League of Women Voters holds State Representative District 24B forum
(ABC 6 News) – As we get closer to the midterm election in November, voters are thinking about who they will vote for.
The League of Women Voters of Rochester held a State Representative District 24B forum on Wednesday night at the Rochester Public Library to discuss and answer big questions from voters and the Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
Republican Katrina Pulham and Democrat Tina Liebling are the two candidates running for the seat.
Pulham is a small business owner in Rochester. She currently owns Due North Coffe Co. and Air Insanity Indoor Trampoline Park with her husband. She comes from a family of farmers and has a son in Rochester Public Schools.
Liebling currently represents Minnesota House District 26A and is the Committee Chair of the Health Finance and Policy Committee in the House. She is also an attorney.
A variety of questions were asked of the candidates from affordable housing in Rochester to staffing shortages, inflation and reproductive rights. While the candidates had their agreements and disagreements, one of the biggest discrepancies they had was on gun rights.
Liebling said guns are the issue, while Pulham said the availability of guns is not the problem.
“I don’t see that as an issue whatsoever. Our mental health problem, we do have a serious mental health crisis right now in our country. That’s the problem that we need to tackle. We need to tackle the root of the cause. Why now are we having so many out in our schools? Why are we seeing gun violence today?” Pulham said.
“You can it’s mental health problems, you can say almost by definition who walks into a school shoots innocent children? They must, by definition, be mentally ill. I have to disagree respectfully with Katrina. It is the guns. In large part, it is the guns,” Liebling rebutted.
Some of the issues both candidates did agree on were the need for more affordable housing in Rochester and supporting and passing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Another topic of discussion was abortion and reproductive rights. Liebling highlighted the importance of the election this year and said “a lot is at stake.” Liebling has a pro-choice stance on abortion rights, while Pulham said she stands somewhere in the middle on the issue as she can see all sides.