Republicans endorse Burnsville-area candidates
Former Rep. Myhra gets Senate nod
The lineup of Republican-endorsed candidates is set in state Senate District 55, which includes most of Burnsville and all of Savage, and its two House districts, 55B and 55A.
In November Republicans will try to reclaim Burnsville-area seats that have swung between the GOP and the DFL Party since the mid-2000s. Burnsville’s last Republican officeholder, Sen. Dan Hall, was unseated in 2020 by DFL Sen. Lindsey Port.
Redistricting, done every 10 years, didn’t greatly reshape Burnsville-area political boundaries. But it did remove three northwest Lakeville precincts from the new Senate 55 and House 55B, which makes the districts “bluer,” Myhra said. The Lakeville precincts that were “nominally Republican” are gone, Holston said.
“So the numbers are more challenging for the GOP, and I acknowledge that,” he said. “Having said that, I think it’s going to be a very good year for Republicans, maybe what they call a wave election.”
(Much of northeast Burnsville is in new Senate 52 and new House 52A, which are represented by Eagan DFLers Sen. Jim Carlson and Rep. Liz Reyer, who earned the DFL endorsement over Rep. Sandy Masin as they both live in 52A. Carlson and Reyer are seeking re-election.)
Myhra, 65, of Burnsville, is the experienced hand among the GOP endorsees. She was elected to the House in the old District 40A in 2010 and re-elected in the redrawn District 56A in 2012. She didn’t seek re-election in 2014, instead joining former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert as his running mate in his unsuccessful race for governor.
She vied briefly for the GOP endorsement to succeed retiring 2nd District U.S. Rep. John Kline in 2016. In 2018 Myhra was the Republican candidate for state auditor, losing to DFLer Julie Blaha. In 2020 Myhra sought back her old House seat but lost to Jess Hanson.
“I run, and I run hard,” Myhra said. “I have probably door-knocked 30,000 homes in this area, Savage and Burnsville, during my political career. And I love it.”
Three top issues in the election are public safety, inflation and the economy, and a sense that voters, including public school parents, aren’t being listened to, Myhra said.
“People are worried to even go to the grocery store,” she said, calling for “appropriate consequences” for convicted criminals. “They’re legitimately worried about carjackings. I talk to other women, my peers, and they’re worried.”
Beleaguered citizens paying more for gas and groceries need “permanent tax cuts that will help all of us” from the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus, Myhra said.
Since the pandemic, “I think a lot of parents right now are feeling like they’re not being heard,” she said.
“Parents have talked to me really concerned about their children falling behind in academics,” she said. “I think we really need to refocus.”
As a House member she said she inserted a provision into an omnibus education bill that rewarded schools and districts for improving reading scores. That program has been discontinued, Myhra said.
“Literacy is the pivotal area for all other education,” she said. “If you can’t read, you just can’t do any of the rest.”