The race for retiring State Senator Julianne Ortman’s seat in District 47 is heating up as the candidates continue to debate and fight for votes. A big name in Minnesota politics is running, 29 year old Jake Coleman, son of former United States Senator Norm Coleman. Jake Coleman says his father has had less of an influence on his campaign than what many may assume, explaining, “If I would ask him a question his response would always be, ‘That’s very interesting Jake, what do you think?’ I know what I think dad…I’m looking for a little bit of the experience here. But in doing that I think he really helped me because it gave me an ability to make this race my own and put my own team together…”
Jake Coleman studied law at the University of Minnesota and worked for United States Representative Erik Paulsen. Coleman says he is passionate about tax reform and transportation, as well as engaging the next generation of voters, stating, “I’ve found since I got in to this race is that I think I have a unique ability to help encourage, and reach out to, and attract those types of voters and bring them in to the party and bring them in to the voting booth.”
Coleman’s contender is 61 year old Doctor Scott Jensen, owner of Catalyst Medical Clinic. Jensen says his passions include healthcare reform and education, as well as creating more openess in government, explaining, “I think we need to be more open. I think the public needs to know what the benefits are of being a legislator, how long do you have to serve before you’re eligible for some type of retirement plan, how much money are you really getting? I don’t think there’s enough openness in politics.”
Coleman and Jensen appear to see eye-to-eye on many issues but try to distinguish themselves from one another based on how their experience will enable them to lead. Coleman says his legislative experience sets him apart, stating, “I understand what it takes to move good legislation through a gridlocked and partisan system, and I’ll be the only candidate here on day one to effectively represent the people of Carver County.”
Jensen, however, believes his time serving in his community counts more, saying, “Regardless of how much agreement he and I might have on the issues, I’ve lived here thirty years. I didn’t claim the values of this area, I lived them and learned them by being people’s neighbor, by being people’s doctor, by teaching sunday school to the neighborhood kids.”
The endorsing convention is March 19th, and both candidates have agreed to abide by the endorsement. Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to cover this race and bring you campaign coverage throughout the state.