NEW ULM — First Congressional District candidate Vicki Jensen visited New Ulm Saturday afternoon as part of her district-wide Hometown Tour.
Jensen was in Mountain Lake on Friday and visited St. James, St. Peter and New Ulm on Saturday. Her lunch-time stop took her to Lola- An American Bistro to visit with local residents.
Jensen is a former member of the Minnesota Senate for the 24th District. She is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL).
In June, she announced her campaign to seek the House of Representatives seat currently occupied by Congressman Tim Walz. Walz has previously announced his attention to run for governor in 2018 rather seek re-election.
Jensen is holding her Hometown Tour is to meet new people, hear about the issues and hear directly from the people in the district she hopes to represent.
Jensen said health care is a primary concern of many Minnesotans in the First District. As an insurance agent, Jensen has a close connection with the health care issue. Jensen said she has been working to find affordable solution to fix the systemic problems in the individual markets.
“The individual markets had no subsidies until the ACA,” Jensen said.
As a result, the best option for many American was to seek health care through their place of employment. She believes the goal of Congress should be to find a way to stabilize the individual markets, but added she would not support any legislation that does not support Minnesota’s rural hospitals.
Jensen criticized the recent efforts to overturn the ACA for their lack of transparency and public input.
“I want to bring back the regular order,” she said. In the past a bill would be proposed and then it would enter committee and both parties had a chance to amend the bill before a vote and do it in front of the public.
Recently, congressional leaders have prevented committee meetings on bills and attempted to craft legislation in secret.
Jensen also spoke on the need for rural economic development, which includes infrastructure improvements like broadband.
“Broadband is the best economic tool we can have for our rural economy,” she said. “We did it with electric and we can do it with broadband. We just need the will to do it.”
Jensen is also dedicated to the completion of the Highway 14 corridor.
“In the Legislature I carried the bill for the New Ulm to Rochester improvements,” she said. “I know the importance of that economic corridor.”
Jensen has been a longtime supporter of Corridors of Commerce. Other roads need improvements throughout Minnesota, but through programs like this Jensen believes the necessary roads will be prioritized.
The 2018 election is over a year away. Jensen is one of six DFLers seeking the Democratic nomination.