Q&A: Pat Garofalo, Republican Candidate for House District 58B

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.

Two candidates are vying for your support as representative of House District 58B, which includes the Dakota County precinct of Northfield.

The two candidates are:

  • Jim Arlt
  • Pat Garofalo

Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Garofalo, the Republican-endorsed candidate. You can also read responses from DFL-endorsed Jim Arlt. 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.

Pat Garofalo

Age: 41
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Graduate, Minnesota State University - Mankato
Occupation: Network Engineer
Political experience: 4 term State Representative, Chair of the Education Finance Committee

Why are you running for the Minnesota House? What do you offer to House District 58B?

I am running for the Minnesota House because I believe serving in public office is a meaningful way to contribute to the community in which a person lives.  Our state government will be facing significant challenges in the coming years as the population of our state changes.  I support changes to government so it is smaller, more efficient, and a better value for the taxpayers of our state.  I am currently the chair of the Education Finance Committee.  The last two years I've had the opportunity to pass legislation to significantly reform public education in our state.  I look forward to the opportunity to build on that work next session.

What’s the most pressing issue facing the state? House District 58B?

The population of Minnesota is changing.  We are losing well educated, high income individuals who use very little government services.  At the same time, our state is gaining individuals who lack a college education, who possess modest incomes, and are more likely to use government services.  We need to lower taxes on retirees and pension income while also making sure that new arrivals to our state are receiving the best education.  Schools in Minnesota should be allowed to keep the best teachers instead of current law which mandates they keep the most senior teachers.  In the Farmington area, our most pressing issue is that many politicians in Minnesota view Farmington as a "wealthy" community.  They would like to raise taxes on Farmington and Dakota County to pay for government services in other communities.  Our area needs to continue to elect officials who will fight against this redistribution of taxes away from our community.

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

Stopping Governor Dayton from giving Minnesota the highest income tax rates in the nation.  Passing that, would have sent our state on the pathway of Illinois, California, and other failed states.

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

We shouldn't have agreed to Governor Dayton's proposal to borrow more money from our schools. 

What would you have tried to do differently?

I would have studied Governor Dayton's behavior when he served one term in the US Senate.  His behavior as Senator is very similar to his behavior as Governor.

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


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

The citizens of our area want an effective but limited government.  They also want legislators from both parties to be sitting at the table - to have shared government.  If our area were to elect a Democrat to the legislature, it would likely mean the Democratic Party would have total control over our state's government.  I don't believe the citizens of our area think giving Mark Dayton and the Democratic Party total control over our state would be a good idea.

Anything else you would like to add?

It is an honor to serve as this area's State Representative.  It would be my privilege to continue to work on behalf of our community for the next two years.

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Steve Quist October 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I don't think Pat Garofalo answered these questions. In his answer about why constituents should vote for him, he is quoted as saying "the Democratic Party." Pat always uses the pejorative insulting right-wing “rhymes with rat – Democrat Party.” This must have been written by an aide. Typical.


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