July 18, 2024

Farmer to politician: Boone Carlson makes bid for District 9A

Boone Carlson making his name known during the many community day parades. Pictured here is Carlson at the Kensington Rune Stone Days Parade.

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Jake Sias

Grant County Herald

Boone Carlson, a multi-generational farmer and entrepreneur from Wendell, MN, is challenging five-term incumbent Jeff Backer for the Minnesota State Representative seat for District 9A. Running on a platform that emphasizes fiscal responsibility, rural revitalization, and bipartisan cooperation, Carlson presents himself as a candidate deeply connected to his community and capable of addressing its unique needs.

Carlson’s background is rooted in agriculture and business management. Raised in Northfield, MN, he spent summers in Wendell, where his father started an aerial application business in 1985. This exposure to rural life and farming inspired Carlson to pursue a career in agriculture. “I was given the opportunity to start farming with a couple hundred acres,” he said, crediting his uncle for this chance. Carlson balanced working off the farm with developing his agricultural enterprise, demonstrating a strong work ethic and dedication to rural community life.

Carlson is running on a fiscally and socially conservative platform and proudly identifies as a Christian, much like Backer. When asked by the Herald why he felt the need to run for office, expressed criticisms of his opponent, emphasizing the need for stronger leadership and a deeper connection with the district’s voters. Carlson believes that his own skills and experiences make him a more suitable representative. “I think we need a lot… we need stronger leadership. I think my skills outweigh his in lots of ways,” he stated.

Carlson also highlighted his ability to relate to the voters in District 9A. “I think I relate to the voters in our district a lot more than he can,” Carlson said. He elaborated on his diverse job experiences, which range from entry-level positions to owning and managing businesses, arguing that these roles have given him a broader perspective and greater understanding of the challenges faced by the district’s residents.

His last reason that he offered was to help diversify the ticket and to offer the people a choice at the ballot box. “I have voted for Jeff in the past, but sometimes his name is the only one to pick from.” 

Carlson emphasizes the importance of addressing the rural-urban divide, a recurring theme in his campaign. He believes that urban residents often lack understanding of rural issues, which contributes to policy disconnects. To bridge this gap, he proposes increased interaction and mutual understanding between rural and urban communities. “If I get an office… I’m sure there are reasonable people where we can get a carload. ‘Hey, let’s go spend a day out in Western Minnesota,’” he suggested, highlighting the need for firsthand experiences to foster empathy and informed decision-making.

Fiscal responsibility is a cornerstone of Carlson’s platform. He criticizes the state’s current spending, pointing out the transition from an $18 billion surplus to a projected deficit. “We’re spending way too much money for the state… and it just is unacceptable,” he declared. Carlson advocates for pragmatic budget management and reducing unnecessary expenditures, aiming to prevent future financial crises.

Public safety, particularly emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital accessibility in rural areas, is another priority for Carlson. He has been actively involved in efforts to improve safety regulations for meteorological towers and supports legislation to ensure that rural hospitals remain operational. “We can’t just let these hospitals dry up… that is not an option,” he emphasized, noting the critical need for local healthcare services.

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