Hilstrom to face Richards in District 40B primary race

Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park voters will be able to cast their votes for the District 40B state representative primary election on Aug. 9.

The district representative seat is currently held by incumbent Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center), who will re-run for office against Democratic opponent Jim Richards in the primaries. The sole Republican candidate for the seat is Mali Marvin, who is running unopposed and will face either Hilstrom or Richards in the general election on Nov. 8.

Debra Hilstrom
P128nwdistrict40Bcandidates hilstromAddress: 3509 66th Avenue N., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
Age: 48
Family: Husband Joel; children Stephanie and Jeremy
Education: Park Center High School, the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell College of Law
Occupation: Lawyer and legislator
Years lived in city: All my life
Community/civic involvement: Assistant county attorney for Anoka County, a job in which I protect the elderly, battered women, and other crime victims from abuse, fraud and other wrongdoing; Brooklyn Center City Council Member, 1995-2000; Brooklyn Center Planning Commission Member, 1992-1993; Brooklyn Center Domestic Abuse Intervention Program, advocate
Contact information: [email protected]; 763-561-6487

Q. Why are you running for the seat in District 40B?
I am running to be your state representative because Minnesotans deserve good paying jobs. It’s that simple. Minnesota’s economy is growing. We must continue to make smart investments in job training, job creation and our workers. We need to provide equal pay for equal work.

Q. If elected, what policies or issues would you like to focus on?
We must provide greater economic security for hardworking Minnesota families, including paid family leave, earned sick and safe time and strengthening our laws against wage theft, and raising the minimum wage. Every Minnesota student deserves a world-class education. With a budget surplus coming into the 2016 Legislative Session, we must make critical investments in early childhood education and adequately fund our schools. We must close the achievement gap and provide exceptional, educational opportunities for all students. Public safety is a core function of government. I am a strong leader on this issue and work both at the legislature and the county to ensure that our neighborhoods remain safe. I have consistently been a leader in improving access to justice for all Minnesotans. Transportation needs to be front and center this legislative session. It is important that a long-term comprehensive transportation plan be adopted that will fix our deteriorating roads and bridges and include transit. As proposals come forward, I will fight to ensure our area gets its fair share of transportation funding.

Q. What pressing social issues do you believe the Minnesota House should focus its resources towards?
I support improving access to affordable, quality health care to all Minnesotans. Nursing home residents deserve adequately funded care with a staff that can earn a decent wage. We must also work to improve access to in-home health care to ensure seniors can remain in their home as long as possible. Minnesotans care deeply about clean air and water. We can ensure clean air and water for future generations by holding polluters accountable. We must protect our lakes, rivers, and streams for future generations. Our investment in our environment must not be allowed to erode. I ask for your vote to continue the tradition of positive leadership for Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.

Jim Richards
P128nwdistrict40Bcandidates richards copyAddress: 4725 Twin Lake Ave., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
Family: Son Sam; daughter Savannah; significant other Leslie; her children Colin and Cayla
Education: Political Science and Criminal Justice degrees, Michigan State University
Occupation: Medical Fraud Investigator with a mid-size insurance company. I also own and run my own Real Estate Brokerage, Hot Market Realty, and own/manage a number of rental properties.
Years lived in city: 9
Community/civic involvement: I sat on the Housing Commission for the City of Brooklyn Center.
Contact information: [email protected]; 763-587-3789

Q. Why are you running for the seat in District 40B?
Many people who hold political office make it a career. They are in office so long they forget what it is like to live in the “real” world. They put the party they are affiliated with over the needs of the people they represent. My opponent has been in office 18 years and nearly always walks the party line, even to the detriment of the people she represents.

Q. If elected, what policies or issues would you like to focus on?
Keeping people safe. Our criminal justice system in Minnesota is out of touch with reality. Two years ago, a 19-year-old kid told me he was going to kill me then plunged a knife into my ribs. He received very little jail time and had the opportunity to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Too many times I see horrible crimes on the news only to learn that the suspect had a lengthy criminal history.

Q. What pressing social issues do you believe the Minnesota House should focus its resources towards?
The biggest issues I see among my peers are affordable housing, job creation, and crime. Too many times businesses leave or, worse yet, won’t even consider moving to Minnesota. Most of the time it is due to the climate created by the exact people we elected to represent us. Again, party over everything else.

Republican candidate Mali Marvin will appear on the ballot on Aug. 9, but will run unopposed. A profile on Marvin will appear in the upcoming general election voters guide in October.