But Andreasen isn’t a political novice

But voters focus on Iraq

canada goose factory sale The 1st District once occupied a cozy corner of southeast Minnesota. It was centered on Rochester, but included cities like Mankato, Austin, Winona and Albert Lea. But when canada goose outlet real a five judge panel redrew the congressional map last spring, the district nearly doubled in size. It’s nicknamed the “I 90 district” now after the interstate highway canada goose outlet eu it follows from the Wisconsin to South canada-goose-outlet Dakota borders. That means more voters and a host of introductions. canada goose factory sale

Canada Goose sale Democrat Steve Andreasen says the expansion of the 1st District helps him. He says it reduces the natural advantages of incumbency. Canada Goose sale

He believes the district is almost equally split between Democrats, Republicans and Independents. He says the voters think for themselves and aren’t afraid to vote for a first time candidate. But Andreasen isn’t a political novice. working for the State Department and the National Security Council before returning to Minnesota last year.

canada goose coats He was criticized during the DFL endorsement race for his Washington ties. But Andreasen says voters never bring it up. canada goose coats

canada goose uk outlet “What I sense is folks actually appreciate that I have not only my Minnesota roots, canada goose outlet in canada but also experience in Washington working on national security issues for a number of years. And canada goose outlet that’s an attractive combination to people I think as they look ahead to the challenges that are going to face the Congress and our nation over the next decade,” Andreasen said. canada goose uk outlet

He says his experience is well suited to what has become a major issue in the district: Iraq. Andreasen favors the use of force canada goose outlet in montreal as a last option. He wants weapons inspectors to go back to Iraq. But he says they must have “anytime, anywhere” access and force is an option if that standard is not met.

cheap canada goose uk The focus on Iraq in the 1st District has overshadowed traditional election year canada goose jacket outlet store issues like farming, health and education. The major candidates all canada goose outlet hong kong agree that Saddam canada goose sale uk Hussein is a threat, but differ on how to deal with him. should be cautious. lead attack on Iraq. Attacking seems to be the easy way. It’s always tougher to negotiate and try and work out your problems,” Mikkelson says. cheap canada goose uk

Mikkelson farms near Lake Crystal. He also runs a grain business. Mikkelson admits he isn’t completely in step with the Green Party platform, but says he’s working in that direction. For example, the party platform promotes organic farming over chemically dependent agriculture. Mikkelson still uses herbicides, but says he’s cutting back.

Farming is important but it’s not the major issue in his campaign. Mikkelson is most interested in changing the political system. He says money has taken over politics. He says candidates are too obligated to canada goose outlet uk their contributors. He has a different vision of political life.

“It’s about putting the issues in front of the people; understanding what I’m about and me understanding what they’re about. Not about fundraising and smiling and waving and kissing babies,” he says.

But there was a time this fall when Mikkelson almost dropped out of the race. He employs about a dozen people in his grain business. In late September one worker became trapped in a storage bin and died. Mikkelson’s first impulse was to quit the grain business and politics. But friends and supporters urged him to continue.

“It makes most of our human endeavors seem pretty trivial

Canada Goose Jackets when we’re faced with a tragedy like this. Is it worth it really to be working so many hours and to be campaigning and fighting for issues here?” Canada Goose Jackets

He says the one issue he cares about most is getting more people involved in the political system. Mikkelson says most politicians stay in office too long. He might be surprised that the incumbent he’s trying to beat agrees with that.

uk canada goose outlet “I honestly do believe in term limits,” says 1st District Rep. Gil Gutknecht. “The problem is we’ve never been able to get canada goose outlet jackets them passed.” uk canada goose outlet

The Republican from Rochester has won all of his elections by comfortable margins. He was first elected to Congress in 1994. His closest call came two years later, a six point win.

Before Congress he served six terms in the Minnesota House. He says while he believes in term limits he also likes the benefits of seniority. “I am now the third ranking member on the Budget Committee. I am the vice chairman of the full Science Committee. I can get more done and I know my way around better today because I have seniority.”

cheap Canada Goose Gutknecht has been busy working the new first district counties since the lines were redrawn last spring. He says voters there seem to like his message. “I made it my first pilgrimage to places like Fairmont, and Jackson and Worthington, Pipestone. And the reception has been just excellent.” cheap Canada Goose

“Will Germany ever join this effort? Probably not. But I think Czechoslovakia will, I know that Great Britain will, I know that Spain will, I know that Italy will, and I believe that ultimately Russia will join us in that effort, because I think they all understand that this isn’t just America’s war,” he says. “This really is about defining whether we have the will to stand up to despots who will build and ultimately deploy weapons of mass destruction.”

canada goose Gutknecht says the Iraq debate and budget issues will keep the House in session well into October. That means he can only campaign during weekends. But Gutknecht isn’t worried. He says a strong base of volunteers and money will make up the lack of campaign time canada goose.


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