Two Bemidji Area Republican Newcomers Head To The House
Barring potential recounts of two close races, it appears Republicans have taken over control of the Senate by one seat and have increased their advantage in the House by four seats. Some Bemidji area races went republican for the first time in several years last night.
After eight years of service in the house, DFL Representative John Persell lost to Matt Bliss. In a phone interview, he sad said while they have debated back in forth about policy, they have had some agreements.
He says that during his tenure he helped get the ball rolling for education funding, improved transportation and infrastructure, along with affordable housing.
Matt Bliss, a resort owner in Cass Lake, says he will work to give tax cuts to small businesses and working families. He says that he hopes to see MNsure abolished and have the previous system mended to fit the affordable care act.
Persell said he told Matt Bliss he was confident that he would do the best he could. Bliss described Persell as humble and gracious when they spoke this morning.
Persell said he will be spending time with his family, go hunting and continue to work in Leech Lake. He says he is not anticipating another run for public office, but hasn’t ruled it out either.
Matt Grossell, a retired sheriff deputy and veteran, ran on a pro-life platform, which he says he plans to continue moving forward. However, he also plans to focus on MNsure.
He is also looking forward to working on the proposed bonding bills that were not passed and the creation of veteran homes.
Jerry Loud, the DFL candidate running for District 2A did not return repeated requests for comment.