Loonan forum

Former Shakopee state representative Bob Loonan (left) speaks at a candidate forum hosted by the Shakopee Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau on July 23, 2018. The event was moderated by Pastor Rob O’Neal of Resonate Church (right). Loonan, a Republican incumbent, lost the Scott County GOP endorsement to Erik Mortensen, who did not participate in the forum.

Former Shakopee Minnesota House District 55A representative Bob Loonan announced Nov.7 he will run for the seat again in the 2020 election. Loonan and incumbent Rep. Brad Tabke, D-Shakopee, are the only candidates who have officially announced they will be running in next year’s election.

In the 2018 election, Republican party-endorsed Erik Mortensen defeated Loonan, the incumbent, for Minnesota House District 55A. Loonan was the only incumbent representative to lose a primary in that election.

In a 2018 interview with the Valley News, Loonan attributed much of his 2018 loss to being arrested just a month prior to the election on suspicion of drunk driving. Loonan said he expects voters will consider this in the 2020 election, but says voters should know he was found not guilty.

According to court documents, in September 2018, Loonan pleaded not guilty in Scott County District Court to the DWI charges, and in March 2019, those charges were dismissed.

“The machine said I was (just over the legal limit), so I asked for an independent test, and that showed I wasn’t over. It was a bad deal,” Loonan said. “But a lot of people have had worse things that happened to them. I’m a law and order guy, and I’ll talk openly about it.”

Loonan said if elected in 2020, he would focus on reducing the cost of health care, transportation spending and effective educational spending.

“Our current representative thinks there’s a big appetite for much more spending on transit, and that’s definitely not what I’m hearing,” Loonan said.

Tabke could not be reached for a request for comment.

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