House District 5A: Hobson looks to translate teaching experience to Legislature
Brian M. Hobson is running for House of Representatives District 5A against Krista Knudsen, the Republican candidate.
Brian M. Hobson said he believes he can use his experience teaching, life of integrity and interest in public service to best represent the residents of his district.
The Democrat from Park Rapids was recently elected as the Hubbard County DFL chairperson, where he and other party leaders were responsible for finding and recruiting candidates to run for various offices.
As they were searching, he felt as if people weren’t too enthusiastic about the current representation and candidates, so that role fell onto him and led him to running for House.
There is no incumbent in the district due to redistricting after the 2020 census. The previous representative, Matt Bliss, is now running for District 2B. The recently redrawn District 5A includes parts of Becker county, Cass County, Hubbard County and Wadena County after changes made following the 2020 census.
Hobson grew up in Pine City with a superintendent for a father and a city attorney for a mother. He joked he had to be responsible from a young age. After graduating high school, Hobson attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, where he got his teaching degree. He has been teaching for about 20 years.
If elected, Hobson said his main priority would be increasing funding to the public school system. He said he believes there should be more funding for mental health within the school and support should be available for children who need it.
“Schools are struggling right now and partially it is because of the mental health needs for students,” Hobson said. “That expands outside of schools, of course, because mental health and health care for everybody here living in Greater Minnesota, is a struggle to afford and to have accessibility where we are. I mean, as the job market is right now, we are struggling to get people to work in these fields. So that is another major issue is making sure that we are incentivizing people to go into the care field, because that's what we need in our small town.”
Hobson also said he feels housing is a big concern. In order to bring in more workers in fields like health care, there needs to be affordable housing available for them to move into.
Hobson said he doesn’t want to make housing less safe, but he wants to make building houses less expensive. One idea he has would be encouraging communities to relax a little on zoning regulations. He also thinks there should be more aid going to smaller, growing communities.
Rounding out his top three priorities, Hobson said, is affordable health care. However, he also emphasized child care as another priority and making sure there are affordable options for parents available.
“Because we need people to live and work in our rural communities, we're going to need child care available and right now child care is very hard to come by,” Hobson said.
Another issue Hobson said he feels passionate about is ecological stewardship and the maintenance of the environment.
“I understand the need to develop, we continue to grow our economic opportunities here in Greater Minnesota,” Hobson said. “Along with that we have to protect the vital environment that we have here. This area is the envy of the world. We have surface water that is fresh and, for the most part, clean. We have to protect that. We have to be able to protect the environment and economically develop the community.”
If elected, Hobson said he believes he can use his experience of teaching in multiple ways. He has worked with students who do not always agree with him but he said he knows how to work with them to develop a solution. He is also not afraid to walk away from a situation.
Hobson said he believes building relationships is the key to successfully working with others.
“I'm not willing to give up on all my principles to meet someone, or to agree with someone who I don't agree with, but I am not a person who thinks that I will let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Hobson said. “If I see that there's progress to be made, if I see that we can achieve something that is good for people, then I will work on it. I won't hold out for the perfect solution. I will work for the good.”
Hobson thinks of himself as a problem-solver and a hard worker. When he isn’t teaching in the summer, he likes to use his time working on house projects. He said there is always something going on in the world and he is always considering the next possibility.
However, when school is in session, that is his priority. He said he has a drive to accomplish a task, no matter what it is.
“I just want voters to know that I'm doing this because I'm interested,” Hobson said. “I have integrity and I am an honest person who is honestly hoping to represent people in this area to the best of my ability. I'm not saying that we have to agree on everything but I am interested in knowing people's concerns. I want to know what people are worried about. I want to know what people are and what people think is the right approach. I'm a listener and a learner. That's what I do.”
SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch, staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5851 or