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Langseth's clout needed now more than ever in Senate

The 2010 election marks a crucial time for education, local government aid and flood protection funding for our area. Sen. Keith Langseth's experience and clout is needed now more than ever.

I have served with Sen. Langseth for 10 years in the Minnesota Legislature. In a Legislature that has more metro legislators than rural legislators, I have seen first-hand how his leadership as chairman of the powerful Senate Capital Investment Committee has benefitted our area against the odds.

Sen. Langseth has "beaten the odds" and delivered for our area time and time again. Working with community leaders and residents, he has secured valuable funding for important Detroit Lakes and area projects.

Sen. Langseth has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in new construction and rehabilitation to our state's colleges and universities, including the Community and Technical Colleges in Detroit Lakes and Moorhead. He's fought to preserve education funding for our rural schools. He's defended local government aid, which provides for crucial services like police and fire protection while keeping property taxes in check. That's delivering results for our communities.

I've seen how hard Sen. Langseth fights and never gives up in the Capitol in St. Paul on what's best for District 9. A great example of this perseverance was this year's bonding bill. The Governor and the House of Representatives proposed funding $50 million for flood protection. Sen. Langseth demanded $63 million and he got it. That's $13 million more in flood protection for our area! That's why we are fortunate to have the chairman of the bonding bill in our backyard.

Sen. Langseth and I travel together to many town meetings and he has had to come down from the tractor on more than one occasion when I stop by his and Lorraine's farm. In our many one-on-one discussions, he has made clear his commitment and passion to protect Red River Valley residents from future flood damage. He confides that when putting the bonding bill together that "I am fair to the entire state, but I'm just a little fairer to my district." That is heartfelt commitment to the people of District 9.

Unfortunately, Sen. Langseth's opponent has resorted to a negative and deceptive campaign. The fact is that Sen. Langseth's experience, clout and chairmanship has greatly helped District 9 "beat the odds" in the face of a metro-dominated Legislature.

We need to put partisan politics aside and do what's best for rural Minnesota and our area. Please support Sen. Langseth to continue his great work for District 9. -- Rep. Paul Marquart, District 9B, Dilworth