"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pioneer Press on 39A House Race

By Nick Ferraro
Pioneer Press
10/31/2008 11:18:54 PM CDT

DFLer Rick Hansen is seeking a third term in Minnesota House District 39A, which covers West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Lilydale, Mendota and parts of South St. Paul and Eagan.

He faces Bill Jungbauer, a West St. Paul carpenter who is best known politically for his unsuccessful run at a state Senate seat in 2006. More recently, he served as a GOP national delegate in St. Paul.

Hansen, 45, is pushing his experience and track record of "responsive, community-based leadership," while Jungbauer, 51, is hoping voters can relate to his "blue-collar background" and make him the first Republican to serve the district since 1988.

Hansen, who took over the seat in 2004, points to how he helped provide property tax relief for West St. Paul and South St. Paul by pushing for an increase in local government aid.

As the only Dakota County member of the bonding committee, Hansen said, he was able to secure $1.4 million from the 2008 bonding bill for the North Urban Trail connection in South St. Paul, as well as money for projects at Inver Hills Community and Dakota County Technical colleges.

Hansen also said he has worked on several transportation issues, including getting the Robert Street Corridor study on track to connect with the Central Corridor light-rail line and meeting with residents to discuss sound barriers along U.S. 52 and the possibility of a pedestrian bridge over Minnesota 110 in Mendota Heights.

"These are all current issues that are not covered in the transportation bill but are the types of things a legislator does by working with the agencies to help to solve problems," he said.

Hansen is chair of the Legislative Audit Commission. A small-business owner, he is a member of the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Jungbauer was a political unknown before challenging Jim Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, for the District 39 Senate seat. He entered that 2004 race, he said, "because no one else would, and I felt it would be unpatriotic for a man to run unopposed."

Having been a carpenter for the past 30 years, he said, he can relate to voters.

"I feel the pain of filling my gas tank and heating my home and feeding the family and paying the tax man," he said. "I don't believe it takes courage to raise taxes, but it takes brains to balance a checkbook and cut spending where it's needed, which is something they don't know at the Capitol."

Jungbauer writes on his blog that he's "influenced by Teddy Roosevelt and Ted Nugent." Like Hansen, he belongs to several hunting-related organizations.

He said a top concern is "removing roadblocks to affordable energy."

"Environmentalists have filed lawsuits to stop the construction of transmission lines from the Twin Cities to wind farms in southern Minnesota, as well as the Big Stone II project in South Dakota," he said. "The courts must be urged by the Legislature to deal with this issue in an expeditious manner so that the people of Minnesota may enjoy affordable energy in a timely manner."

Jungbauer serves on West St. Paul's Park and Recreation Board and the city's Environmental Committee.

1 comment:

Terry Pearson said...

Bill,

Just wanted to say good luck for tomorrow! I am hoping that you win big!