Grant Hauschild campaigns in the region

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Marshal Helmberger

REGIONAL — As he travels the vast Senate district he hopes to represent after the November election, Grant Hauschild said he hears common themes, especially in communities that rely on tourism.
Hauschild, who currently sits on the Hermantown City Council, was this week in Tower, Cook and Grand Marais, all communities included in the Third Senate District long represented by Sen. Tom Bakk. Bakk announced his retirement at the end of his current term and Hauschild hopes to succeed him.
While the district has long been a DFL stronghold, Hauschild knows the area has undergone dramatic change in recent years and he’s running fast and hard – like the outsider he could be.
“Overall, I’m hearing pretty similar themes,” said Hauschild, who spoke to the Timberjay about his recent visit to the area. “People certainly talk a lot about labor issues,” Hauschild said. From the North Shore to northern St. Louis County, Hauschild said he is concerned about the lack of available workers and recognizes the extreme scarcity of housing is contributing to the problem. He said potential workers interested in relocating to area communities for a variety of job opportunities find it nearly impossible to secure housing, especially rental housing. Homes that become available are often purchased immediately, either by new owners or by investors hoping to convert homes into short-term rentals through online rentals.
Hauschild, who worked in rural economic development with the USDA during the Obama administration, said he was well aware of the problem and how the lack of capital in rural areas contributes to the problem. “It’s really an area where the government can partner with local organizations to provide low-cost housing options,” he said.
At the same time, Hauschild said he recognizes that many rural and small town residents often feel that funding approved for improving or expanding housing or broadband connectivity does not not arrive in their city. “People are saying they don’t believe it will affect their community,” Hauschild said. He agreed and said that is why, if elected, he will seek appointment to the Senate Capital Investments Committee, where he can help direct direct spending to the region, rather than just filling in agency coffers to see the overwhelming majority of funds remain in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.
“I hear the concern. My number one goal will be to bring money directly to Northland,” he said. “And I’m the only candidate who has the full political baggage to get that money to Northland.”
Although he is a relatively new resident of the district, having moved to the Hermantown area from North Dakota in 2018, Hauschild brings with him more than a decade of political experience, starting at the University of North Dakota. , where he was a student. vice-president of the organization while obtaining a degree in political science. He worked first as an assistant and then as political director to US Senator from North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp.
While living in Washington, DC, he earned a master’s degree in public policy from George Washington University in addition to his work at the Department of Agriculture. Since moving to Hermantown, he has served as Executive Director of the Essentia Health Foundation, which provides a wide range of funding to Essentia locations throughout the region.
While visiting Tower on Sunday, Hauschild met a few dozen locals. While housing and labor shortages were discussed, he said others raised concerns about the lack of mental health services and the difficulties many young people have faced during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID. “It seems young people are really struggling with mental health right now,” Hauschild said. “We are seeing issues with lack of services, and we are also concerned about growing gaps in funding for EMS. There are a lot of problems with people who live in rural areas, who don’t know if they will get the help they need when they need it.
Although Hauschild also visited Cook on Sunday to take part in the Timber Days Parade, he said it did not give him the opportunity to have the kind of in-depth discussions he has had elsewhere. But he said he plans to return to the area soon to talk more with voters.
While Hauschild acknowledges that the Third District is far from a shoo-in for a DFLer these days, he has substantial experience in politics and said his campaign was well-organized, well-funded and enthusiastic. “I have no doubt that I visited more communities, talked to more people than the other two candidates combined,” he said.
While Hauschild faces no opposition for the DFL’s nomination for the job, the Republican nominee will be decided in the Aug. 9 primary. Current Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich and former Iron Mining Association President Kelsey Johnson compete in this competition.
Hauschild said his roots in North Dakota left him in the moderate wing of the DFL, which focused primarily on the farmer and labor side of the party. “As a moderate, I would have the ability to make deals with Republicans, not yell at them,” he said. His time on the Hermantown City Council also allowed him to recognize that the best decisions are often made at the local level, where elected officials typically focus on problem solving rather than partisan play. And that’s what Hauschild said he hopes to bring to the region, if elected. “I think if we’re looking for someone who can take a pragmatic approach and really deliver for the region.”

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