ROCHESTER, Minn. – The entry of a Rochester based lawyer and two-time losing state legislature candidate has brought the total number of candidates vying to replace U.S. Rep. Tim Walz to nine.
This will be Rich Wright’s third campaign in as many cycles, as he previously ran for the Minnesota House in 2014, losing to State Rep. Nels Person (R-Stewartville) by a 60-40 margin. He then lost a bid for the senate to State Sen. Carla Nelson by a 56-44 margin. Wright ran unopposed both times for the DFL nomination.
“Southern Minnesotans are tired of Washington’s inaction and failed solutions,” Wright said in a press release. “We need real progressive ideas to solve the complex problems we as a society face today. The people of this district are yearning for a forward-thinking leader to represent them in Washington, and I believe I can provide that to them.”
Wright calls for a single-payer healthcare system on his campaign site, calling healthcare, “a fundamental human right. Period.”
The similarities to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) do not end there either, as Wright calls for a federal $15 per hour minimum wage, higher taxes on the one percent, and free job training and wage assistance for “those who are pushed out and left behind by globalization.”
While he does not call for free college education, Wright does want to pursue universal Pre-K for all children, much like Gov. Mark Dayton wants.
Wright also believes that a wage gap exists in the United States, and believes that private donations, like a recent $6.5 million donation, will not be sufficient to keep Planned Parenthood operating.
A Rochester native, Wright served in the United States Army Reserve as a judge advocate general for ten years. He has previously served as a city prosecutor, and has served or currently serves on the Rochester Montessori School Board, the Convention and Visitor Bureau Board, and the Olmsted County Planning Advisory Board.