On Election Day, the Minnesota House of Representatives' District 10A spoke and it was a resounding yes for two-term representative Josh Heintzeman.
Out of Nisswa, Heintzeman, 40, garnered 62 percent of the vote over DFL challenger Dale Menk's 38 percent-a landslide victory that gives Heintzeman a convincing mandate as he enters his third term in St. Paul.
"We're obviously very thankful to have the support of my District 10A," Heintzeman told the Dispatch during a phone interview. "That is really exciting and we're thankful for that."
"Going forward, I know things are going to be a lot different in the House," said Heintzeman, who looks to continue pushing for policies that protect local water-rich environments, reform the state's economics, and promote small businesses in a Minnesota House that now features a DFL majority.
"There's going to be big changes there. Irrespective of what those changes might be, I'm excited to continue working on issues," Heintzeman added.
Heintzeman said Menk, gracious in defeat, called to congratulate him on his victory Tuesday evening-a touching gesture, he noted, that reflected Menk's character.
Menk's campaign saw it's genesis in a meeting with the District 10A representative after Heintzeman backed a 2016 bill that limited transgender access to bathrooms-a point of contention, Menk noted in debates, that continued into their opposing candidacies.
"This is the first time I ever run for anything. I couldn't sit back and let people be ignored when things were happening that were going to change their lives for the worst," Menk, 40, told the Dispatch during a phone call Tuesday evening. "I was really running because I felt like the people's voices were being ignored."
Homes served as something of a common background, at least in a race that featured a long-time construction worker challenging a small business owner whose operation specializes in log building materials.
As such, Menk and Heintzeman both had much to say about small business-regulations, health care, tapping into the workforce and addressing labor shortages-and they did so from different vantage points.
While Menk seemed uncomfortable in front of a debate audience or camera early on, he came more into his own later in the race. Heintzeman leaned on his political acumen and track record at the state Legislature in St. Paul.