• Why I am Running


Running for Governor is a big deal, and not something I ever thought I would do. I never dreamed I would run for Mayor of Saint Paul, either, and if you had asked me a few years ago if I would, I would have laughed at you.

Why would I want to? I have a great family, a great business, and a great life. Politics is for people who want power to run other people’s lives, not for people like me.

But I’ve changed my mind. Not because I want to run your life, but because I think the people who are running the city or the state are ruining our quality of life.

Like many of you, I tried to ignore politics as much as possible. As long as the streets were plowed, city services worked pretty well, and taxes were bearable I’d leave politics to the busybodies. Maybe that’s not the most admirable attitude, but I like spending time with my family, my friends, and on my businesses.

Then I got whacked upside the head by the city and its power brokers.

You see, my business is on University Avenue—right where they are building the Central Corridor. It’s pretty hard to ignore city politics when it threatens your livelihood, so I got involved.

You may not know this, but many business people along University Avenue opposed building the central corridor light rail line in front of their businesses. Not because we hate transit but because lost parking equals lost revenue, which equals business closure (70+ to date!).  The University Avenue bus line is one of the most successful transit lines in the Twin Cities, and actually makes money unlike most bus lines.

The Central Corridor project has been a direct threat to all businesses. Years of construction has driven customers away, and the city has taken away over 1000 parking spaces with no plan to replace them.

I went to meetings, organized with fellow businesspeople, and took our case to the city.

And they didn’t care. At all!

They claimed it would be good for business. They said it would revitalize University Avenue. They painted a pretty picture of the future. And they were perfectly ready to sacrifice us to the alter of light rail.

And what has happened? Exactly what we said would happen. Over 70 businesses have closed since construction began, and hundreds more are on the edge. Jobs have been lost, families have lost their livelihoods and their savings, and the city is losing a significant part of its tax base.

Minnesota has been losing major employers to other states while not attracting new ones.

Somebody has to stand up and speak for the citizens. And I decided that somebody should be me. That’s why I am running for Governor.