Minnesota House 4A race pits neighbors against each other | INFORUM

Local News 29-10-2020 IN FORUM 55

Both candidates have some community recognition. Democrat Heather Keeler is the vice chair of the Human Rights Commission in Moorhead and a member of the metro's Native American Commission.

"I've heard you long before I ever decided to run," Keeler said.

She's running against Republican Edwin Hahn. He came up short last year in the Ward 3 city council race, but believes that loss gave him momentum.

The co-founder of an energy business, Hahn is focused on pulling the tax dollars out of St. Paul and bringing them to Moorhead for roads, the underpass projects and revitalizing downtown. He is also focused on a pilot project to create reciprocity for businesses. He feels Minnesota's strict regulations give Fargo businesses, including restaurants, an unfair advantage.

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"The food is pretty safe over there. I haven't gotten sick," he said with a smile.

Keeler is a mother, educator and an assistant director for multicultural recruitment at NDSU. Her focuses include more affordable health care and housing that includes a program for "tiny homes" for the homeless. She also wants to focus on education, giving teachers more money for school supplies and implementing cultural curriculum in K-12 schools.

"Both in looking at different cultures, but also understanding our LGBTQ history and make sure we talk about that in our K-12 so everybody has that ability to be seen," she said.

What makes this race relatively interesting is the fact that they are neighbors. The home of WDAY News reporter Matt Henson is the only house that separates their two homes.

"It adds an interesting layer. We've been kind to each other the whole time, we've been able to wave at each other and say, 'hi,' really to the level kindness, lead with love not hate," Keeler said.

"I don't believe in chance, I think there is something significant about that," Hahn said of the situation. "Just because someone is on the other side or has a different viewpoint from you — they are still your neighbor."

With the two neighbors competing for votes, they say this race is not about their political parties, but making sure they provide that neighborhood love.

"We win together; it's not one side versus the other side," Hahn said.

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