Candidates debate in Minnesota’s Senate special election

It doesn’t have the national political impact of that other special Senate election — the one today in Massachusetts — but the race to fill the state Senate seat in District 26 is getting attention from voters in the Faribault/Owatonna area.

The three candidates — GOPer Mike Parry, Independence Party’s Roy Srp and DFLer Jason Engbrecht — spoke at a forum Monday night and agreed on some things, says the Faribault Daily News. (The same reporter, Clare Kennedy, has another story about the forum, focusing more on the state budget, in the Owatonna People’s Press.)

They all support development of more nuclear power and believe that responsible gun owners have the right to bear arms.

On a Vikings stadium, though, Engbrecht said maybe, while Parry and Srp said no.

Engbrecht: “We need the Vikings. We need to keep them in Minnesota, we need to make absolutely sure that they stay here,” Engbrecht said. “I, like everyone else, was really excited about the win last night and look forward to next Sunday, but we are going to have to be really careful about spending public money on a new stadium. So I am open to the idea — it can create a lot of jobs to build a new stadium. At this point the construction industry is at about 60 percent unemployment, but I’m going to be very cautious before we start spending public money on a private stadium.”

Parry: “In this fragile economic time we cannot afford to take any more taxation. (The Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf) is no different than myself as an entrepreneur and businessman. He is going to take the Vikings wherever he can be most profitable. He understands business and he also understands that taxation is not the way to go. We can live within our means, we just need to control the spending.”

Srp: “Mr. Wilf has plenty of money, and if he needs to buy a stadium in the Twin Cities or wherever he needs to do it, he can do it without taxpayer dollars.”

On gay marriage:

Parry (who caught some flak for a blog post that made what some called an inflammatory link between Democrats and pedophiles): “My marriage of 37 years is recognized by the Bible and I am a Christian. I think I have answered the question.”

Engbrecht: “Marriage is one of those things that is very, very personal — one of these things we need to decide upon as a society what we’re OK with. As a legislator I’m going to refuse to answer this question because I don’t think we should be deciding as legislators. I think we need to vote on this as a state at some point. If we’re not together on it, it’s not going to work either way.”

Srp said voters should decide: “I’m not saying that I think gay marriage is something that’s right. I’m saying it’s something that is a fact.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 01/21/2010 - 09:35 am.

    Do any of the people who think Wilf and the Vikings will flee to California if we don’t build them a new stadium assume that California (!!!!) has extra hundreds of millions on hand with which to build one there?

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