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Trooien running to be independent in Washington, D.C.

Jerry Trooien, a St. Paul developer who said he's running as an independent for U.S. Senate, said the problems facing the nation are "not simple" nor will they be easy to fix.

Trooien was in Morris on Oct. 3 for a candidates forum at the University of Minnesota Morris. Trooien, who is not affiliated with any specific political party, is running in the special election for U.S. Senate for a seat now held by Democrat Tina Smith.

An independent can have leverage in Washington because he's not tied to any of the major political parties, Trooien said.

It does matter how politicians in Washington, D.C., handle themselves and he's disappointed in the partisan gridlock, Trooien said.

One of the challenges facing the U.S. is national debt and budget which is tied to healthcare costs, Trooien said.

"Currently we have a fee for services (health care system)," Trooien said. There is no incentive for providers to deny additional tests, he said.

While it's a tough truth, "we've got to think of our health," Trooien said. The U.S. needs more focus on preventative measures in health. Obesity, lack of exercise and smoking are three main causes of health problems in the U.S, he said.

As to education and the cost of college, Trooien said national security depends on the quality of education in the U.S.

Students need to evaluate the value of their education, he said. And, he's not certain how the federal government would be able to pay for each student's education.

He does not support separating children from their illegal immigrant parents at the U.S. border with Mexico but it's also right to say that the U.S. does need to enforce immigration laws.

Click here for another story from the candidate forum.

Yet, "business people are the biggest supporters of immigration," Trooien said. So the rock-throwing between lawmakers in D.C. does not help with fair discussion about immigration, he said.

Smith was appointed to the Senate seat by Gov. Mark Dayton after Al Franken resigned. State Rep. Karin Housley is also running for the seat.

For a story on candidates for a Sen. Amy Klobuchar's seat, click this link.