League of Women Voters holds Minnesota Representative District 25B candidate forum

(ABC 6 News) – The League of Women Voters has been holding candidate forums in Rochester to provide the public with an opportunity to hear from those who will be on the ballot this November.

Thursday night’s forum was for State Rep. District 25B which covers Rochester. Voters had the chance to hear from Democrat Andy Smith and Republican John Robinson.

Whoever wins this election, will be their first term.

One interesting question asked of the candidates was what would be the first bill that you would seek to pass if you were elected?

Smith said he would want to sign the Minnesota Health Plan into law which would give every Minnesotan access to healthcare. He said there would be no copays and everyone would have health insurance.

“It would help close a lot of the loopholes we currently have in our very broken healthcare system and it would alleviate a ton of stress on small businesses like my businesses that want to have people work full time but cannot offer the packages that a 3M, or a Target or Mayo Clinic is able to,” Smith said.

Candidate John Robinson said one of his major concerns is inflation. He said he thinks the solution is to bring our taxes in Minnesota closer to what we are seeing across the country.

“We will have the resources necessary to take a look at other ways of bringing services to Minnesotans, possibly additional health care packages or other things. But we need funds to do that and the way to get funds is the engine of this economy which we can get through the reduction of taxes,” Robinson said.

Some of the other topics discussed at the forum included increasing the state’s minimum wage, the country’s gun violence epidemic and how to fix the worker shortage in Minnesota, which was one of the few topics both candidates agreed on. They both said that by having more affordable housing in Rochester, more people would want to live in the Med City and they would fill open jobs.

There are a few more League of Women Voters candidate forums left this month. Next week there are four being held for positions on the Rochester Public School board. You can find those here.