Candidate forums continue ahead of the November election

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(ABC 6 News) – The League of Women Voters continued it’s candidate forums with the November election under a month away.

Candidates running for the Rochester City Council 3rd Ward seat and the Olmsted County Commissioner met at the Rochester Public Library for the forum.

Vangie Castro and Norman Wahl kicked off the evening. Answering question submitted by the League of Women Voters, the Post Bulletin, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, as well as questions submitted by the audience.

One of the main topics discussed was about affordable housing in Rochester. Which both candidates agreed is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

“The idea that creating more affordable housing will be a public safety issue is a myth.” Castro said. “It’s not about putting poor people in housing projects and I think that’s something that we really need to think about when we are resistant to creating more housing…”

Wahl also noted a common concern from the public during his campaign, is that some people feel left in the dark when it comes to knowledge of ne housing developments.

“We need to be redundant in the information that we off to neighborhoods, so that they aren’t surprised when they see these huge multi family units going up.” Wahl said. “We need to be more dense in Rochester.

“We need to provide especially more downtown, livability for professionals who can walk to places.”

Candidate Forums Coverage

Following the forum for the 3rd ward city council seat, two of the four candidates running for Olmsted County Commissioner took the stage.

Brian Mueller and Kindra Ranmaker participated in the forum, addressing a number of topics including the integrity of elections.

“The experience I’ve had in elections at the township level… they are accurate.” Mueller said. “There’s really not much margin for error at that level.

But any discrepancy needs to be reported to the secretary of state’s office.”

Ranmaker agreed with Mueller that our elections are safe. But she believes more education about the election process would benefit Olmsted County communities.

“I think if we don’t support doing education of our community, we risk that some people that are being very very disruptive,” Ranmaker said. “Which could actually cost the county more money by insisting that things that are not actually happening are going on then. Then we’ll have to address it as a bigger issue.”