DETROIT LAKES — DFL-endorsed candidate John Hest has the backing of longtime DFL leader Rep. Paul Marquart and says he will follow in Marquart’s footsteps if elected to the Minnesota House 4B seat .
“Paul is very popular. He consistently outperformed every other Democrat, and I think we need more of that,” Hest said in an interview. “I’m very inspired by the pragmatism that will help people – I want to get things done and not get caught up in St. Paul’s partisan nonsense.”
Hest, 30, grew up as the fifth generation on the family farm near Perley, Minnesota, where his father and brother still farm.
“My mother teaches at MSUM and inspired my passion for higher education,” Hest said on her campaign website. “Growing up on the farm, I witnessed many of the issues farmers face. Although I no longer live on the farm, I am an active member of the Minnesota Farmers Union and a proud graduate of their New Leader Academy. If elected, I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that family farms are a viable and thriving part of our communities.
Hest lives in Glyndon with his wife, Natalie, and their 2-year-old daughter, Eleanor. He works at Minnesota State Community and Technical College as an academic advisor, “helping students from all walks of life find their college successes. I am a proud member of the Professional Employees Association of Minnesota Local 1502. In addition to my work at M State, I teach part-time online history and government classes for Sisseton Wahpeton College in South Dakota,” he said.
Hest says he has seen the challenges faced by farmers, students, parents and the elderly in the community. “If elected, I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that family farms are a viable and thriving part of our community. I promise to tirelessly defend the workers of our district and their labor rights. I will fight to ensure that every student has access to affordable, high-quality public education, from kindergarten through college.
Hest is pro-choice and says the government should stay out of a decision that is best left to a woman and her doctor. He is not in favor of additional restrictions on abortion.
Hest says he cares deeply for this part of Minnesota. “This area has been my home for most of my life,” he said, “and we deserve a representative who will speak authentically about our needs and experiences. I believe I can be that person and I hope you’ll join me on my journey to election day.
Here are the top issues for Hest, according to his campaign website:
Growing up on the family farm in rural Norman County, Hest said he saw firsthand some of the challenges faced by family farmers. “We need to do more to ensure the sustainability of family farming as a way of life,” he said. “This may include expanding the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit and other grant/loan programs, providing an affordable public option for health insurance, enacting entitlement legislation repairing and funding research into the future of agricultural products”.
Fully fund our public schools
Students and teachers are struggling, Hest said. “We need to fully fund our public schools, from early childhood through college, including school counseling and other mental health supports for our students and teachers, expand student loan forgiveness programs and subsidies for high-need programs like health care and child care, and expanding available vocational and technical training programs to meet workforce needs. Part of the solution is also to ensure that the tax burden is distributed fairly and that property taxes are kept at a reasonable level.
Healthcare and Elderly Care
Access to quality health care is difficult in many rural communities, he said. “We need to train more providers and encourage them to stay; we must also encourage our health care systems to adequately fund their rural clinics. I also support “hero pay” for our pandemic frontline workers, as promised. As we age, we need to ensure that there are quality places to live in our communities so our seniors don’t have to leave their hometowns when they need a little help. additional.
Infrastructure and small businesses
To ensure the quality of life in rural Minnesota, “we need infrastructure that works,” he said. “We need to make sure we invest in roads and bridges in rural Minnesota, as well as supporting our renewable energy infrastructure. We need high speed internet on every section of road and in every corner of the state. We also need to support our entrepreneurs and ensure seed money is available to help them build businesses that enrich their hometowns.
Protect our environment, prepare for floods
Minnesota is home to irreplaceable natural resources, Hest said, “and we must preserve them for future generations. I am a frequent patron of our state’s parks and natural areas and support efforts to improve them so that all Minnesotans can enjoy them. Parts of the district “are also particularly susceptible to flooding from the Red River of the North. I support diversion efforts and am committed to supporting landowners and other stakeholders along the river to ensure the impact is equitable.
Affordable Housing and Homelessness for Veterans
Every person deserves to have access to a safe place to live, Hest said. “We need to do more to encourage the construction of affordable housing in rural Minnesota given the current shortfall. I would support a loan program to help communities or other organizations build more affordable housing. We also have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that our veterans’ homes are quality places to live – and to actively work to ensure that no veteran is left homeless; they have earned this right.
Hest will face Republican candidate Jim Joy of Hawley in the Nov. 8 general election.
House 4B District boundaries have changed due to redistricting and now include the Becker County towns of Detroit Lakes, Audubon, and Lake Park, and the townships of Cormorant, Lake Eunice, Lakeview, Detroit, Audubon, Lake Park, Cuba, Hamden, Richwood, Atlanta and Walworth.
District 4B also includes most of Clay County except around Moorhead (which is House District 4A) and the towns of Ulen and Felton and the townships of Felton, Hagen and Ulen, which are now in the District 1B.