Election 2020: Demuth, Westlund in House District 13A
UNDATED -- In the race for Minnesota House District 13A the incumbent Republican Lisa Demuth is being challenged by Democrat Katy Westlund.
Demuth is finishing her freshman term in office. She says she completely agreed with the governor issuing his executive powers early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since they've gone on I don't think that those emergency powers should actually be in place anymore. There are 201 lawmakers we all represent different areas of the state and we need that voice back to work alongside the governor and not just have those mandates made.
Demuth says she doesn't want all of the executive orders to go away immediately but does want the legislature to have a say in which ones are still needed.
Westlund says treating the entire state the same when it comes to responding to the pandemic doesn't make sense to her, and she believes there should not have been a statewide shutdown.
I think that there should have been a different response as far as that goes. I think that the rural communities that had really low transmission rates should have been treated differently than the inner city. It's really disrupting our way of life, the small businesses are really struggling.
Demuth says in the wake of the protests and rioting in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd she had a chance to tour the area and see the destruction first hand.
I had an opportunity to tour that area a couple of weeks after the incident with legislators that represent that area and meeting with families and business owners that actually have property right there on Lake Street not one of those business owners said that we don't want to the police, they said we need the police we need public safety.
Demuth says seeing the damage was particularly hard for her because she lived in that area from when she was in the 7th grade through the 11th grade.
Westlund says it's difficult for her to say what's best for large cities like Minneapolis because her focus as a lawmaker would be on helping the small towns and rural areas.
From where I am I know what my community needs. I know that we need to secure hope for our families and our farmers and our small businesses. We need to protect our way of life. We need to make sure our community stays strong out there and resilient.
Demuth says with the state facing a large budget deficit next year because of COVID-19, they can't wait until the next regular session to start dealing with it.
I'm really concerned. One of the concerns that I have right now is with the governor's emergency powers we haven't even seen any reduction in any spending right now and when you know you're going into a deficit you've got to cut someplace and that hasn't taken place and that is concerning.
Westlund says if she gets elected one of her top priorities will be improving internet access to the rural areas.
The internet is really shoddy out there and there's not enough competition, it's very expensive, so we need to figure out a way to get fast internet out there's that's reliable. There are entire business days when we don't have any internet.
You can vote by absentee ballot starting Friday. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd.