House District 5B: Hendrickson says his swing vote will benefit district
Gregg Hendrickson is running for House of Representatives District 5B against Mike Wiener, the Republican candidate.
BRAINERD — Gregg Hendrickson said he believes the two party system in America is broken and he could do a lot of good as an independent.
Hendrickson said he wants to be a swing voter in the Minnesota House of Representatives and make decisions for himself, instead of for a party’s agenda. By not representing either party, Hendrickson’s main focus will be on the residents of his district.
The 62-year-old Independence-Alliance Party candidate for House District 5B was born in St. Cloud but spent a lot of his childhood in the Twin Cities. Upon graduating from North St. Paul, Hendrickson enlisted in the Army. After his service, he moved up to the area.
He earned a degree in business and has 40 years experience in management, finance and sales and marketing. He has been in the RV industry for around 30 years. He also has three children and two grandchildren, who all reside in the area.
Even though he grew up in the Twin Cities, Hendrickson said he loves the rural area.
“I never see myself going back to live in the Cities ever again,” Hendrickson said. “Once you get away from the crowds and stuff like that, it is generally a better life. I love the rural areas. I love the agricultural area. The people are great.”
If elected, Hendrickson said he wants to reevaluate property taxes in rural areas. Hendrickson said the population is decreasing and government is expanding, which puts a bigger burden on the taxpayers.
“The people in these areas, it's just not sustainable for them,” Hendrickson said. “They're being taxed right out of their houses.”
Hendrickson said he wants the state to look at the tax codes for rural areas and find a solution to improve property taxes.
Another issue Hendrickson said he wants to focus on is the infrastructure in his district. Broadband internet is a basic necessity Hendrickson said he wants to expand in the area. Residents will be able to work remotely, access telehealth and have a more reliable internet connection for schooling if broadband is introduced to the area. Hendrickson said it’s a shame it isn’t accessible to everyone because it would benefit both business and education.
“It's a basic necessity that everybody already in the state has that we don't,” Hendrickson said. “And we need to get that done. We can't be kept in the dark forever.”
In regards to the budget surplus Minnesota is currently experiencing, Hendrickson said he believes it’s the perfect time to set some of that money aside for permanent property tax cuts and investments for rural areas.
“I think we had to do the investments in the rural areas more than in the Cities, but it always seems like the Cities get the bulk of the budget,” Hendrickson said. “We're out here, we're voters, we're not just rocks and cows out here. We need the basic necessities that they need. And we deserve it. That money should be spent on the rural areas.”
With his military background, Hendrickson said he knows he will get things done. He said he believes the discipline he learned from serving will help him achieve his goals.
If elected, Hendrickson said District 5B will be his main priority. He also said he hopes to use his independence as a swing vote and make decisions that will help his rural community.
“As a swing voter, I'm gonna get a lot more stuff done,” Hendrickson said. “I won't have to vote for a party agenda. I'll be the only one on the ballot in this area that doesn't have to vote for party agendas.”
Hendrickson said he wants to be a candidate “for the people, by the people” and not somebody who is “for the people, by the party.”
SARA GUYMON may be reached at 218-855-5851 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/SaraGuymon.