The time is now for sensible state government

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rich Murray, Guest Column

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to make a choice about whether they want to help chart the course we will follow or let others set it for them. I came to that crossroads five months ago and decided, with the help of my family and friends, that “the time is now” for me to step forward and help make a difference for the residents of District 27A.

Rich Murray

I have been humbled by the support and encouragement you have shown when I knocked on your door. I have enjoyed listening to your stories and will keep them with me as I work for you and represent you.

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I have heard from many of you that we need more opportunities for employment and good-paying jobs. I hear the anxiety in your voices when you say that you are living paycheck to paycheck. I will work hard to make the important decisions in St. Paul that will help remove barriers to job creation and craft solutions that will help grow the economy and put Minnesotans back to work. We must reform regulations and adopt policies that will make us competitive with the states that surround us.

I also agree with many of you who have said that that our state government is trying to do too many things for too many people. Spending is out-of-control, and we need to fix the problem soon. Government costs too much, and we must reform the way government operates.

Just as you and I need to live within our budget and learn to prioritize those items that are the most important to our families, state government must do the same. With a business degree in finance and accounting from Mankato State, a master’s in business administration from St. Thomas University and the experience as a financial advisor for the past 27 years, I have the experience needed to tackle a nearly $6 billion budget deficit in St. Paul.

I support reforms in education that include eliminating unfunded mandates for our schools. I believe our education system should focus on student achievement. I believe our teachers should be encouraged to use innovative and creative ways to help our children succeed and not spend their time teaching to a test. I believe as do many others that our schools will succeed best with local control and less interference and mandates from the Washington and St. Paul.

I was born and raised in southern Minnesota and understand southern Minnesota values of faith, hard work, family and community.

The status quo is unacceptable. The time is now for new leadership. The time is now for sensible government. The time is now to send a strong voice from southern Minnesota to St. Paul.

I refuse to place our problems on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. Working together we can solve the issues facing us. Please give me, Rich Murray, your support and vote on Nov. 2.

Rich Murray, R-Albert Lea, is the challenger in the race for House District 27A.