Consider Thursday, Oct. 4, as something of a kick-off for the final stretch of the 2018 election season. On the docket for the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 9A candidates talked health care, broadband internet, mental health, gun control and education during a televised debate on Lakeland PBS in a head-to-head showing between the DFL and GOP.
Incumbent Rep. John Poston, R-Lake Shore, and DFL challenger Alex Hering fielded questions from a panel of local media figures, including Dennis Weimann of Lakeland PBS, Heidi Holton of KAXE-Northern Community Radio and Gabriel Lagarde of the Brainerd Dispatch.
And they spoke specifically about broadband…
hen asked how they intend to support small businesses if elected, both candidates noted the struggle with access to high-speed broadband in the district, especially in Todd and Wadena counties.
Long Prairie, Hering said, recently put its own broadband system together in a joint effort with Consolidated Telecommunications Co., which he noted is a good example for the rest of the district.
Poston said the Legislature worked on broadband efforts vetoed last session.
“But we’ll continue to work to provide more broadband to Greater Minnesota,” he said. “When you see kids at the Wendy’s in Nisswa doing their homework because they don’t have broadband at home, they have to go to the fast food restaurant to do their homework or a business person that has to go to a place that has that kind of connection to do their work, that’s a sad thing, and we need to fix that.”