Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Nancy Larson, who has lived in Dassel for the past 40 years with her husband Merle, spent the past 24 years standing outside the Minnesota House chambers fighting for rural Minnesota. Now she is running for an inside seat as a candidate for the State Legislature in House District 18A.
Larson spent 18 years working as the executive director of the Minnesota Association of Small Cities and the past six years working as a lobbyist for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. During that time she worked on behalf of every city in House District 18A and worked with other rural groups to strengthen all of greater Minnesota.
"I am known as someone who works well with both sides of the aisle," Larson said, "and I am also known as someone who will oppose anyone who proposes legislation detrimental to rural Minnesota.
"Last year's lopsided property tax bill is one of the things that led me to run for the Legislature this year," Larson said. "Greater Minnesota property owners took the biggest hit when the legislature eliminated the Market Value Homestead Credit program last year, and I can't understand why our local legislators didn't oppose it. Our small businesses were especially hard hit, which puts them at a real disadvantage when competing with businesses in the metro area, and our farms were burdened with the highest tax increases of all."
Prior to working for rural cities, Larson spent 10 years as a reporter for the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise/Dispatch. While working there, she graduated from St. Cloud State University. Her four children are all graduates of Dassel-Cokato High School.
Larson lost a close race for the House in 1992. She was also the DFL endorsed candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, for State Auditor in 1998 and has been a member of the Democratic National Committee. Despite those credentials, Larson describes herself as a hawk when it comes to overlooking the finances of the state. The current "charge and spend" policy permeating the Capitol is disastrous, Larson said. "It's time to pay as you go again, but the current legislature has put us so far in hock that it will take some time to work our way out of it. It is time for a change."
District 18A includes all of Meeker County, Cokato and Cokato Townships in Wright County, and the western half of Hutchinson as well as the townships of Hutchinson, Acoma and Lynn in McLeod County.