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Rev. Matt Valan, Moorhead, Published October 25 2012

Letter: Eken right for Senate District 4

Like many residents of western Minnesota I consider myself a political independent. I carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of candidates and make my choices based on character, experience, intelligence and leadership qualities. As a lifelong resident of the Red River Valley and an owner of a fifth-generation family farm, it is important for me to have a senator who shares my deep lifetime love and respect for this land and the people of all ages and stations in life who live here. Public service is a calling, not just a bucket list check off.

Kent Eken, like Sen. Keith Langseth and Sen. Doug Sillers before him, has lived among us all his life. He understands the unique legislative challenges this region faces. Eken has the experience to begin working for us immediately when the new session begins. Eken is a trusted man and a respected voice here and throughout the entire state.

In my life calling as a Lutheran pastor, I have learned that in trying times it is important to raise up leaders who have been tested in the fire of the arena and who have faithfully persevered. Eken has served honorably as a farmer, teacher and legislator.

In my opinion, this is not a time to train in a new player. Please ignore the senseless attack ads and elect an experienced and trusted neighbor to be our voice at the state capital. I trust Eken, and I will cast my vote for him to be our senator in Minnesota District 4.

Valan is pastor at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Moorhead.