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Discovery Woods director Litts files for Legislature

Meg Litts

The director of the Discovery Woods Montessori charter school in Brainerd is making a foray into state politics.

Meg Litts, who lives in Staples, filed to run as a DFL candidate for Minnesota House of Representatives District 9A. Litts will likely face off against Lake Shore Mayor John Poston, who defeated CLC President Larry Lundblad in the Republican primary earlier this spring.

In an interview with the Dispatch, Litts, 48, told of a dramatic inspiration to enter public service.

While in Philadelphia attending the funeral of a friend who had died in the Lockerbie bombing of 1988, Litts visited Independence Hall. She viewed the biographies of America's founding fathers displayed on the wall there, and found her destiny.

"It was fascinating to me to read how many of them went into that as an absolute act of civic duty—not because they were career politicians, but because this is what they felt they owed their country," Litts recalled. "I knew at that time I would be called to serve in that capacity at some point in my life, the matter was to figure out the when and the where."

Fast forward nearly 30 years to the announcement of Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore, that he would retire and leave House 9A open. After a month spent gauging whether there was support for her and attending training, Litts filed to run on May 20.

Litts doesn't have prior experience running for elected office herself, but she was active in behind-the-scenes work to get other people elected. While campaigning for Walter "Fritz" Mondale in Iowa as a youth, she replaced the words in the classic ditty "Puttin' on the Ritz" to "Cast your vote for Fritz" and performed it for Mondale himself, she said.

More recently, Litts was the chair of the Mille Lacs County DFL and served on the board of the Todd County DFL.

Important issues for Litts included addressing poverty of the region, transportation and broadband internet infrastructure.

Although Litts' day job is working as a school administrator, she said education wouldn't necessarily be at the top of her campaign platform because education will always be a part of discussions in the Legislature.

However, she still has stances on educational issues. Testing reform is necessary since so many parents have opted out that schools can no longer rely on the tests as an accurate measure of achievement, she said.

"We have whole districts and schools where families have made such a broad political statement of 'No, my kid's not taking this test,'" she said.

Litts said she'd be willing to work with Republicans to pass legislation and noted the end of the 2016 legislative session wasn't very productive because the DFL and GOP didn't want to compromise.

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Litts moved to Minnesota in 1992. Together with her husband of 27 years, Tom, Litts has two daughters, one in college and one in high school. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, movies, power walking, travelling and reflecting on life while mowing the lawn.

ZACH KAYSER may be reached at 218-855-5860 or Zach.Kayser@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZWKayser.