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Dave Olson, Published April 18 2010

Minnesota governor hopeful campaigns to seniors

Minnesota DFL gubernatorial hopeful Matt Entenza spoke to a group of voters in Moorhead on Saturday he sees as playing a crucial role in this summer’s primary election.

“The senior vote might be the most important part of this election,” Entenza told a small group of residents at Eventide’s Linden Tree Circle apartments.

Entenza, a former state representative, is expected to be one of many Democrats on the Aug. 10 primary election ballot seeking to be the party’s candidate for governor.

He said he plans to visit at least 100 senior centers, letting residents know about his experience as a lawmaker and as a prosecuting attorney.

Entenza told Eventide residents that he once prosecuted a pair of self-proclaimed ministers who stole money raised to help a young girl pay for a liver transplant.

He said one of his proudest moments was presenting the girl’s family with a check after the money was recovered.

Entenza talked about the need to create economic opportunities in Minnesota, and he said as governor he would promote clean energy, including wind power.

“It means more rural jobs,” he said.

After the meeting with seniors, Entenza said solving Minnesota’s budget problems will take a combination of steps that include increasing revenue and cutting the number of state agencies.

“I do believe we have to raise revenue on the wealthiest in our state; they’ve paid less in taxes than others,” Entenza said.

He said he would also work to merge the office of higher education into the department of education.

“I don’t believe we can afford to have two departments of education,” Entenza said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555