I’m not a party liner — one of the things I picked up from my father who stressed the importance of voting for individual candidates, not political parties. What’s more important than the party is picking the best candidate who will support the issues important to you — that’s why I’m supporting Dave Lislegard for State Representative for 6B.

I was blessed to have a couple of good conversations with Tommy Rukavina before he passed. Of the lessons he shared with me, one I hold in the highest regard is that he wasn’t pro mining – he was pro miner. A subtle but important distinction.

It’s important that we remember that while mining is the industry that provides many in our area with jobs, it’s the miners and the wages they earn that are the backbone of our economy, not the stockholders or corporations.

I am proud and grateful to be an AFSCME member myself — so is Dave’s wife Lisa, but whatever union we are a part of, it’s important to recognize the sacrifice of the men and women before us that worked for our wages, benefits, security, and safety. Without our unions, our jobs simply wouldn’t be what they are.

It may be tempting to be taken in by politicians who support mining because they blindly support industry and have little consideration for the environment, but remember it’s the miners that live in our community and whose wages fuel our economy. I believe Dave Lislegard is the candidate that will stand up for our workers and their rights.

I heard an accusation on the radio the other day that Dave Lislegard isn’t pro mining enough – that is flat out absurd and a part of the culture of lies and say whatever you need to get elected that has been popularized in the last few years. This must stop.

Dave worked at LTV before it closed as part of the steel workers and has worked tirelessly to try to get PolyMet past the roadblocks that have been thrown in its way. Dave Lislegard supports our local economy, he is a strong advocate for mining, and he knows the value of labor.

To some of you that are disenfranchised and aren’t happy with our options, we still need you to vote. If you’re waiting for that perfect candidate that you’ll agree with on all the issues, you’ll wait too long and our democracy will fall apart in the meantime. You don’t have to agree with a candidate on all the issues to support them.

Please join me in voting for the best candidate in this race — vote for Dave Lislegard for 6B.

Shaun Hainey

Pike Township

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