While supportive of Trump, Senate candidate worried for farmers

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate expressed apprehension Friday about the effects tariffs instituted by President Donald Trump and his administration have had on farmers, but said she is confident the move will eventually be successful.

Karin Housley

Karin Housley, 54, is running for the seat Al Franken vacated when he resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct.

“There is a lot of anxiety happening right now with the farmers,” she said during a visit to the Tribune office. “The $12 billion bailout — farmers aren’t bailout type of people. That’s just a bandaid for right now — that’s not what they’re looking for. They’re looking for fair trade, and they want to make sure that they have the markets to sell to with their commodity.”

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Housley, the District 39 senator out of St. Croix River Valley, said she hopes Trump resolves the tariffs issue, or else she believes Congress must step in. Despite her differences with the president on tariffs, she expressed confidence about his motivations.

“The president — he does things different than we’ve seen ever in the executive office,” she said. “And so his negotiating style — he’s doing everything he’s said he was going to do. And even with the EU coming to the table, when it first looked like they weren’t — I think if he can get something worked out there and then get something done with Canada and Mexico, and then they can go after China, because China’s been getting a better deal for years and years and years, and it hasn’t been fair.”

Housley spoke highly of the work the GOP-controlled Congress has done to grow the economy. She called the tax bill Congress passed “a start,” that resulted in Apple creating 40,000 jobs in the United States and reduced taxes for most Americans.

Housley, wife of NHL Hall of Famer and Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley,  is running in the Republican primary against Bob Anderson and Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey. The DFL field includes Tina Smith, Ali Chehem Ali, Gregg A. Iverson, Nick Leonard, Richard Painter and Christopher Lovell Seymore Sr.

Housley said she is passionate about elderly issues, and said she founded the Senate Aging and Long-Term Committee to address such issues.

“Through that work, protecting our elderly, I found out the failures of Tina Smith in … Governor Dayton’s administration to protect our elderly,” she said. “There were thousands of cases of abuse and neglect and mistreatment in our nursing homes and assisted living, and they knew about it and did nothing.”

Housley spoke against the Affordable Care Act, saying the legislation resulted in increased health insurance costs. She said she was disappointed Congress has been unsuccessful in repealing and replacing the bill.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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