Q&A: Brian Wermerskirchen, Republican Candidate for House District 20B
Brian Wermerskirchen faces DFLer David Bly.
Two candidates are vying for your support as representative of House District 20B, which represents the majority of Northfield.
The two candidates are:
Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Wermerskirchen, the DFL-endorsed candidate. You can also read responses from DFLer Bly here. Responses are written by the candidates and have not been edited by Patch.
In the coming weeks we'll run Q&As and video interviews for candidates who are on Nov. 6's ballot in Northfield-related races. You can also find out more information about the candidates by checking out our election guide for all election-related stories.
Family: Wife, Tory; Sons, Zack (17) and Alex (12).
Education: B.A. in History, Certificate in Computer Programming, Currently working on Master of Arts Degree.
Occupation: Legislative Assistant, Minnesota Senate
Political experience: Program Specialist for the YMCA Youth in Government Program for 18 years, currently working for the Minnesota Senate.
Why are you running for the Minnesota House? What do you offer to House District 20B?
I am running to help ensure that Minnesota is a better state going forward. We need to provide the world class education that Minnesota is known for; we need to have a budget that is responsible and is accountable to the taxpayers, without gimmicks and borrowing; and we need protect the individual liberties of all citizens. I want to be a common sense voice for this district that works to move Minnesota forward and listens to the people.
What’s the most pressing issue facing the state? House District 20B?
The most important issue facing both the state and the district is the economy. To make a stronger Minnesota and a stronger middle class we need a stronger economy. We need an economy that promotes job creation and growth. To do this we need stability in our budget and tax structure. I will focus on ensuring that we budget wisely and responsibly and promote job growth so that our citizens can have good jobs and have the opportunities that they desire and deserve.
What is something you think the current Legislature has done well?
The current legislature has made some good first steps to look for, and begin to eliminate, waste in state government. We have too much duplication of services and inefficiency in the way we provide services from the state. The past Legislature began the process of identifying and working to fix those inefficiencies.
What is something you think the current Legislature hasn’t done well?
Borrowing. The current Legislature continued the practice of borrowing to balance our state budget. The Legislature has made a practice of borrowing from dedicated funds to balance the General Fund budget. This practice has been something that has been happening for the last 10 years, it is something that has been used by past legislators for far too long. We can no longer borrow to balance the budget, when we do we make deficits larger for future budgets and pass the burden on to our children and grandchildren. We need to stop using these borrowing gimmicks to “balance” the budget.
What would you have tried to do differently?
I would have looked for more opportunities to eliminate waste and duplication and to lower the cost of government, as well as reach out to both parties more to ensure all possible ideas were available in the solutions. We can never assume that we alone have all the answers, and all voices available are included in decisions. We will never have the best solutions to our problems until we strive to work together for the best results.
How would you describe the relationship between the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton
The relationship can be described as strained and polarized. This relationship is due to both sides being rigid in their positions. To move forward and do what is best for the people of Minnesota, both sides need to look for common ground and understand that neither side will get everything they want. Negotiation is a balance of give and take to find the best solution for the good of the people that are represented. We need to work together better on both sides and build on commonalities and what is best for the people.
Why should constituents vote for you on Election Day? What makes you a better choice than your opponent?
I think that I offer a fresh voice to the district; we need representation that will work to stand up for the people of the district before anything else and work to get things done, rather than the same politics and policies of the past. I will work to ensure the best for District 20B. I will always put the needs and voice of the people of District 20B and Minnesota ahead of partisanship, and will work to look for common ground and the best policies to move Minnesota forward. We deserve fresh ideas and a willingness to hear all ideas.