His grandmother, after all, is Rose Kennedy, he says with a wide smile to see if you bite. No, not the mother of the ex-president. Rose Kennedy's father was a Swift County Commissioner and her husband was the mayor of Murdock. Her son, MarkÔs father, was a school board member.
"I was pretty young when I decided to succeed in business first, and then run for public service," Kennedy said.
In challenging David Minge (D-Montevideo), a four-term Congressman, Kennedy (R-Watertown) has traversed one of the nation's most rural Congres-sional districts full time since January.
On Monday, Oct. 1, he stopped in Paynesville for a day of campaigning.
The Second District covers the southwest corner of the state, including Meeker and Kandiyohi counties. It also extends slightly into Stearns County, just to include the city of Paynesville and Paynesville Township.
It has only 10 cities that have more than 10,000 people, and lots of small communities like Paynesville that Kennedy is trying to reach. The district actually has some notoriety for its ruralness. In Willmar, its largest city is the smallest in the country. Every other Congressional district has a city larger than Willmar.
To this district, Kennedy is taking his core messages. He supports eliminating the so-called Death Tax and reducing the Marriage Penalty and taxes on capital gains. He wants to make Social Security funds untouchable by the government and supports offering voluntary retirement accounts as an option.
He says he will be a "spending watchdog" and wants disciplined spending to reduce tax burdens and the federal debt. He said he will vote to increase military wages and to continue testing a missile defense system.
He cites his 20 years of business background (most recently he was the chief financial officer of Department 56) as experience that will help farms and businesses prosper. "I'm used to getting things done in business," he said during an interview at the Press office.
With Pillsbury he had experience with foreign markets, and he pledges to work to open more markets to help farmers export their crops. He wants to cease using food as a weapon, which he said just hurts the common people and U.S. farmers. "You haven't seen a lot of skinny dictators," he explained.
While in Paynesville, Kennedy visited Paynesville Area Health Care System, toured several other local businesses, and met with some Republican donors.
More information about Kennedy is available online at www.kennedyforcongress.com.
Information about David Minge's re-election campaign is also available online at www.minge.org.
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