Sen. Nelson leans on political record in congressional bid
Sen. Carla Nelson points to past victories in Minnesota’s Legislature as proof that she would be a trustworthy and effective voice for Southeast Minnesota if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing District 1.
Running unendorsed in the August primary, she calls herself a “winner” who has a proven track record of getting things done. On Friday, she sat with the Post Bulletin to answer questions about her campaign and position on current issues.
One of her priorities, Nelson said, is to improve Minnesota’s infrastructure. A former teacher, she compares the 3 Rs of teaching to what she calls the “4 Rs of infrastructure:” rivers, roads, railroads and runways.
“The role of government is to maintain infrastructure,” Nelson said. She said that her recent work in securing funding for expansion of U.S. Highway 14 is just one of the ways she has helped improve Minnesota’s infrastructure in the past and says those efforts continue to be a top priority for her.
Her goals include expanding what she calls the “infrastructure of the 21st century”: high-speed Internet.
Improving and expanding broadband coverage would improve economies by giving people more choice in how they learn, work and even receive medical care, Nelson said.
When asked about her stance on health care, Nelson advocated for strong moves away from the Affordable Care Act and a return to a competitive market that would allow buyers to receive coverage from out-of-state companies to attract more providers to Minnesota. Again, she pointed to legislation she helped pass that prevented insurance companies from changing their drug coverage mid-contract as evidence of how she supports patients.
“Health care is key, and I don’t for one minute believe that more government-run health care is the answer,” she said. “We’ve seen what that does.”
Briefly speaking on immigration, she stressed the importance of fixing a “broken system” and having safe and secure borders, something she says the U.S. has lacked for decades.
With the primary around the corner, Nelson feels her strong local ties give her the advantage in knowing how to serve Southeast Minnesota best.
“I didn’t parachute in here to run for Congress,” she said, noting that she’s lived, taught and run a business in Olmsted County for years.
Her familiarity with the region and family connections to farming, Nelson said, have made her familiar with agricultural issues such as increased government regulation and the high costs and low returns facing many farmers.
She said she’s closely watching the tariff negotiations of President Donald Trump’s administration, but says she feels farmers must have patience to wait out the storm until the “trade imbalance is righted.”
“We’re confident that at the end of the day the new trade partners and fairer trade will be better for our agriculture producers and everyone,” she said.
Nelson said she chose to run regardless of whether she was endorsed because “the stakes are too great.”
“I believe our country, even with all its warts and blemishes, is still the shining city on the hill,” she said, “and if good people like me who are proven, conservative, servants and winners refuse to get in the race because it’s messy, we’re dooming ourselves to D.C. insiders and people who choose to serve themselves first.”