John Poston celebrated his re-election to the state House of Representatives at Sherwood Forest, but the Lake Shore Republican had nothing bad to say about his opponent for District 9A.
The 60-year-old Poston received 11,378 votes compared to the 5,022 votes that Alex Hering, a 50-year-old Democrat from Pillager, received in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election.
"Since this was my first time running, it was really a learning experience. I feel fortunate about all the people I met in our area, and I've been across the state, and I think it has opened my eyes to even more issues the state has that maybe I wasn't aware of," Hering said.
Hering, a lifelong Minnesotan and first-time candidate, ran on a platform opposing special interests, corporations and big money.
"As I've been walking in parades and at community events for the last six months and knocking on doors, I've had very little conversation about President Trump, and most of it, quite honestly, is pretty positive," Poston said.
"They like some of the things that he's done. They don't necessarily, in some cases, like some of the tweets or some of the things he says, but overall I think he's got a pretty positive rating in my area."
Poston is a Minnesota native who serves on the following House committees: agriculture policy, agriculture finance, education finance, veterans affairs, capital finance, and environmental and natural resources.
"I would really like to go back to St. Paul and get some work done on health care, which is probably on the top of everyone's priority list," Poston said.
"I think we've put some bandages on health care over the last couple of sessions that have paid off a little bit, but they are bandages not fixes. There's still a lot of work to be done in that area."
When asked earlier, Hering stated that if he were elected, he would address affordable health care, quality education, updating infrastructure, livable wages and housing.
"At the moment, we're still processing what the results will be. I think it's something we need to decide if this area would support a Democrat before we commit to that," Hering said of running again.
Poston said, "I would say that Alex-first of all-ran a very good campaign. He worked very hard. He showed a lot of civility in his campaign. I think Alex is an honorable man. We don't agree on everything, but I like Alex. If most people asked me, I'd say he's a good guy."
Poston ran on a traditional Republican platform, with conservative ideals. He said he would like to focus now on tax reform, simplification and conformity, which are "very important."
"When I won the election two years ago, I carried about 70 percent of the votes, so I think I've done a good job, and I think people recognize that," Poston said.
"I'd also like to see us conform with federal tax code ... because we're currently continuing to overtax the people of Minnesota by about $1 billion a biennium, so we've got to figure out how to stop that and give that money back and reduce some taxes."
Hering had said during his campaign for the two-year elected office that he would support access to MinnesotaCare, reducing premiums for all Minnesotans, and support expanding health care coverages by shifting to a single-payer system, reducing administration costs.
"I believe the tax conformity is not the most important thing for the state of Minnesota or any of its citizens or voters," Hering said.
"I think the real crisis is health care, and if that's not the priority, I guess, what we're looking at is maybe the people of this district just haven't suffered enough to realize they need to focus on health care-and that's too bad."