Joe experienced personal tragedy in high school when his mother was shot and killed in their kitchen at the hands of another family member. It is an experience Joe describes as “another story about a woman who had a different plan for her life than a man did.” This experience showed Joe the importance of community, public education, and strengthening the middle class in hard times. It was because of his dad's good union job that Joe and his family were able to get the care they needed to get through those hard times. Joe's campaign is about working people, who deal with challenging times as he and his family have.
When tragedy strikes, Joe knows that working people need health care, childcare, good education, and the support system that comes with those things. That’s what this campaign is all about. Joe first got involved in politics because of cuts to rural schools like the one he attended in Crosby-Ironton. Since then, he’s been on the front lines with striking nurses and teachers, and he’s been behind the scenes, organizing workers for better pay and to protect their benefits. Joe has pushed for expanding opportunities for everyone in Minnesota when he represented Aitkin and Crow Wing counties in the state House. And Joe has sought to expand rural broadband, revitalize local downtowns, and grow our arts and culture initiatives in order to bring jobs and grow local economies in light of our changing times.
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