Business owner Rich Draheim announces run for State Senate

Mankato Times

Rich Draheim, Cleveland, Mankato TimesCLEVELAND, MINN. — Business owner Rich Draheim of Washington Township announced his candidacy for State Senate in District 20, a seat currently held by second-term Democrat Kevin Dahle of Northfield.

After graduating with a Business Administration degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, he worked for 19 years for area John Deere implement dealerships. He later owned and operated the Westwood Marina on Lake Washington and currently owns and manages Weichert Realtors, Community Group of Mankato and the New Ulm Event Center.

Draheim believes that second-term Democrat, Kevin Dahle, of Northfield has ignored south central Greater Minnesota families, seniors, farmers, small business owners, students, and schools and says he will focus on common sense changes that will set state government on an accountable path.

“When we needed a strong voice to advocate for us and not for powerful special interests of Minneapolis and St Paul, Kevin Dahle was absent,” Draheim stated. “I’ll bring south central Minnesota common sense to the Capitol and work with members of both parties to rebuild an accountable State government that responds to Greater Minnesota’s priorities.”

Draheim lists his legislative priorities as the promotion of job creation and growth of main street economies; a reduced regulatory burden on farmers and small business owners; fair education funding, reform and accountability; and an overall emphasis on effective and efficient government.

“Let’s start with State Income Tax reform,” Draheim said. “Common sense tells us that when a state has a 2 billion dollar budget surplus, tax rates are too high. That limits economic growth and job creation. When government has too much money, it finds ways to spend it foolishly, as special-interest groups well know.”

Draheim believes that when government has too much money and staff it can spend time and taxpayer dollars to find more ways to burden farmers and small business owners. 

“In the end,” Draheim says, “overregulation costs Greater Minnesota families money and disproportionately impacts jobs and growth in our region.”

Draheim warns. “Runaway healthcare costs in Minnesota impact every worker, family, and business in the state.”

Skyrocketing premiums and copays are just the start, he believes. “Deductibles are so high that many hard-working, middle-class Minnesotans can’t afford a doctor’s visit,” he states. “Who can afford a 5 thousand dollar deductible? The reality is that person doesn’t have health care. MNsure needs a hard look, and overtaxing young workers and college students to bail the government out of this mess isn’t the solution.”

He said he wants to rebalance education funding through fair taxation and use common sense to reform our approach to education delivery and accountability.

”Areas like District 20 carry unfair tax burdens, and the region’s students don’t receive the same level of educational support as their Twin Cities counterparts,” he said  “We can improve the quality of education at lower cost if we look at value for dollar in our education system and apply common sense reforms. What is important here is that our students get an education that gives them the skills to succeed at a cost that is fair to our District 20 constituents.”

“It’s common sense to have a budget that balances taxing and spending—not one that generates a 2 billion dollar surplus,” Draheim said. “I’ll make it my priority on my first day in office to require a top-down analysis of agencies and programs that overtax and under deliver. I’ll work with my forward-looking counterparts on both sides of the aisle to bring an accountable, new direction to our State. It’s just the common sense thing to do.”

Draheim and his wife, Lynnette, have been married for 16 years. They are the parents of two children who attend public school in Cleveland. The family attends Hosanna Lutheran Church, Mankato, where Draheim has been an active member for 40 years.

The Draheim Campaign is managed by U.S. Army Veteran, Jack Zimmerman, of Cleveland. Draheim will compete for the Senate District 20 Republican Party endorsement to be held April 11, 2016, at a location to be determined. 

District 20 includes most of Le Sueur County, northern Rice County, and southern Scott County, including the cities of Le Sueur, New Prague, Belle Plaine, Elko, New Market, Montgomery, Lonsdale, Northfield, and surrounding townships

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