Thomas Martinez represents the past and future of Minnesota House District 27A. Mr. Martinez and the incumbent, Peggy Bennett, will ask for our votes in November. Thomas was also a candidate in 2018 — this is not his first rodeo and he does not give up. He is passionate about good government and has the vision needed to implement rural policy. Thomas will lead on contentious issues instead of being silent. I endorse Thomas Martinez and ask those who seek a community where all can thrive to lend him their support.
From kindergarten on, I went to school with Thomas’ father, aunts and uncles in Albert Lea. Thomas will benefit from the wisdom of multiple generations of his and wife, Natalie’s, families, who like many of us immigrated to southern Minnesota. Thomas and I have last names that are recognizable as immigrants to this place, linking us to our communities’ success in the past, while informing us on how it may thrive in the future.
As the most recent opponent of Representative Bennett, I can review her performance. Peggy is nice, yet is responsible for 39,000 residents living in her district. Simply being nice doesn’t translate into results. We need an independent voice unafraid to be out front, take risks and make tough decisions. In my debates with Peggy, we talked about her legislative record. What’s clear is Peggy is a reliable vote for her party as she rarely votes differently from party leadership.
She compared learning to be a state representative to drinking from a fire hose. Even after four years, she still had more to learn. The current massive dredging project in Fountain Lake and Edgewater Bay was won by Rep. Shannon Savick in her first term. I hear she was not as nice, but she got results. As polls closed on the 2018 election, Peggy was asked about goals for the next term, and she replied it will be difficult now that her party is in the minority. That’s it. No vow to work across the aisle, no pledge to compromise and get things done. She’s accomplished little because she is so partisan.
I am disappointed in Peggy’s response to the murder of George Floyd. Thomas Martinez has quickly condemned Floyd’s murder and has pushed continuously for racial justice in its wake. While Minnesota has become the epicenter of a global debate on racism, Peggy decided to put her energy into a food drive. We elected her to make policy in St. Paul. The issue of police brutality is only a branch on the tree of racism. Discussing racism can be difficult and makes some uncomfortable. However, these discussions are expected from an elected official who has power to make statewide anti-racism policy. We deserve to know what Peggy will do to end systemic racism. So far, she’s been silent.
Peggy has six years of experience and seniority. How has she moved our community forward in her past three terms? How would she win a project like the Fountain Lake/Edgewater Bay restoration? She has not proven she can fight for our community’s needs. If you want productive leadership in St. Paul, vote for Thomas Martinez.