ROCHESTER, Minn. – We are continuing or special election coverage by previewing several local races leading up to election day. Many in Olmsted County will find the race for Senate District 26 on their ballots.
Republican State Sen. Carla Nelson is seeking re-election. The former Rochester Public Schools teacher and small business owner has served in the state senate for the past two terms.
“I vote for my constituents, not along party line, even if I’m the only one,” Nelson explains. “I was elected by the people of Senate District 26, and I pledge to them that I will not stoop to partisanship point scoring, I will continue to work across the aisle and I will continue to work to do what’s best for the constituents in this area.”
Nelson is being challenged by Rich Wright, a former Rochester Assistant City Attorney who served in the U.S. Army Reserves for ten years.
“I have the skills because that’s what I do, I negotiate,” Wright explains. “I work with my client, I reach across the aisle, I’m always respectful. I’m proud to say that I could go out and have tea or coffee or a drink with any of my opposing counsel because I’m respectful and I get along with them and as long as you’re patient, creative, and flexible you can solve any problem.”
Both candidates see education as an issue they would focus on should they be elected. Wright believes that an issue many voters are concerned about is gridlock.
“What happened in this last session in particular is pretty egregious because our legislators didn’t get their work done. When I’m out, I’ve knocked on over 10,000 doors and that’s the number one issue people talk about is how come the legislature can’t get their work done on time and what are you going to do about it?”
However, Nelson says she has and will continue to build on important things for the district, including strengthening the economy, improving schools and holding government accountable.
“Those are things that I have focuses on, that I’ve delivered on and I’d like to continue that trust of working for the people of Senate District 26,” Nelson adds.