Matt Schmit, a Democrat, is running for the Minnesota Senate representing District 21.
The district includes Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Plainview, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Elgin, Mazeppa, Goodview, St. Charles, Wabasha, Kellogg, Lake City, Rolling Stone, Pine Island and parts of West Concord.
"We have knocked on 25,000 doors during this campaign," he said. "Our focus is to meet the voters and to give them a chance to know who I am and why I am running."
He said he was very disappointed in the three-week government shutdown in July of 2011.
"I just worry that if we send the same people back, we may get the same results, the same gridlock," he said.
He explained that his three priorities are:
1) balancing the budget once and for all with no more smoke and mirrors
2) to quit passing the buck to our cities and schools (Property taxes have shot up dramatically everywhere.)
3) Working together. Neither political party has all the answers and we need leaders who will put people ahead of their parties. They have to be willing to compromise.
"I'm a small business owner and consultant," he said. "I would focus on four areas of public policy - economic development, broadband deployment (getting high speed Internet access to rural Minnesota), transportation issues and workforce readiness."
He added that he thinks he could be an effective state senator from Day One because he knows people, the legislative process and the issues.
He is a lifelong resident of Red Wing and a graduate of Red Wing High School. He did his undergraduate work at St. John's University, studying biology and political science and his graduate work, studying economics and public policy, at the University of Minnesota. He worked with the Senate Education Finance Committee right after college.
"I just want to go to St. Paul and make good votes and be part of the solutions," he said. "It's been so much fun knocking on doors and meeting people. Now it's up to the people. I'm focused on making Minnesota work again."