Meet the new Senate majority, vol. 3

Hall.jpgSenator-elect Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, District 40

Election: Defeated incumbent Sen. John Doll, R-Burnsville

Family: Married, eight children

Occupation: CEO

Education: Augsburg College

Hall runs a company that trains and certifies chaplains for police departments. Like other GOP freshmen, Hall favors a cuts-alone approach to the budget and opposes tax increases. But he also said he thinks the Republican Senate can work with DFLer Mark Dayton in the governor’s office.

“I think he’s a reasonable guy, and reasonable people can understand common sense,” Hall said. “We’ll find some compromise together and move forward as a state.”

Hoffman.jpgSenator-elect Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, District 10

Election: Defeated incumbent Sen. Dan Skogen, DFL-Hewitt

Family: Married, three children.

Occupation: Business Owner, Registered Nurse

Hoffman is another political newcomer interested in issues related to business climate and job creation. But Hoffman said she’s also concerned about funding disparities in public education.

“When you’ve got the funding for the metro being two and a half times what it is in the rural areas, that’s a big deal in our area,” Hoffman said. “The funding formula is a mess.”

Howe.jpgSenator-elect John Howe, R-Red Wing, District 28

Election: Defeated DFL candidate Joe Fricke for the seat vacated by Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing

Family: married, three children

Work: property ownership

Education: BA, St. Cloud State University

Howe is currently the mayor of Red Wing. But unlike many mayors, Howe said he wants to consider changes in Local Government Aid as part of state budget discussions.

“A lot of people talk about government living inside its means,” Howe said. “But government has no means. Government has to live inside of our means, and I think that’s the message we have to carry moving forward.”

Kruse.jpgSenator-elect Benjamin Kruse, R-Brooklyn Park, District 47

Election: Defeated incumbent Sen. Leo Foley, DFL-Coon Rapids

Family: Married

Occupation: Real Estate

Kruse once worked as a legislative assistant in the Minnesota House. He currently serves on the government relations panels of three business groups. Kruse is pushing the same jobs and economic agenda as his GOP colleagues, but he also wants to address the public safety concerns facing his suburban district.

“I see it and hear (it) as a real estate agent all the time that folks don’t want to live in this area,” Kruse said. “They have concerns about crime. They have concerns about public safety, and based off those things property values. That’s something we need to take care of.”

(Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Senate)

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