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Meet the candidates battling for Minnesota House District 5B

Get to know the legislative candidates participating in the Aug. 9 primary election in state House Districts 5B for a chance to compete in the general election this November.

Election 2022 in United States
Election 2022 in United States
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Questionnaires were emailed to the registered addresses of each of the 2022 state legislative candidates for house district 5B. Each candidate was given word limits for each response.

House District 5B

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Minnesota House District 5B, Feb. 2022
Contributed / Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

Gregg Hendrickson (Independence-Alliance):

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Gregg Hendrickson, 2022 candidate photo
Contributed / Gregg Hendrickson

Name: Gregg Hendrickson
Age: 62
Hometown: Long Prairie, MN
Education: BS in Business Adm. Major in Finance
Family members (name/age): 2 Sons, 1 Daughter, 2 Grandchildren
Past offices held, if any: Not a politician, U.S. Army Veteran
Most recent employment: 30 years in the RV Industry, Current.

What makes you the best candidate to represent the MNGOP/MNDFL in the upcoming November election?

I am an Independent, I would not represent either the GOP or the DFL, but the people in district 5B. The two-party system is broken! In St. Paul, the two parties can't dictate to me on how I should vote or think, I will vote for what is best for the people in District 5B. I would be a swing voter in St. Paul, that's when I'll be able to bring the candy home for us.

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What are the main issues you will focus on when you are elected to the Minnesota Legislature?

We need property tax relief. We can not let our seniors be taxed out of their home. I will achieve this and change our tax code for the rural areas. There is no reason, that a $250,000 house in District 5B should pay the same amount of tax as a $1 million house in the cities.

Then there is infrastructure: I live 3 miles out of Long Prairie and still do not have high-speed internet. The state mandated the schools to go to a web-based education. To this day, we have families doing their homework in the parking lot of McDonald's. This is basic stuff that we need, and the two-party system has failed to provide it for District 5B. We can't have business come here and young families that want to stay until it gets fixed.

How would you describe your position on:

  • Abortion?

I'm not for killing babies, but to take away the medical freedom and liberties of 52% of the population in District 5B is not the answer. I'm against vaccine mandates because that violates medical freedom and liberty of all people. I cannot make that statement on the issue and then say that medical freedom and liberty only applies to men. It would be hypocritical. We need to find another way to achieve this without our government telling the people what to do and think.

  • Spending the $9 billion state surplus revenue?

Tax relief to the property owners in the rural areas. Infrastructure investments so the people in District 5B have the same basic services as those who live in the metro areas.

  • Was the 2020 election stolen? Why do you believe that? What, if any, changes would you recommend for how elections are conducted in Minnesota?

There is always a chance, but due to the fact that after countless recounts and the statement from the Trump administration Attorney General, Bill Barr, that there is no evidence of it being stolen, The logic would dictate it was not.

  • What changes, if any, would you make to how local government aid is distributed to Greater Minnesota?

Our shrinking population in the rural areas and the constant increase in local government, make us vulnerable to ever increasing taxes. We need a bigger piece of the pie. Our two-party system focuses on the voters in the metro area, so they get the money. If a Republican or Democrat gets elected here, they must vote the way their party wants them to. The revenue as always will go to the metro areas, and we will always be rocks and cows to them.
Sheldon Monson (GOP):

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Sheldon Monson, 2022 candidate photo
Contributed / Sheldon Monson

Name: Sheldon Monson
Age: 57
Hometown: Leonard, MN
Education: Wadena AVTI Construction Electrician 1 & 2
Family members (name/age): My wife Sharin & 6 adult children
Past offices held, if any: Currently serving my second term as a Wadena County Commissioner. I also have been on the Todd-Wadena Community Corrections Board, and have previously been Wadena County Fair Board President as well as many other boards.
Most recent employment: Construction Code Representative, master electrician for 32 years

What makes you the best candidate to represent the MNGOP in the upcoming November election?

I'm the only candidate who has actually delivered victories for the conservative values in our area. As a Wadena County commissioner, I've always worked to respect your hard-earned tax dollars and stood for the conservative values of our community. I helped lead the effort to make Wadena County a Second Amendment Dedicated County, and pushed to keep drop boxes out of our election system, protecting our elections. I also believe I can bring strong, real-world experience down to Saint Paul. I have been a small business owner, volunteer EMT, youth pastor, trap shooting sports coach, 4H leader and Fair Board President to name a few. I’m also the only candidate to receive an A rating from Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. I know that I can bring rural values to Saint Paul and not just talk about conservative issues, but get things DONE that advance our conservative values.

What are the main issues you will focus on when you are elected to the Minnesota Legislature?

As I talk to voters for the August 9 Republican Primary, I hear a great deal about inflation and the need to send the FULL surplus back to taxpayers who have been overcharged and deserve their money back. Public safety is another big issue. I'm proud to be the only candidate in the Republican Primary endorsed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association — the largest law enforcement organization in Minnesota. I will work to ensure our police have the resources needed to keep our communities safe and make sure they know that we have their backs. Other top issues include stopping the oppressive government mandates and reforming emergency powers to make sure we don't see a repeat of the disastrous lockdowns. Gov. Walz kept our kids out of school for way too long. He also violated the rights and freedoms of our businesses by closing them down and punishing them with lawsuits from Keith Ellison. We can’t let that happen again. Voters also want to see more done to protect the integrity of our elections — I want to pass Voter ID and join the dozens of other states who have this common-sense safeguard in place.

How would you describe your position on:

  • Abortion?

I'm a 100% pro-life candidate and will always seek to protect the unborn. Being pro-life isn't just about supporting unborn babies, it's about supporting mothers with love and care throughout their pregnancy as well as the baby once it's born. I support the incredible work being done by pro-life centers to support mothers and the unborn. It's been disgraceful to watch as pro-abortion extremists vandalize and terrorize these pro-life centers — we can't allow that, and it's appalling that Gov. Walz and Joe Biden haven't spoken out about the increase in these awful attacks.

  • Spending the $9 billion state surplus revenue?

We should use this massive budget surplus to give tax cuts to the taxpayers! It's obscene how much money government is over-collecting from Minnesotans when many families are struggling with gas at $4.60/gallon and inflation at 9%. I fully support eliminating taxes on social security to help our seniors. We need to make sure Minnesota is no longer a state that is taxing Social Security benefits that were earned by retirees and seniors. We should also use this surplus to ease the tax burden placed on many of our businesses. This is why I am honored to be the only candidate endorsed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund. They trust my experience and conservative record to be a strong supporter of the businesses in Minnesota and this district!

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  • Was the 2020 election stolen? Why do you believe that? What, if any, changes would you recommend for how elections are conducted in Minnesota?

In 2020 Minnesota's Secretary of State, Steve Simon, colluded with liberal special interest groups to eliminate a longstanding election integrity law that requires a witness signature on your absentee ballot. The Constitution says that the legislature — not the courts — sets election laws. It was disgraceful that he would abuse the court process to strike down one of Minnesota's election integrity laws. Joe Biden is the president, but the shenanigans that took place in 2020, with courts overhauling elections laws across the country, can never be allowed to happen again.
I will be a strong supporter of election integrity by pushing for Voter ID, continuing my work against drop boxes, and working to get rid of ballot harvesting. We also must take a stand against the politicians in Minneapolis who are pushing to allow illegal immigrants to vote in city elections. This is a blatant attack on our Constitution, and violates Minnesota law. Other liberal cities like New York have tried this, and it must not be allowed to come to Minnesota.

  • What changes, if any, would you make to how local government aid is distributed to Greater Minnesota?

Some small communities rely on Local Government Aid(LGA) to provide basic services like fire and police — core functions of government that their community's tax base could otherwise not afford. We should require that cities use LGA for the basic core functions of government, and only basic needs of the city. This could save the state millions by weeding out wasteful LGA spending. We also need to realign the County Program Aid Formula to help counties like Wadena and Todd county that have a low tax base. This would help lower property taxes.
Mike Wiener (GOP):

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Mike Wiener, 2022 candidate photo
Screenshot / Facebook / Mike Wiener

Name: Mike Wiener
Age: 46
Hometown: Long Prairie
Education: High School Sauk Centre. College, St Cloud Business Management/Sales
Family members (name/age): Wife: Amber, Children: 9 Children age from 21 to 3 years old
Past offices held, if any: Todd County Planning Zoning Board, Todd County Republicans Deputy Chair
Most recent employment: Business Owner-Produce Animal Bedding and Biomass Trucking Company, Beef Farmer

What makes you the best candidate to represent the MNGOP in the upcoming November election?

It is an honor and privilege to be endorsed by the people as the Republican candidate for House District 5B. I'm grateful to everyone who came to the convention and overwhelmingly chose me. This is the voice of the people choosing their representative for St Paul. Thank You. Career politicians will not make the hard decisions for fear of losing the next election. My focus is not a career, but to change the disastrous course these politicians have us on. In order for things to change we need to stop electing weak politicians who are in the back pocket of special interest groups.

What are the main issues you will focus on when you are elected to the Minnesota Legislature?

My top priority is the people. I was endorsed to represent them. Our republic is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people. This starts with our elections. Do you want a candidate chosen and endorsed by the people, or one chosen by special interest groups and the establishment? We have had enough of career politicians who do the bidding of the establishment and neglect us. Taxes, Second Amendment, public safety are issues people are concerned about. Wadena county is the third highest taxed county in the state. Minnesota ranks 9th in highest taxes. We are driving business and people out of our state. Nearly 20,000 people left for lower taxed states.

Second amendment, “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. End of discussion. Public safety. We’ve seen the disastrous impact of the defund the police movement in the cities. Record crime, lawlessness, disrespect for police has less people going into this line of work. We need to support our local law enforcement and especially our county sheriff.

How would you describe your position on:

  • Abortion?

As a father of nine, I am absolutely pro-life. Every year in Minnesota our tax dollars fund approximately 4,400 abortions. Instead of funding abortions let's spend that money on adoptions and supporting the mothers. Lets fund pregnancy centers that give mothers options and education. Lets fund life. With the recent decision of the Supreme Court, Minnesota will become an abortion destination. Clinics in surrounding states will close and move to Minnesota. That's not what people in Minnesota want.

  • Spending the $9 billion state surplus revenue?

The projected surplus is the result of consumer spending and corporate profits. Minnesota is a tax and spend state. When the state is collecting record amounts, but the people are suffering from record energy prices and soaring inflation, things need to change. The obvious attempt by Gov. Walz to buy votes by giving out “Walz Checks” is wrong. The surplus needs to be given back to the people in the form of a long and lasting tax cut. Slashing the Social Security tax, eliminating the Personal Income tax. Other states have done this and are lowering the burden on taxpayers.

  • Was the 2020 election stolen? Why do you believe that? What, if any, changes would you recommend for how elections are conducted in Minnesota?

In God we trust, all other ID required. Safe and secure elections are crucial. Mail-in ballots, cyber security, ballot harvesting all erode the confidence in our voting system. 46 of 47 European countries require voter id, many have banned mail-in votes for decades. To make our elections as secure and safe as possible, voter id is essential. A nation that does not take its elections seriously, does not take the rights of its citizens seriously.

  • What changes, if any, would you make to how local government aid is distributed to Greater Minnesota?

Local Government Aid was started in the 70s as a way to help with excessive property tax. With the huge spikes in property taxes, it’s obvious LGA isn’t being used for its intended purpose. Currently LGA is distributed to areas that are low income, or high Democrat areas. The incentive is to maintain or increase benefit recipients to get more LGA. This is a race to the bottom. An increase in benefit recipients equates to an increase in the size of county government. As the government grows the taxes increase to support it. This system needs a major overhaul or people will be taxed out of their homes.

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