Todd Mikkelson, an inventor and small business owner from Orono, has officially entered the race to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 33A.
With today's June 5 deadline to file for office arriving, the Orono resident joins Republican Jerry Hertaus as the only declared candidates as of this posting. The seat is currently held by Republican Steve Smith.
Having grown up in the area and graduated from Wayzata schools, Mikkelson said he wants to bring his problem-solving abilities to the State Capitol in order to serve his community and help end the gridlock.
“People out here feel like they’re not being represented in St. Paul—that their issues aren’t being addressed," Mikkelson said. "I want to work on issues important to our community like reigning in property taxes, properly funding schools, protecting our lakes and strengthening our economy.”
As a small business owner, Mikkelson said the economy is a top priority.
“This district is rich with small business owners, and despite a lot of lip service from the current legislature they haven’t done anything that actually helps the vast majority of small businesses," he said. "If we get small businesses moving, we get the whole economy moving.”
Mikkelson went on to say that in his district and elsewhere, high property taxes are a concern.
“Property taxes are at their highest level ever in the history of our state," he said. The elimination of the Homestead Credit, and cuts in aid to cities resulted in large tax increases for most people. Property taxes now rank as the number one source of state revenue, surpassing the income tax. This is hurting middle-income Minnesotans.”
True fiscal responsibility needs to be restored to state government, he added.
“It’s irresponsible to be borrowing money to balance the budget without a plan to pay back the debt," Mikkelson said. "It’s irresponsible to use the state’s emergency fund for any use other than true emergencies. And it’s irresponsible not to be making smart investments in our infrastructure now, when interest rates are low.”
He added that repayment of the $2.4 billion that was borrowed from K-12 schools last year is a priority.
“State government should be working with our schools rather than against them so they have the support they need to educate our kids for the 21st century. ”