Both candidates seeking to represent Minnesota Senate District 2 for the next four years have their eyes set on the economy.

The incumbent is Republican Paul Utke, who was elected to the seat in 2016. Leonard Alan Roy, meanwhile, of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, is challenging Utke for the seat.

For Roy, the work to help the state financially will start day one.

"We need to rebuild our economy, and I believe that means we need to prioritize legislation to directly support our employers and workers so they can pay their bills and take care of their families," said Roy. "I also believe we need to prioritize health care because of the pandemic and we need to support more funding for the education system."

In speaking with the Pioneer, Utke referenced future budget estimates.

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"We have a big job ahead of us come January because we all hear what our budget is going to look like," Utke said. "We have to start the next biennium budget and we're going to have quite a large shortfall. It's something that needs to be done and we'll get it done. I'll do my best to represent all of my people with a balanced budget."

Like Roy, Utke also referenced health as an issue he'd like to focus on.

"Health care remains at the top of the list for many people I talk to," Utke said. "Representing District 2 is always my priority with my votes. When I consider something, I ask how it will affect District 2 first."

In an interview with the Pioneer, Roy said if he's elected, he'd legislate from the center to help all District 2 residents..

"I'm a moderate Democrat, a little right of center, and I'd like to see a little more stability in the state," Roy said. "I think that as a state, we have a tremendous opportunity to change Minnesota for the better. I believe we need to talk through our issues and avoid going into the extremes of policies so we can make informed decisions that help everyone."

Paul Utke

  • Republican
  • Incumbent
  • Age: 63
  • Lives in Park Rapids
  • Insurance agent
  • North Dakota State College of Science graduate in diesel mechanic studies

Leonard Alan Roy

  • DFL
  • Age: 36
  • Lives in Ogema
  • White Earth Nation Secretary-Treasurer and U.S. Army Reservist
  • University of Minnesota graduate in public affairs