Another Democratic candidate looking to win the Minnesota Senate District 56 seat in 2020 announced his campaign this week.

Kevin Shea, a 35-year resident of Burnsville, said he’s running to improve the health care, education and wages of all Minnesotans.

He joins DFL candidates Robert Timmerman and Lindsey Port, who announced their campaigns in November, in their party’s effort to flip the district from longtime Republican incumbent Sen. Dan Hall. The district represents residents in Savage, Burnsville and Lakeville.

Hall, first elected in 2010, previously said he will seek re-election in 2020 with a formal announcement expected sometime this month. He won election in 2016 with 55% of the vote.

Shea, an attorney, owns a business in which he works primarily with dentists on business planning. He said his plans to improve health care are modeled on the preventative care approach in dentistry.

Health care is reasonably accessible to most Minnesotans but often cost-prohibitive when illness strikes, he said. His solution would include creating more incentives for people to access preventative health care. 

"A lot of people are just one catastrophic illness away from being bankrupt," he said.

Shea said he'd also work to lessen education's burden on local property taxes by increasing funding mechanisms at the state level. Increasing the minimum wage and closing the opportunity gap so more residents can access well-paying jobs are also among his top priorities. 

Only one DFL candidate goes into the general election next November after winning the party primary.

Hall chairs the Senate's Local Government Committee and is part of finance and policy committees that vet bills dealing with the judiciary and public safety, transportation and veterans. He's a Christian minister living in Burnsville.

Hall opposed DFL Gov. Tim Walz's proposal for a gas-tax hike last year to help with road and bridge projects and last year pushed a successful bill increasing the penalty for causing a crash or injury while using an electronic device in vehicles.

He has supported requiring more price transparency in health care and banning cities from setting higher minimum wages than the state's, among other proposals. 

Dan Holtmeyer contributed to this report.


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