The Duluth News Tribune has endorsed Tom Anzelc in the 2016 race for State Representative in District 5B. The region's largest newspaper recognized Anzelc's knowledge and insight in addressing the problems facing Northern Minnesota.
From the editorial:
Living on a tiny lake in a tiny township in ultra-rural Northeastern Minnesota while also working as an elected leader in big-city St. Paul, Rep. Tom Anzelc has a unique perspective on our economic reality, a viewpoint that well serves him and his constituents.
Residents of Minnesota House 5B, which covers Cass and a large portion of Itasca counties, can seize their opportunity Nov. 8 to re-elect Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, to continue to put his insight and his wealth of knowledge to work for them.
“Rural America has not recovered from the Great Recession (while) the Twin Cities metropolitan area (like other urban centers) is doing just fine,” Anzelc said at a News Tribune-sponsored candidate forum this month in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia.
“Rural Minnesota (needs to) recapture what it had prior to the Great Recession. That means diversification, that means mining, (and) that means forestry and everything in between. We don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing what jobs we’d like to have.”
In the name of jobs and prosperity, Anzelc remains committed to the environmental-review and mineral-exploration processes that are promising to give the region the PolyMet mine and, hopefully still, the Twin Metals project.
“We live in Northeastern Minnesota (and) its beautiful environment. It’s a beautiful place to live. But we need economic activity and development and jobs. We need to stop the declining enrollments in our public schools, in our communities,” Anzelc said. “Therefore, I believe that science, rather than politics, should guide us. The PolyMet project is on track. It is in the permitting stage. The science should be our guide. The permits should be issued. The science lines up with the development, and the project should go forward.
“With regard to Twin Metals,” Anzelc continued, “I believe Gov. (Mark) Dayton erred in his decision to stop drill core sampling in the area. ... He should have allowed that to occur.”
Anzelc’s top priority remains well-placed on education. He serves on the House Education Finance Committee.
“I know public education,” he said. “What we we need is additional funding for the special-education cross subsidy, we need additional funding for transportation sparsity for rural districts with huge transportation problems, and we need to reduce class sizes. Our commitment to kids is the number-one function of state government in Minnesota.”
That includes kids in college and making sure public universities remain affordable, he said.
A former teacher at Hibbing High School, Anzelc has been in the Legislature since 2006. He also served on the St. Louis County Board and is a current member of the IRRRB.
“My goal has been ... to represent all of the people regardless of where they live or whether they’re connected or not,” Anzelc said. “When I leave on the weekends to go back to St. Paul during the session, I think of the carpenter, the logger, the steelworker, the small-business person and, in particular, young families struggling to … make a good living in this wonderful place that we call northern Minnesota.”
That portion of northern Minnesota that encompasses Minnesota House District 5B can pick experience, knowledge and perspective by once again voting for Anzelc as their state representative.