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Honour running mate stops in Bemidji; Housley is state senator, realtor

BEMIDJI -- Karin Housley, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, stopped in Bemidji on Tuesday while campaigning in northern Minnesota ahead of the Aug. 12 primary election.

Running on a ticket with millionaire businessman Scott Honour, Housley is a realtor and state senator from St. Mary's Point near the Twin Cities.

In an interview, Housley hit up two themes that have been consistent across Republican messaging so far in the primary: getting government "out of the way" of business growth in order to prevent companies from moving out of state and addressing the problems of MNsure.

She said she urged Gov. Mark Dayton in December to call a special session to address the system's flaws, but he told her personally he wouldn't do it. The state should have gone on the federal exchange offered through the Affordable Care Act rather than creating MNsure, she said.

"We should have scrapped the whole thing, went on the ACA, and just not added an extra layer of bureaucracy," she said.

Housley pointed out she and Honour were the only candidate team to come out in favor of full MNsure repeal rather than altering it in place.

However, when asked her stance on what to do regarding the Medicaid expansion, which states can opt for under ACA, Housley said she was not sure.

On social issues, Housley said they didn't have a place in the campaign.

"I think the social issues are behind us," she said. "We lost a lot of the younger generation talking about the social issues. I'm very conservative, but I do believe that those issues aren't in the 2014 campaign."

She said her family owns two cottages in Walker, where they vacation.

"We haven't missed a Moondance Jam, ever," she said.

Zach Kayser
Zach Kayser covers local government and city issues for the Pioneer. He previously worked for the Wadena Pioneer Journal, and is an alumni of the University of Minnesota, Morris. 
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