for the same party throughout the Aug. 12 ballot. In the general election in November, registered voters can vote for either party. Failure to follow these guidelines results in a voided ballot.
In Minnesota, voters do not have to register with a select party, so can vote for either party in the primary election.
Absentee and “early voting” periods are already opened throughout the state.
The Minnesota House of Representatives is a two-year term. The Minnesota Constitution provides that legislators’ compensation is set by law. The annual salary for representatives and senators is $31,140 annually.
Name: Eric Lucero
Residence: Dayton, MN
Family: Wife Erum
Years in What is Now District 30 community:
14 years in Dayton and in District since 2009
Dayton City Council Member
Endorsements (please limit to 5):
Elmer (Ike) Eichelberg, Post Commander of Saint Michael American Legion, former Wright County Commissioner, former Saint Michael Mayor, former teacher
Mary Kiffmeyer, State Senator
Chris Kauffman, Mayor of Hanover
Judy Beaudry, Albertville
Brad Praught, Otsego
What has inspired you to run for State House?
Trust and accountability.
As a teacher with a passion for people, I have committed myself to helping others. People are increasingly of the opinion establishment politicians are disconnected from the grassroots. The Establishment continues to say one thing and do another, create policies and laws which hurt families and businesses, and increasingly replace individual liberty with government coercion. The result is young people are being crushed with unmanageable debt, are seeing long standing opportunities begin to dim, and have a sense of hopelessness.
I am a member of the next generation who is committed to realigning government priorities, reigning in government spending, and restoring the trust young people deserve to have in their elected officials.
The two of you see eye-to-eye on many of the issues. What separates you from your opponent?
As Representative, the background and real world experience I will bring the legislature is why I am the most qualified candidate. People recognize this, and is the reason I won Republican endorsement by a vote of 74 percent (Editor’s note: Kasel entered the race after the endorsement process).
My background can be found here, via EricLucer.com
What issues do you see being the biggest affecting District 30 over the next biennium (2 years)?
• Equity in Education Funding
Students and taxpayers deserve an education finance structure which treats everybody equally. Under the current finance structure for example, Saint Michael-Albertville ISD 885 ranks last in the state for annual per pupil general education funding at $6,882 per student. The statewide average is $9,037 per student with Minneapolis at $12,334 per student. As an educator and current college instructor teaching valuable skills to the next generation, ensuring equal opportunity education is a top priority for me. Minnesota’s school finance framework is unnecessarily complex and must be reformed to place greater emphasis on base funding over the myriad of categorical designations. I have the hands on experience in the classroom and business MBA background to achieve a more streamlined system of education finance.
• Expanded Roads, Bridges, and I-94 through Albertville
Many dollars of hard working families and businesses are wasted to an inefficient transportation system. According to the I-94 West Corridor Coalition’s “Green Light 94” website, General Mills reports they lose $2 million for every 1 MPH reduction in travel speed of its product delivery fleet, and UPS reports they lose $20 million for every minute of delay in its deliveries nationwide. This at the same time the Metropolitan Council is pushing the $1.6 billion Southwest Light Rail project. The Metropolitan Council and other urban core central planners are siphoning money away from needed road and bridge projects. Working to secure funding to add a third lane to I-94 through Albertville will be one of my top priorities.
• Pro Job Growth Policies
In 2013, Democrats voted to raise taxes on hard working families and businesses by nearly two billion dollars. In 2014, Democrats voted to cut some of the very taxes they raised the year before. Actions such as these create economic instability, paralyze businesses, prevent job creation, and cause businesses to move out of state. As a holder of an MBA from Carlson School of Management, a college instructor, a licensed real estate agent, a licensed general contractor, and the owner of three small businesses, I have a broad business background. I understand the positive and negative impacts State policies have on businesses. I will fight for policies which help businesses succeed. When businesses succeed jobs are created, the economy improves, and the financial security of families is strengthened.
What can you bring to the table for the Republican Caucus if elected in the general election?
According to listed occupations of the 201 current members of the State Legislature, not a single member has a Cyber Security background. Data security has become very important in our lives. Whether smart phones, Internet connected furnaces, garage doors, health records, college courses, IRS missing emails, or future online voting, technology is increasingly shaping every sphere of our lives. Moreover, government’s increasing appetite for the use of license plate tracking, digital facial recognition, Big Data analytics, pattern analysis, etc. have the potential for direct impact to Citizens’ First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment rights, etc.
As State Representative, I will bring my strong computer security background and my experience working with the Millennial Generation to the MN Legislature and Republican Caucus to help guide State policy for the protection of Citizen digital privacy.
How can you help a Republican Party that is in the minority now, and might be again in 2014?
Outreach. My Hispanic ethnicity and my wife’s East Indian ethnicity, my connection with young people, and my experience with the business community will all help outreach initiatives to grow the Republican Party through articulating the values of Individual Liberty, Free Market Capitalism, and Limited Government.
How might you help a Republican majority move the state ahead in 2015 and beyond?
The future is the children. My experience with young people as a teacher and my experience as a computer technologist is why young people easily connect with me. I understand their concerns because I live their concerns. I know the impact and role technology plays in the lives of the next generation. As State Representative, I will help the state in 2015 and beyond by addressing the concerns of and protecting the future of the next generation.
Editor’s Note: The questions and answers were compiled via e-mail, and not edited (unless truncated for space or due to repetition). Each candidate was given unlimited space to respond to each question posed by NWCToday.
Happee in STMA says
Wow! He FINALLY answered a media questionnaire AFTER I wrote the following Letter to the Editor and posted it on Facebook:
As an active participant in the political process, I take the time to learn about each candidate before deciding whether to support him or her. I read websites and literature, look at voting records, and ask questions to ensure I make an informed decision. Unfortunately, it seems that we do not have the “luxury” to make one in the House District 30B Republican Primary race.
Republican candidate Kevin Kasel has talked openly with voters and the media, shared his contact info, and offered to participate in debates, but candidate Eric Lucero seems unwilling to give voters the opportunity to get to know him.
In February, Lucero claimed that he was not doing any interviews until after the endorsing convention. Five months later, he’s still refused ALL media interviews, including one on the most popular conservative radio show in the Twin Cities. Lucero has not even responded to Wright County Tea Party requests to a debate, moderated by David Strom with questions submitted from both candidates! What does he have to hide?
A campaign is like a job interview. We have one candidate who refuses to answers questions, talk to the media, or participate in debates. If Lucero is unresponsive and out of touch now, there’s no reason to think it will change if he’s elected. Good thing we have another candidate for the job. I’ll be voting for Kevin Kasel on August 12 and encourage everyone in St. Michael, Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, and (part of) Dayton to do the same.
Happee in STMA says
It’s good to see he finally has an understanding of what equity funding is and isn’t. It seems like the only reason he started talking about it and transportation funding is because Kevin Kasel for MN House 30B has been emphasizing it throughout his campaign. The ONLY issue Lucero emphasized before the endorsement was gay marriage and an anti-FitzSimmons campaign. The truth does matter, but Eric Lucero has been dishonest from the beginning, running a slanderous campaign against Rep. David FtizSimmons, violating campaign rules while on the Wright Conty GOP board, and refusing to debate or participate in any media interviews (including ones with the #1 conservative talk radio station in the Twin Cities). What does he have to hide? Anyone can answer questionnaires and tell people what they want to hear (or copy from someone else), but I want to hear from both candidates in an unscripted, fair manner.
Happee in STMA says
I am thrilled that Kevin Kasel announced his candidacy as a Republican candidate for Representative in House District 30B. Kevin’s desire to foster cooperation and build relationships is something we greatly need right now. Kevin has served on the St. Michael City Council since 2007 and has demonstrated conservative values of limited government, free market principles, and liberty while serving. He has shown wonderful leadership, a desire to serve, an understanding of the issues, and a down-to-earth connection with residents. He states he will be focusing on issues most important to residents of 30B: “equity funding for schools, transportation, and stemming the tide of an increasingly expensive and expansive state government.” These are issues that affect our community on a daily basis and I know Kevin will follow through on his promises. We now have the opportunity in the August 12 primary election to choose the best candidate to represent everyone in our district, one who has experience, leadership skills, connection with our community, and understanding of ALL of the issues. I am happy to know Kevin and excited to support Kevin’s candidacy.
Happee in STMA says
He lists Judy Beaudry as one of his endorsements. That’s ironic because she ran as a Democrat candidate for Senate.
seems like Lucero’s endorsements don’t hold anything compared to Kasel’s.