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Q&A: Mike Dudley, Republican Candidate for Senate District 20

Mike Dudley faces Kevin Dahle.

Two candidates are vying for your support as representative of Senate District 20, which represents the majority of Northfield.

The two candidates are:

  • Kevin Dahle
  • Mike Dudley

Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Dudley, the Republican-endorsed candidate. You can also read responses from DFL-endorsed Dahle. Responses are written by the candidates and have not been edited by Patch.

In the coming weeks we'll run 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.


Mike Dudley

Age: 59
Family: Widowed, 16 yr old son
Education: BA from St Thomas, Law degree from U of M
Occupation: Retired FBI Agent.
Political experience: Never been involved in politics, I did hold office as an elected County attorney in WI, 30 years ago


Why are you running for the Minnesota Senate? What do you offer to Senate District 20?

I’m running to put Minnesota on a solid economic foundation based on controlling spending and focusing on priorities, as government lives within its means. We must keep our commitments to the elderly, the truly vulnerable and public retirees. We must adequately fund public safety, infrastructure and education. We cannot do this by raising taxes and growing government. It must be done by growing the private sector and aggressively providing a regulatory and tax environment that encourages businesses to expand and create good jobs. 


What’s the most pressing issue facing the state? Senate District 20?

I've been on the campaign trail for almost 8 months. There is no question that the biggest issue on the minds of the electorate is jobs in the economy. When it comes to taxes and regulations Minnesota has one of the worst business environments in the nation and people seem to realize this. Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's” Business Tax Index 2012” ranks Minnesota 50th. Voters understand that we must reform tax and regulatory policies so Minnesota can compete in attracting good paying jobs.


What is something you think the current Legislature has done well?

Republican majorities turned a $6 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus, without raising taxes. 


What is something you think the current Legislature hasn’t done well?

I do not think Republican majorities handle the stadium issue very well. Leadership in both houses tried to straddle the fence resulting in a circus like atmosphere.


What would you have tried to do differently?

It was clear from the beginning of the session that the stadium issue was going to be decided this session, one way or the other. It was also clear that the Gov. was determined to get his way on this issue, and that was enough bipartisan support for some sort of deal. The issue should have been handled very early in the session so that more important issues could be dealt with.


How would you describe the relationship between the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton?

Acrimonious, is the word I would use to describe the relationship. I don't think anyone should be surprised. Gov. Dayton won election promising to raise taxes. Republican majorities in the legislature won election by promising not to raise taxes. One would expect that the parties involved would try and carry through on their campaign promises.


Why should constituents vote for you on Election Day? What makes you a better choice than your opponent?

Three things. Leadership, commitment, common sense. I was a leader in the FBI for 26 years as a Special Agent. I led several multiagency task forces, as well as directing complex national and international criminal investigations. Leading, and problem-solving, while cooperating with state and local officials. Commitment. I've never been involved in politics, I am not a politician. I'm not a member of a special-interest group. My commitment is to put the best interests of the people of District 20 before party or special interests. Common sense. I emphasize a common sense approach to government. Don't spend more than you take in. Government can't do everything, prioritize. Government can't do what it needs to without a healthy private sector. Grow the private sector.

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