My Point of View: What better time is there to get involved in state politics?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

2024’s election has started. Yes, it feels like Christmas decorations are being put out before Halloween. In this case, the Christmas 2024 decorations are on the shelves before the Halloween 2023 candy is sold out. Our last few elections have been a whirlwind because of COVID restrictions, a lack of trust in the election process and electronic ballot machines sending and receiving information from who knows where. This turned our elections inside out, and we will see the same happen again now during the 2024 election cycle. We were told during COVID we faced a “new norm.” Our new norms have proven to simply be good old-fashioned messes. So now, it is important to participate in this 2024 election season.

Robert Hoffman

2024 will be a presidential election cycle and looks to be a very exciting one to participate in. Minnesota also has a statewide Senate election for the seat currently held by Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

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Regionally, state Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patty Mueller are up for re-election. Locally, we have a handful of school board, city council and county commissioner positions that will be a part of the 2024 election as well. President, senator, state rep, school board, city council and county commissioner races; this is a very important election to participate in.

On our 2024 ballots will also be the judge seats for the Minnesota Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the District Court. The judge seats are important to follow but are complicated to understand also. The judge positions often have non-contested, only one person running, races and are not campaigned in like the president, senator, state rep, school board, city council and county commissioner races but have as important of a role in governing as any elected official. These positions may have been left alone when very fair judges were appointed by past governors including Democratic Gov. Dayton, but Gov. Walz has made it a point to appoint very controversial judges with a strong history of political activism versus fair, nonpartisan judges. This is a good election to follow judge races in also.

The Minnesota DFL won their “trifecta,” and it’s easy to see how horrible of a mess it has become. This election will be the first one since Minnesota has offered driver’s licenses to everyone in the state whether here legally or not and able to vote or not. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, an elected Democrat to the Secretary of State position, visited Albert Lea recently. Secretary Simon was asked, “What if people vote who are not eligible to vote, but have these new driver’s license for all?” He said he is “not worried about that happening.” An answer like that is a very good reason to get involved in this election. Especially because Secretary Simon turned Minnesota elections upside down during the last election. He said, “Minnesota has the highest voter turnout in the nation, and it’s no coincidence.” We tend to agree here, but with a different perspective.

Last, and maybe most importantly, the situation facing our school resource officers (SROs.) It is absolute nonsense that officers are being pulled from schools because they are not allowed to “choke” a student. This talking point is ridiculous, a simple lie and cheap politics. It also has put every single student in school in danger because of out-of-touch restrictions placed on SROs.

The Albert Lea school district chose to hire a second SRO because they needed to. If you spent any evening at the Freeborn County Fair this summer, read the police reports in the newspaper or have driven past the north lot downtown on any given weekend night you can see that, yes, the school needed a second SRO and they do not need to be restricted by politics that put all students in harm’s way.

The governor has been asked to call a special session to correct the SRO situation, and he and his party have chosen to leave students in harm’s way versus correct the matter. There is an easy fix to this mess, but it is one that our governor and over 40% of his Democrats are not willing to try and correct. A simple special session to fix the error in the bill holding back the SROs is all our elected officials need to do to correct this. And, no, it is not with the goal of being able to choke a student. That is ridiculous. Your students are less safe than they should be, because of politics. If there is ever a reason to get involved in a campaign is there a better reason than for the safety of the state’s students?

We are easy to reach out to. Donate, support, participate but get involved in this 2024 election with us.

Robert Hoffman is a member of the Freeborn County GOP Party.