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Published November 01 2012

Forum editorial: Hansen, Reimche, Marquart

It might be a tall order to repair the dysfunction in the Minnesota Legislature, but Phil Hansen, candidate for District 4 Senate, has the temperament to be part of the process. The former NFL Buffalo Bills defensive end knows about teamwork and compromise, two qualities in short supply in St. Paul.

The owner of a small business in Detroit Lakes, Hansen also has roots in a family farm. Those experiences add to his qualifications for office.

Rep. Kent Eken is a competent legislator who has represented his constituents well. He wants to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Keith Langseth, who has endorsed Eken. That’s a potent endorsement.

But newcomer Hansen has more of what the Legislature needs, not the least of which is the strength to go against a political party agenda if it does not serve the people he represents. Hansen is prepared to be a good state senator.

Travis Reimche gets the nod in House District 4A to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Morrie Lanning. Lanning has endorsed Reimche, and that support means a lot in Moorhead and the district. The campaign has been marred by gutter-level political advertising voters say they hate, but it’s come from the state party, not Reimche.

Ben Lien has run a clean campaign but does not have the depth and seasoning of his opponent. Reimche seems more in tune with the community he intends to serve. He has sought public office previously, and lost, but not given up. His philosophy of legislative responsibility is multifaceted and nuanced, as it must be in order to reach across the partisan divide.

Reimche is the right choice.

Rep. Paul Marquart should be re-elected in House District 4B by virtue of his outstanding performance in St. Paul and his broad-based experience in local government. He’s former mayor of Dilworth.

Marquart is one of the Legislature’s genuine tax experts. He understands how a fair and balanced tax structure can benefit all Minnesotans, especially businesses and developers in border cities. Never one to be bullied either by party or lobbyists, Marquart has been a strong voice for the best interests of his constituents.

Challenger Paul Sandman gives lip service to bipartisanship but tends to swallow whole his party’s line – which is one reason the Legislature has been unable to function as it should.

Marquart’s record at home and in St. Paul recommends him for another term.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.