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Dudley C. Wells, Twin Valley, Minn., Published November 02 2012

Letter: Hansen seems unable to influence a dirty campaign by Republicans

The Republican Party from the start has been running one of the dirtiest campaigns for state Senate I have seen in 40 years, stuffing my mailbox with attack ads against Kent Eken, the Democratic senatorial candidate for District 4. The GOP candidate, Phil Hansen, advocates for good sportsmanship in his summer sports camps, and he says he wants to use “statesmanship” as a legislator. His party, however, seems unfettered by such noble sentiments, and Hansen does not seem to be able to influence his party.

Until this year, Hansen has shown no interest in politics or in Minnesota lawmaking. He also has no record of public service and has, in fact, spent his entire adult life immersed in playing sports. The Republicans are clearly taking advantage of Hansen’s athletic name recognition in their all-out drive to keep political control of the Legislature.

I applaud Hansen for running for public office, but I have doubts about his potential effectiveness as our senator. And I think the state Senate is hardly the place for him to begin his new political career. The 2013 session of the Minnesota Legislature will face many critical economic difficulties and other serious problems, and I would much prefer to be represented by someone with significant legislative experience.

Eken has 10 solid years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and I believe that from the first day of the next session, he will do a superb job promoting the interests of District 4. I am voting for the veteran lawmaker, not the rookie.