Eight years ago, when Tom Emmer was close to winning the job of governor of Minnesota, he was fully prepared to become the chief executive of a billion dollar business. That changed when Mark Dayton won the 2010 election, and so did fate for Emmer, a Republican from Delano.

Then when lightning rod Rep. Michele Bachmann opted not to seek re-election to Congress, Emmer stepped forward and won the 2014 election. No longer would Emmer see the duties of a chief executive, but now one of a representative. He is now running for his third term in Congress and has proven to be a qualified candidate to represent the 6th Congressional District. Rep. Emmer has earned the endorsement of the Adams Publishing - ECM Editorial Board.

Emmer is being challenged by DFL newcomer Ian Todd of Sauk Rapids. Todd is a former Air Force intelligence officer specializing in cyber security. He is running a bare-bones campaign. He hopes his message will resonate with progressives and undecided voters in the sprawling district that wraps around western, northern and eastern counties of the metro area.

Emmer won easily in 2016, capturing nearly 66 percent of the vote in a district handily won by President Trump. It’s crystal clear that the district leans heavily to Trump, and Emmer is an unabashed supporter of the president. His campaign literature boldly shows that he is pro-Trump. Although he has voted with Trump positions nearly 89 percent of the time, the two-term congressman is not afraid to buck the president on issues that he supports.

He has flexed that thought process by voting against a Republican compromise immigration bill, a reauthorization of a warrantless spying program as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and fiscal year appropriations bills in both 2017 and 2018. As a congressman with state government service, Emmer is frustrated by budget bills that have expenditures out of balance with revenues.

Emmer has also been a leader in bipartisan efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, an effort that began in the final months of the Obama administration. Trump has backed off several of the measures put in place by his predecessor, and Emmer believes Trump will “be on the wrong side of history” with his policies on Cuba.

Still, Emmer’s work in Congress has largely been in support of the president. These are positions, Emmer believes, which best match the wants and needs of his district. He sees this as the role of a representative.

Deficit spending is of concern to Emmer, but he is convinced the 2017 tax cut bill that he supported will bring relief in the long run. He believes the first nine months of the tax cuts have led to robust job creation and economic benefits to more than the rich. He is convinced district residents will see substantial tax reductions thanks to the doubling of the standard deduction.

As a representative serving a district with a large immigrant population, Emmer understands the need to welcome newcomers who can fill important roles as workers and job creators. He would support an immigration policy that adopts a time-staggered path for youth deferred arrivals (DACA) and their parents to earn citizenship. On trade, Emmer believes tariffs against China and Canada were not the only way to rectify trade issues, but he remains positive that the new North American agreement with Mexico and Canada is the right move.

In his role on the financial services committee, Emmer says he is in a good position to help issues that impact people and businesses in the district. He continues to support broader work or training requirements for food stamp recipients under the farm bill, saying the food assistance program should serve as a hand up to those in need.

Ian Todd is a well-spoken candidate who advocates for a single-payer national health insurance program that would function like Social Security and an enhanced national cyber security program that would work to prevent election hacking and the hacking of critical infrastructure systems such as the national power grid. He would legalize recreational marijuana and push for an immigration policy that paves the way for citizenship for DACA youth.

Both candidates have said they would allow the Department of Justice probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election to continue. Where that ends is yet to be determined, but we trust that the candidate elected to Congress in the 6th District will support the constitution and rule of law over political party if wrongdoing by the current administration is found. We believe Tom Emmer is a representative who will make the right decision. 

An editorial from the Adams/ECM Publishing Editorial Board. The Forest Lake Times is part of APG-ECM. Reactions welcome, send to editorial.board@ecm-inc.com.

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