Vote guide for Minnesota House district 44B: Acomb vs. Porter
October 8, 2018 Link to story
Two newcomers face off in Minnesota House District 44B, which includes Woodland, northern Minnetonka and southwestern Plymouth. The candidates are Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka) and Gary Porter (R-Plymouth). Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) is not running for re-election.
Polling locations will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Minnesotans eligible to vote can already cast ballots early for the general election by voting absentee through the mail or in person.
For information on where to vote and how to register, visit sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting. To find out which district you are in, enter your home address online at gis.leg.mn/imaps/districts.
Office held: Current third-term Minnetonka City Council member
Occupation: At-large Minnetonka City Council member since 2012
Education: Hopkins High School, Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from University of Minnesota
Years lived in district: 40 years
Family: Husband, Craig, and two sons attending Hopkins High School and Macalester College
Address: Frear Drive, Minnetonka
Community involvement: Minnetonka Family Collaborative, Hopkins One Voice Coalition, Minnetonka Rotary, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Metro Cities Housing and Economic Development, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Governmental Advisory Committee
What do you consider the top issues that you would like to address?
A 40-year resident of the district, I have deep roots in our community. Some top concerns I’ve heard while door-knocking include health care, education and the environment.
• Health care: A cancer survivor myself, I believe everyone has a right to accessible, high-quality health care that they can afford regardless of pre-existing conditions.
• Education: As a parent of one son at Hopkins High School and another just starting college, I believe every child deserves an excellent K-12 education and affordable post-secondary education options.
• Environment: My education and career have been focused on the environment. Conserving our natural resources is a top priority.
As a third-term Minnetonka City Council member, I have worked to give our citizens a voice in their government, ensure good value for our tax dollars and maintain excellent public services. I have also championed issues affecting children, families and seniors. My hard work has earned me the endorsements of many local leaders and residents, and I would be honored to represent our community at the Minnesota State Legislature.
What specific initiatives would you propose to address those issues?
• Health care: Medical decisions should be made between patients and doctors, and needed care should never be out of reach due to expensive premiums, copays and deductibles. We need affordable options that still provide comprehensive high-quality care, lower drug prices and safeguard our seniors.
• Education: While we have great schools, state funding has not kept pace with inflation and school districts must rely even more on local levies just to maintain existing programs. We need initiatives addressing equitable funding, the achievement gap, special education needs, school safety and making pre-K more available. We also need better strategies to make college and vocational school more affordable, so our students don’t graduate buried in debt.
• Environment: Minnesotans take pride in our natural heritage, and we must ensure that our children will enjoy the same. I will work to protect the environment, make the outdoors more accessible, and expand renewable energy. As a city council member, I championed the effort to bring solar energy to Minnetonka, benefitting the environment while saving taxpayers $21 million over the next 25 years. I believe there are more win-win opportunities for the state.
If you could choose any one thing to implement for the betterment of the district, what would you ideally add?
I believe that citizens expect their government to be effective, and serving as a Minnetonka City Council member has taught me how to work across political persuasions to meet the needs of our community. We need less partisanship and more partnership in St. Paul.