Learn about Tony–Q/A with the Bulletin

Here is a link to my questions and answers session published on October 20 by the South Washington County Bulletin.

Link: Minnesota House District 54B candidate Q/A: Tony Jurgens

From the article:

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

I am uniquely qualified to represent all of District 54B because of my strong ties to both Cottage Grove and Hastings. I’ve worked hard to make our communities stronger by volunteering on several boards and commissions in both cities. My wife Dawn and I have lived in Cottage Grove for nearly 24 years, where I’ve been active in our neighborhood and throughout the community. Our daughters attended K-8 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Hastings and then graduated from Hastings High School. I coached youth sports and volunteered as a chaperone as many parents do. I’m a nine-year member of the Finance Council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Hastings and currently serve as vice chair. I’m also active in the Knights of Columbus where I am the grand knight of the Hastings council. In April, the Cottage Grove mayor and City Council recognized me as the Volunteer of the Year for my civic involvement.

Do you believe additional funding is needed for transportation projects? If so, what specific revenue source(s) do you support and how should new transportation funding be spent?

Investing in our infrastructure and maintaining our roads and bridges is a core responsibility of government. Currently, transportation funding comes from sources such as the gas tax, licensing fees and taxes on auto sales. I would consider redirecting current sales tax on automotive-related items into a special fund for transportation infrastructure. I would also place a strong emphasis on road and bridge projects in a potential bonding bill. I’m not in favor of raising the gas tax and I’m not in favor of increasing license tab fees.

If the state is projected to have a budget surplus, what would you do with that revenue?

We should continue to follow current state law and set aside a portion of the surplus to have funds available for a future downturn in the economy. Any excess would be prioritized on transportation infrastructure and equity funding for our local schools. With this, I’d support tax relief for the working families that contributed to this surplus.

If the state is projected to have a budget deficit, how would you propose the budget be balanced — spending cuts, tax/revenue increases or a combination of the two?

Whether deficit or surplus, the state of Minnesota should spend its revenue as efficiently as those in our communities do with their family budgets. After finding efficiencies, I would look to policies that grow our economy. This could include eliminating government barriers to success or promoting opportunities for strong, quality jobs for families. While cutting spending and raising taxes are often cited as solutions to solving deficits, I’ll support alternatives that will grow our economy which will raise revenue without raising taxes.

What would you do to reduce partisanship in the Minnesota Legislature?

I’ve never run for any office and my experience in politics has been limited. Most of those I’ve served with on boards and commissions didn’t know my party affiliation until I announced my run for the House of Representatives. I work with others from all walks of life to produce results, regardless of political parties. I have friends and family on both sides of the political aisle so I’m accustomed to listening to different opinions when making decisions. When I’m in the legislature, I’ll be working for my constituents, not for my party. I’ll take a balanced approach to governing and getting the best outcome for the citizens of our district.

Candidate info:

Tony Jurgens
Age: 51
City: Cottage Grove
Occupation: Independent insurance agent
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Southwest Minnesota State University

Family: Wife, Dawn; daughters Alexa and Tori

Civic involvement: Cottage Grove Volunteer of the Year; currently Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority, treasurer; Cottage Grove Public Services Commission, chair; Washington County Library Board, member; Finance Council, vice chair (past chair) at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Hastings; Knights of Columbus Hastings Council 1600, grand knight; Cottage Grove Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, member; Cottage Grove Neighborhood Watch, block captain; previously: with wife Dawn hosted National Night Out/Night to Unite neighborhood party for 10 years; Cottage Grove Public Works Commission, chair; Cottage Grove Charter Commission, vice chair; Parish Council, member at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Hastings

Thank you to the South Washington County Bulletin for publishing this information.

Tony Jurgens endorsed by Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Candidate for House district 54B Tony Jurgens is endorsed by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Candidate for House district 54B Tony Jurgens is endorsed by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Thank you to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press for endorsing me for the House of Representatives for District 54B. This link will take you to the full online article:

Editorial: In District 54, Schoen, Franke and Jurgens

From the article:

In House District 54B, the race between Republican Tony Jurgens and Democrat Don Slaten often is cited among those that could help determine the balance of power in the House. The seat, serving Hastings, part of Cottage Grove and nearby townships, was held for seven terms by Republican Rep. Denny McNamara, who decided not to run again.

We endorse Jurgens, an independent insurance agent, who in April was named Cottage Grove’s Volunteer of the Year. His service includes chairing the city’s Public Services Commission, serving as treasurer of its Economic Development Authority and as a member of the Washington County Library Board.

Jurgens describes himself as a “pragmatic conservative who supports fiscally responsible government that lives within its means.” Private-sector development is “the best way,” he told us, but there are “times government needs to step in” to spur growth.

In decision making, Jurgens said, he is committed to “gather information from as many sides as I can.” He emphasized his ability to work across party lines and acknowledges that in reaching consensus there isn’t always “a perfect alternative.”

Thank you Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Listen to my answers in this candidate forum

Click the image to watch the forum.

Click the image to watch the forum.

Last night I participated in a candidate forum in Cottage Grove put on by the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission. Also participating in the forum were other District 54 candidates Dan Schoen, Keith Franke, Jen Peterson, and Don Slaten.

Here are the questions which we were asked to address:

  • What do you believe are the two greatest challenges the state will need to address over the next ten years?
  • What qualifications would you bring to office if elected to meet those challenges?
  • I’m uninsurable, what will you do to the health care system to insure that I will keep affordable insurance?
  • Do you support a user tax on gasoline to fund transportation? Why or Why not?
  • What would you have done differently in the past legislative session to have avoided it’s failures to pass the bonding bill and work for the best interest of Minnesota?
  • What would you do to bring transparency to the funding of interest groups which try and influence elections and legislators?
  • The Foster Care System and Child Protection is in crisis. How will you give a voice to our most vulnerable and help protect our children?
  • The amount as a percent of a budget the state pays to fund higher education is lower than decades ago making college more unaffordable, will you work to increase state funding?

Tony Jurgens profile video

Meet Tony Jurgens–watch this profile video by South Washington County Telecommunications Commission.

Link –> https://vimeo.com/187689249

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Tony Jurgens. I’m running for the Minnesota House of Representatives. My wife Dawn and I moved to Cottage Grove almost 24 years ago and we raised our two daughters here. I’ve worked hard to make Cottage Grove stronger by volunteering on several boards and commissions often in the leadership role.

I was honored that Mayor Bailey and the city council named me volunteer of the year. I’ve been involved with the neighborhood watch program as our block captain and we hosted the Night to Unite neighborhood block party at our home on Jody Avenue for 10 years. I’m currently on the Economic Development Authority and I chair the Public Services Commission. I’m on the Comprehensive Plans Steering Committee and the Washington County Library Board. I also volunteer my time as the vice-chair of the finance council at my church and I’m the Grand Night in the Nights of Columbus.

In the past I’ve also chaired the Public Works Commission and I was vice-chair of the Cottage Grove Charter Commission.

Everything I’ve done has been to make a difference and to make our communities stronger, but the selfish reason is that I enjoy it. I love the diversity of the responsibilities and the diverse groups of people that I get to know and work with. I want to be your State Representative so I can take that involvement to the next level to represent you, represent your families, represent your businesses in Saint Paul.

When I ran track and cross country in high school I learned that when you set a goal to win, you have to work hard to accomplish that goal. I did that as a runner and now I’m doing it as a candidate. I’ve been working hard on this campaign knocking on thousands of doors to be your next state representative.

I’ve talked to many of you who have shared your concerns with the escalating cost of health care, the frustration that the legislature and the governor let party politics get in the way of finishing their job. There was a bonding bill that would provide funding for roads and bridges, maintaining buildings at the University of Minnesota, and money for the infrastructure to keep our drinking water safe. It had bipartisan support but they let politics get in the way and it didn’t get done. When I’m in the legislature I’ll take a balanced approach, I’ll work to eliminate wasteful spending and I will protect your tax dollars while making the needed investments in education, roads and bridges, and services for veterans, seniors, and disabled Minnesotans.

Retiring representative Denny McNamara has endorsed me and so has former representative John Kriesel and I am proud to be endorsed by both business and labor groups, but the most important endorsement comes from you the voters.

I’m Tony Jurgens, and on Tuesday, November 8th I’d be proud to earn your vote. Please check us out at TonyJurgens.com or on our Facebook page TonyJurgens54B.

Protecting taxpayers and eliminating wasteful spending

Tony Jurgens understands money doesn’t grow on trees for families in our community.

When one party controlled all of state government, politicians gave bonuses to MNsure executives and spent $90 million on a new office building while Minnesota families struggled to find a job and pay their health care bills.

Tony will work to eliminate wasteful spending while making smart investments in our priorities. As an independent leader with a balanced approach, Tony supports:

  • Tax relief for families
  • Resources for our schools
  • Repairs for roads and bridges
  • Affordable college and job training
  • Services for veterans, seniors, and those with disabilities

On November 8, vote Tony Jurgens for State Representative. An independent leader ready to work for YOU!

An independent leader who will work to reduce your family’s health care costs

Tony Jurgens understands that health care costs are increasing too quickly for our families.

Tony has seen firsthand the financial impacts rising premiums have caused hardworking families in our communities.

And now, health insurance premiums are set to increase up to 60% OR MORE!

Tony knows our residents cannot afford the double-digit increases to their health care costs year after year. He recognizes that we must stop pouring money into MNsure, which has failed our families and small businesses.

Using a balanced approach, Tony will work endlessly towards finding common-sense solutions that reduce your health care costs.

On November 8, vote Tony Jurgens for State Representative. An independent leader ready to work for you!

An independent leader who will stop wasteful spending

Remember all the wasteful spending that happened when one political party last controlled state government?

  • $90 million wasted on an office building for politicians
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on MNsure

Tony Jurgens knows how important a balanced approach is to governing and getting the best outcome for all Minnesotans.

As our state representative, you can expect Tony to stop the wasteful spending and prioritize what our families NEED.

On November 8, vote Tony Jurgens for State Representative. An independent leader ready to work for YOU!

Endorsed by State Representative Denny McNamara

Representative Denny McNamara

Representative Denny McNamara

Tony Jurgens endorsed by State Representative Denny McNamara

“It has been an honor to serve as your state representative for the past 14 years. Now that I’m retiring from the legislature, I’m endorsing Tony Jurgens for the House of Representatives.

As a small businessman, Tony understands the value of hard work and responsible budgeting. He’ll fight to lower health care costs for families and eliminate wasteful spending so we can invest in our priorities like safe roads and strong schools. Tony will also look for ways to remove obstacles to economic growth and create good-paying jobs in our community.

Tony is an independent leader and he’ll take a common-sense approach to serving in the legislature. He has worked hard to make our communities stronger in his volunteer work and I know he’ll work even harder to represent us when he is elected.”

– Denny McNamara

On November 8, vote Tony Jurgens for State Representative. An independent leader ready to work for YOU!

Watch this video: The race for House District 54B is featured on this week’s TPT Almanac TV show

Mary Lahammer featured our House race on the latest episode of TPT Alamanac. Follow this link to view the entire episode or go to the 14:00 minute mark for our story. http://www.tpt.org/almanac/episode/wells-fargo-mess-quadriga-re-gild-presidential-politics/

Almanac is a weekly news and public affairs program produced by TPT(Twin Cities Public Television) and seen statewide. Now in its 32nd season, Almanac is the longest-running primetime TV program in Minnesota history. Almanac is hosted by Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola. Mary Lahammer contributes political reporting on a weekly basis.

Click image to view the video. The section on HD 54B start around the 14:00 mark.

Click image to view the video. The portion featuring HD 54B starts at approximately the 14:00 mark.

An independent leader who will lower your health care costs

Tony Jurgens understands MNsure, put in place when one party controlled all of state government, HAS FAILED OUR FAMILIES.

In 2016, health insurance premiums are set to increase up to 60% OR MORE!

Tony knows that three consecutive years of massive double-digit premium increases is not only unaffordable, but unacceptable.

By using a balanced approach, Tony will work tirelessly to reduce health care costs for ALL hardworking Minnesotans.

On November 8, vote Tony Jurgens for State Representative. An independent leader ready to work for YOU!