Editorial: Give Sen. Sparks another term

Published 10:52 am Thursday, November 1, 2012

State Sen. Dan Sparks deserves your vote on Tuesday. He has shown clear support for business issues in Minnesota while at the same time knowing the support for education also is good for the economy. Frankly, when one thinks of Sparks, one thinks his two main issues are business and education.

That’s true, but Sparks, a Democrat, also has proven himself to be more than just the issues. He is a leader in the state Senate, someone who can reach across the aisle to Republicans. He is not a lightning rod of controversy. In fact, he is just the opposite. While he belongs to the Democratic Party, he gets along well with elected leaders and state officials.

We do call on Sparks to make a greater effort in the coming four-year term to be at more events in Albert Lea, and not just parades and the fair. He had done well in this area but seemed to be less visible in the past two years. In turn, Albert Lea area leaders could invite Sparks to more events. We are talking about gatherings when local leaders and the public address issues in a public manner, such as when state officials visit the city.

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Still, Sparks is a leader who knows which issues are important to the region. He has fought for local government aid, school equity and cuts to government red tape.

His moderate Republican challenger, Linden Anderson, is a fair-minded, balanced thinker who ought to stay in local politics. Often, he and Sparks would see eye to eye on many issues. Perhaps Anderson would be better suited to a lower office, such as a Mower County commissioner, prior to jumping into state-level politics. We look forward to seeing more of Anderson in the local political scene.

Give Sparks your vote Tuesday.