State Representative Jeff Hayden won the DFL primary election on Sept. 13. He got 55.8% of the total votes cast, or 1,361, which was almost 58% of the total DFL votes. He got more than twice the amount of his nearest rival, Sadik Warfa, who got 666 votes. Warfa ran a campaign just below the radar, probably concentrating on maximizing turnout in the Somali community. Paulette Will ran third with 173 votes.
Jeff Hayden will face Bruce Lundeen of the Republican Party, Farheen Hakeem of the Green Party and Matt Brillhart of the Independence Party in the general election Tuesday, Oct. 18, and the winner will be seated as the state senator from District 61. If Jeff Hayden wins the Senate seat, then his House seat will be vacant and there will be a special election to fill that seat.
Southside Pride asked all four of the candidates two questions. Bruce Lundeen, Jeff Hayden and Farheen Hakeem responded:
The City of Minneapolis sends $400 million a year to the State in corporate property taxes and sales taxes, and the city has parks, museums, concerts and sporting events that are enjoyed by people all over the state. The State is planning on eliminating Local Government Aid to cities. Do you have a proposal for the legislature that would help the City pay for essential services such as police, fire and road maintenance?
Bruce Lundeen: I will work in the Senate to insure that some sort of compensation is delivered to core cities which people who are not residents visit for work and recreation, and are hubs for commerce. Core cities must be helped with the costs of maintaining roads, police and fire services.
Jeff Hayden: I support restoring full funding of LGA for the City of Minneapolis and will work with Gov. Dayton to win back the DFL majority so that LGA remains protected in the future.
Farheen Hakeem: My proposal to saving LGA is to simply tax the 7,700 millionaires in Minnesota, which the DFL administration has failed to do, and the GOP has opposed. The fact that basic needs for everyone in the State of Minnesota are defunded while so many corporations pay minimal taxes (if any) is inexcusable. As state senator, I will be vigilant to ensure that budget cuts to education and health care are reinstated and that the rich and the corporations pay their share.
What role should the State play in providing health insurance?
BL: The State should insure that competitive processes exist between health insurance providers, and that the success of care providers in treating illnesses and injuries is monitored Insurers should not “just pay bills,” and successful treatment providers should be rewarded.
JH: As the co-author of the Minnesota Health Plan, I support a single-payer system so that every Minnesotan has access to affordable, quality health care.
FH: The State of Minnesota should provide single-payer universal health care. And unlike some of my opponents that claim to have the same stance, I have never received lobbyist money nor political action committee money from opposers to single-payer universal health care.