Samuel Beard and Sam Scott are vying to be the DFL candidate in House District 35B in the November general election. The winner of the Aug. 14 primary election will go up against Republican incumbent Peggy Scott.
House District 35B includes Andover and small portions of Ramsey and Coon Rapids. The candidates answered the following questions:
Beard: My name is Samuel Beard. I’m 39 years old and am a resident of Coon Rapids. I have two wonderful daughters and have been married for 18 years. I am self-employed as an owner of a major carpet cleaning franchise. I went to community colleges and have owned and operated several businesses.
Scott: Sam Scott, 29, grew up in Anoka County since the age of four, after moving from Foley. He was accepted into the University of Minnesota in 2001 after graduating from Anoka High School that same year. He has lived in Andover since 2007 with his wife, Crystal, and his two dogs Bo and Duke.
Upon starting college, Sam decided to join the military following his family tradition to serve his country. Sam served in the Army for eight years with distinction from 2001 to 2009. He rose to the rank of sergeant while earning three military occupation specialties and one identifier with the 13th Psychological Operations Battalion in Arden Hills. From 2006-2007, he deployed to Mosul, Iraq, on a tactical psychological operations team. While in Iraq, Sam earned the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
After returning from Iraq, Sam went back to the University of Minnesota and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the Carlson School of Management in 2009. He currently works as a financial analyst.
2. What qualities would you bring to legislative office?
Beard:I am looking to bring a more common sense approach to our state government. I’ve recognized huge misallocations of funds and unnecessary spending. I feel as if I can represent the more common Minnesotan having been the owner of several small businesses over the past 15 years. I believe my experience with successes and failures in business has prepared me to make sound decisions regarding the citizens of Minnesota.
Scott: As a legislator, I would bring the qualities of critical thought, cooperation and patience. I was able to hone these qualities during my time deployed to Iraq. Over the course of the year, my team was able to bring together various ethnic, tribal and religious factions in order to work out differences and make the community a better place for its people. I know that I will be able to do a better job than my competitor at working together for the people of Minnesota.
It is important that our representatives have these qualities in order to do what is best for the people and not necessarily for the party. Our representative needs to exercise the ability to think about and weigh multiple sides of an issue, work across party lines and have patience as we work our way through controversial issues instead of the doomsday rhetoric we currently see out of some of our legislators.
3. What are the main issues of your campaign?
Beard: The main issues I would like to address would be to reduce taxes and make sure that they are being allocated to projects that are helpful to our community. I would also like to help small businesses grow with more funding. The growth of small businesses would also help the economy grow significantly as small businesses employ 75 percent of the American work force.
Scott: Jobs – We need to ensure that Minnesota remains a place that employers such as Target and Best Buy and innovators like 3M and Medtronic want to be and grow. By investing in a well-educated workforce, retraining those currently unemployed with needed skills and investing in transportation and infrastructure projects to get people to work, we will be well positioned to grow well-paying jobs. In addition, we need to find ways to ensure we are attracting innovators of new technologies and industries to keep up with an ever-changing global economy.
Budget – Another of my priorities is to pass a timely and responsible budget that promotes (1) job creation through investment and (2) a sustainable financial outlook for the state of Minnesota. Like many of my constituents, I was disappointed in our Legislature for passing a poor budget after a lengthy government shutdown. My goal is to focus on working together with all of the legislators to pass a budget that reflects our priorities to create well-paying jobs through investing in education, infrastructure and new industries (research and development), while making sure that we can afford the budget we set.