My Point of View: It’s an exciting time to be in local politics

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

Decisions are made by those who show up. 

This week’s decisions regarding the redrawing (or “redistricting”) of the state’s congressional and legislative lines were made. This redistricting will now affect Minnesota for the next 10 years. Five judges decided on the new lines that were drawn, and they now define Minnesota’s voting districts. Two judges appointed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one appointed by Gov. Tim Walz, one appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton and one appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura just decided who and where we vote for and vote at.

Robert Hoffman

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It is very interesting to have our redistricting happen now. Many people in Freeborn County are either getting involved with local politics for their first time now or choosing to be getting more involved than they used to. This new explosion of involvement in the local Republican Party is because Freeborn County, southern Minnesota (and Greater Minnesota) are Republican regions of the state that feel very let down by our current elected officials at the state level like Governor Walz, Secretary of State Steve Simon and especially after the defund the police movement by Attorney General Keith Ellison. Freeborn County voted 100% Republican in the last election and had only a fraction of the involvement it does now. The new redistricting does not look bad for the values of southern Minnesota’s conservative, central, Republican views.

Aaron Farris, the Freeborn County Republican’s vice chairman, is running for the Congressional District 1 chair position and said on his Farris for Chair website, “These will be our districts for the next decade, so we’ll do our absolute best to win in every race we can and ensure that CD 1 continues to be represented by Republicans both on a state and federal level. To do that, we need party leadership who already has strong relationships with these new counties, as well as our current counties so we can dive headfirst into these new districts and win for Republicans.”

The state caucuses were just a couple weeks ago and the Freeborn County Republican’s caucus had record, in-person, attendance for a non-presidential election year. When the over 300 participants were polled if it was their first time participating in a caucus, almost half said it was. This was very motivating to participate in. 

The Freeborn County Convention is the end of this month, and an already record number of people have registered to run for congressional district and state delegate positions. We are excited and inspired to work with everyone now participating in the 2022 elections. What an amazing group: our local farmers who are participating in politics again and for many their first time, the laborers and union members that like our state Sen. Gene Dornink (a former union carpenter) are just trying to work, law enforcement that need to be defended not defunded, teachers like our state Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patty Mueller (both former teachers) who want our children to succeed, small business owners who are being crushed by out-of-line mandates and abuse of emergency powers, retirees who don’t feel like they recognize a state and nation they once celebrated, and especially the newer, younger, voters looking at people just a little older than them and saying, “that’s not going to work, what are they thinking?”

It is a very exciting time to participate in local politics, and decisions are made by those who show up (especially in-person.) Redistricting is done, we know what we are working with and with record attendance in caucuses and conventions, the Freeborn County Republican Party is well represented by many people with the energy we need to better our state. 

Our Republican U.S. Congressman Jim Hagedorn, Republican state Sen. Gene Dornink and Republican state Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patty Mueller need a hand doing what’s best for our region.  Our state needs a hand to ensure we elect a new governor, attorney general and Secretary of State. We have a chance to show up and decide to be a part of a huge success in 2022.

Robert Hoffman is the Freeborn County Republican Party chairman.