BEMIDJI -- Jeremiah Liend is dedicated to a sustainable future and is running for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives to achieve it.
The 39-year-old Turtle River resident is running in the Minnesota House District 2A seat on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party ticket. Liend is from the area, having graduated from Bemidji High School and attended BSU.
He later attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the University of Wisconsin River Falls and Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Over the course of his studies, Liend earned a bachelor's degree in theater arts and a master's degree in liberal arts with a focus on interdisciplinary studies, specifically sustainability studies and theater arts.
Liend moved back to the area in 2018 with his family and works remotely for the California-based company Complete Solar. Heading into the 2020 election, Liend said he was prepared to support Michael Northbird, who ran in the district in 2018. However, a few weeks ago, Northbird announced he wouldn't be seeking the office as he was moving out of the district.
"I'd been considering running for the office for some time," Liend said. "I was going to support Northbird, but after he ended his candidacy, I made up my mind to run in the election."
As his candidacy gets underway, Liend said he's going to keep his campaign positive, based off the work of Paul Wellstone, the late U.S. senator from Minnesota.
"I'm a huge fan of Wellstone and his campaign techniques," Liend said.
Policy-wise, Liend said he is mostly focused on sustainability.
"My platform is sustainable development," he said. "Ensuring our economic, environmental and social development is done responsibly and leaves the future a better place for future generations."
Additionally, Liend said he supports campaign finance reform, social and criminal justice reform and the legalization of recreational cannabis.
"I don't think unlimited, undisclosed political donations are healthy for our political system," Liend said.
Liend's opponent in November will be incumbent Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, who was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018.