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Poston announces run for 2nd term representing District 9A

State Rep. John Poston, R-Lake Shore, announced he will be seeking a second term as representative of District 9A. Official photo / House legislature website

State Rep. John Poston, R-Lake Shore, announced he will seek re-election for Minnesota House of Representatives District 9A Monday.

After his first stint in the state Legislature, the retired retail executive and former mayor of Lake Shore said he's been privileged to serve in this capacity and looks forward to working more effectively with a second term. For Poston, going forward is a matter of ditching the training wheels and building on relationships and experience he's gained during his first term.

"In your first term, especially in your first session, you're really a student. You're learning a lot about how things work, who you need to work with, how things get done and building relationships," Poston said during a phone interview. "I got a lot of work done last session, but really you're a sponge, you're a student, you're learning. Once, you've learned your way around and made alliances, then you can make progress."

Poston currently serves on five committees: Agriculture Finance, Agriculture Policy, Capital Investment, Education Finance and Veterans Affairs. Poston said he was recently appointed to the Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee. He serves on the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council and the Legislative Water Commission.

In a news release, Poston touted himself as a "proud conservative."

"I have aided in tax relief, affordable health care options and prioritized the needs of the agricultural community. I am a gun owner, longtime member of the National Rifle Association and defender of the Second Amendment. I am pro-life. I believe in life from conception to natural death. I will continue to fight for our veterans and farmers," Poston stated. "I will continue to be present at the Capitol. I will listen, advocate and reflect the values of District 9A."

Poston said he's pushing to include a Highway 10 project, in Wadena—which would include expanding the roadway from two lanes to four, as well as extensive infrastructure work—in the next bonding bill. He said he's also working on a bill that helps farmers with school referendum taxes. While the state Legislature made progress last year and reduced their exposure by 40 percent, going forward he wants to have farmers taxed for 1 acre and their home, not the entirety of their property. Other points of focus Poston identified are the ongoing fight against the opioid epidemic, as well as the interconnected issues of gun legislation and school safety.

Poston said he takes particular satisfaction in his participation in the democratic process—a sterling record, he noted, in which he felt he was able to contribute in some capacity with every vote, committee meeting and piece of legislation he came across.

"When I campaigned for the position, I told people in the district I would be present. I would represent them in St. Paul," Poston said. "I have a 100 percent (attendance) record after my first session. I've never missed a committee meeting and I sit on five committees. I never missed a session and I never missed a vote."

Poston noted an ongoing point of frustration was the difficulty of the legislative process.

While lawmaking is ponderous and methodical by design, Poston added, there are points of unnecessary contention between lawmakers in St. Paul and it would be better if there was a different, more constructive dialogue

"It's really hard to get things done," Poston said. "You have the Republican and Democratic parties that bump heads, you have the House and the Senate bumping heads, you have the House and the Senate and the administration bumping heads. The political part is probably the most difficult part for me."

Poston is the founder and chief executive officer of Kids Against Hunger-Brainerd. He is a business owner in the Brainerd lakes area. He and fiance, Pam, live in Lake Shore.

Gabriel Lagarde

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