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Letter to the editor: Many candidates no shows at meeting

To the editor:

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! We will be electing a new governor next November. How

will you decide who to vote for? Does your favored candidate even know what

you want in a new governor?

By golly, a few candidates do! They heard loud and clear what rural

Minnesotans want during a big, spectacular, non-partisan meeting at Willmar

High School last Sunday afternoon on April 29.

Trouble is, of the eight candidates from various parties invited, only three,

(ONLY three!) showed up. These were DFLers Rebecca Otto, Tim Walz, and Erin

Murphy. There was not one Republican candidate on stage, even though they

had received formal invitations and personal, follow-up phone calls.

What's going on here? Do these Republican candidates think they don't

need to listen to rural voters? Are they so beholden to Twin Cities-based

corporate interests that they don't care about rural Minnesota?

What made this town hall meeting spectacular, so unusual, was that the three

candidates present did not make speeches. They did not talk "at" the

audience. They listened. For nearly two hours. The meeting format had nine

citizen-panelists addressing the candidates, laying out their heart-felt

issues. And then each candidate was challenged to state briefly, and

publicly, how she or he would resolve the issue, if elected.

A big thanks to the three organizations that organized this event: ISAIAH (a

faith-based organization), CURE (dedicated to water protection) and the Land

Stewardship Project (dedicated to preserving and enhancing our farm lands.)

Vern Simula