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New GOP legislator from Willmar confident budget deficit can be solved without tax increases

Bruce Vogel won a close state House race in Willmar, and now the Republican is talking about what can be done in St. Paul next year to resolve the state’s budget deficit.

Vogel — who beat 14-year DFL veteran Al Juhnke in 13B — told the West Central Tribune that he expects no new spending and that the deficit can be resolved without tax increases.

He signed the Taxpayers League “no new taxes” pledge and is sticking with that promise.

“I’m not ashamed of that,” Vogel told the paper. “I feel we can do this without raising taxes.” Taxing the rich “creates a class envy,” he said. “Rich people are mobile people. They will just move. They’ll move to another state.”

Indeed, Vogel would like to see taxes lowered for small businesses and corporations: “We have too many people going out of our state. We’re losing jobs left and right.”

In the weeks before session, Vogel is adjusting his real estate business so he can work with clients while he’s away; he’s already secured an apartment in St. Paul with roommate Chris Swedzinski, a fellow new Republican House member.

Asked if DFLer Mark Dayton will end up as governor over Republican Tom Emmer, Vogel said:

“Yeah, I do. It’s a pretty big hill for Emmer to climb right now.”

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