Editorial: Benda is the right candidate for 27A

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Voters on Nov. 7 should pick Republican Matt Benda to replace outgoing Dan Dorman for House District 27A.

As far as the campaign literature goes in this race, the Republican and DFL parties have slung some mud &8212; but the DFL Party&8217;s literature about Benda has been more bombastic. It even took Tribune references out of context.

Last summer, he and DFL candidate Robin Brown agreed to steer clear of attack ads and to ask their parties to do the same. Candidates cannot coordinate with their parties for advertising, but they can make requests. Both candidates asked their parties, even though the parties didn&8217;t have to listen to them.

It is interesting that Benda had more pull within his party than Brown did with hers. It makes us wonder: Does the DFL Party think that attack ads will bolster Brown&8217;s smiling, positive campaign?

The literature leaves us with the conclusion that Benda will have more pull in St. Paul than Brown will.

But since the candidates weren&8217;t responsible for any of the negative literature, let&8217;s compare them on issues, character and involvement.

Benda remains our choice.

Before the election, Brown made connections at Albert Lea High School, but few people in other circles knew her name. In her meeting with the Editorial Board, she struggled to name anything she participated in outside the schools.

Benda rattles off his list of community involvement easily: chamber, bike trail, watershed district, Lakes Restoration Committee, Albert Lea Listens, economic development, Freeborn County Republicans, Southern Minnesota Legal Services and more.

Benda is not Dorman. Benda is more conservative, but just because he was the former chairman for the Freeborn County Republicans, he won&8217;t be toeing party lines.

He wants to close the disparity in education funding and provide funding for all-day kindergarten.

He knows farming and ethanol issues. That&8217;s his area of passion. His law degree is from Drake University, where he went through the ag law program. If elected, he wants to be on one of the two House agriculture committees.

Benda has a better grasp of local, state and regional issues than his opponent. Brown knows health care and education. Benda has been cagey on health care but is on the ball for most other state issues, such as habitat funding, economic development and flood mitigation.

Brown and Benda are likable people. Both are civil politicians. Both have the ability to be leaders. We hope whoever fails to win continues to be involved in the community.

Benda deserves your vote on Election Day.