A wish list for a new senator

By Chuck Kajer

State Senator Tom Neuville announced his resignation last week, after he had been named a District Court Judge in Rice County.

Sen. Neuville, a Republican, served the district for 17 years. He is a man of strong principles who voted his conscience. He was well-respected among his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the area will miss his experience and his knowledge in the coming legislative session.

That said, voters in District 25 will get the chance to vote for a new state senator in the next few weeks. A special election has been called for January 3, 2008, with a primary, if necessary, set for December 18.

Already, seven people have expressed an interest in the seat and three of them have already filed. Some of the candidates were expected to drop out after Wednesday's endorsing conventions.

Here is a list of things that voters need to look for in the next senator.

- Someone who puts the needs of the state ahead of those of their political party.

- Someone who votes with his or her values - and those of the district - rather than voting to further a political agenda.

- Someone who won't play politics when true action is needed to solve a problem.

- Someone who takes the time to listen to the needs and concerns of their constituents and puts those needs and concerns ahead of those of big-money special interests.

- Someone who doesn't feel the need to call a press conference or issue a press release to protest every action of the opposing party, or to tout every achievement by their party.

- Someone who will be a good steward with our tax dollars, who will vote to spend the money wisely, who won't be afraid to vote no on a project that he or she feels would waste taxpayer dollars, but at the same time, won't be afraid to vote to spend money or raise taxes if the vote or the tax would serve a public need in a fair and efficient way.

Let's hope that the candidates on the January 3 ballot share some of these values.

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