On Oct. 12, former Chanhassen mayor Denny Laufenburger held a town hall with the Carver County Legislative candidates for House District 47A, House District 47B and Senate District 47.
All six candidates were invited, but only three Democratic candidates in each district race attended the live-streamed event — Addie Miller for Senate District 47B, Arlan Brinkmeier for House District 47A and Dan Kessler for House District 47B.
Senate candidate and Chanhassen City Councilor Julia Coleman was attending a council meeting, while incumbent 47A candidate Jim Nash and incumbent 47B candidate Greg Boe were at a special session called by Gov. Tim Walz.
Questions were submitted by Carver County residents prior to the town hall and chosen at random by the candidates.
The newspaper broke down some of the topics discussed. This is an abridged version — the full video can be found online.
On partisan politics
Brinkmeier: He would always prioritize the voters and constituents. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, and it doesn’t matter what party solves the problem, just as long as they solve the problem.
Miller: She would prioritize people over party always, and wants to get back to a place where parties can collaborate and have conversations to come up with better bills. There is more that unites us than separates us, she said.
Kessler: He agrees and disagrees with his opponent on several issues, but the voters and constituents come first.
On race and policing
Brinkmeier: Generally speaking, the people calling for reform just want to be policed. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is being proactive in implementing some things that people talk about when discussing police reform.
Miller: She does not support defunding police, and every Minnesotan deserves to be safe. The goal should be to reduce crime by investing in things like education and a livable wage.
Kessler: We ask our police to do too much, like dealing with mental health issues, Kessler said. If police focus on policing and we move social work off their plates, they will have a better relationship with the community.
Brinkmeier: He will fight to make sure every tax dollar sent to St. Paul returns to Carver County, or at the very least, they get the largest return on investment.
Miller: To her, paying taxes means contributing to the good of society. Tough discussions must be had due to the deficit, but they can protect and prioritize where the most need is.
Kessler: The purpose of tax dollars is to support the state of Minnesota and the country, not just Carver County. We can get the needs of the county met through taxes while still getting a thriving economy state-wide, he said.