Feist, Vogel seek seat in House District 41B

This article originally appeared on ABC Newspapers on September 25, 2020. You can find the original here.


The DFL’s Sandra Feist and Republican Ronald Vogel are vying for the House District 41B seat. The seat is currently held by DFL Assistant Majority Leader Mary Kunesh, who is seeking the Senate District 41 seat. Vogel’s wife, Lucia Vogel, is running against Kunesh for State Senate in Senate District 41.


House District 41B includes all or parts of Columbia Heights, New Brighton, St. Anthony and Hilltop.

Sandra Feist

  • Age: 43

  • Residence: New Brighton

  • Family: Husband, Ben, and son Brennan (age 10) and daughter Harper (age 8)

  • Education: JD – William Mitchell College of Law (2007); BA Degrees in History and Political Science – University of Wisconsin, Madison (1999)

  • Occupation: Immigration Attorney

  • Years lived in district: 6

  • Community involvement (top 3): Leadership Team, Cub Scouts – Pack 412; Former Board Member, ACLU of Minnesota; Numerous leadership roles, American Immigration Lawyers Association

  • Website: feistforhouse.org


Assess state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the governor’s use of executive orders and the Legislature’s actions:


I have been pleased by Governor Walz’s data-driven approach to governing during the pandemic. His blend of empathy and level-headedness is exactly what Minnesota needs to weather this crisis and thrive post-pandemic. In the Legislature, we have seen some bipartisan cooperation to provide aid to working families, but I have been disappointed by the obstructionist Republican approach and the inability of Republicans to work with Democrats for the greater good.


What is the best way for state government to support the economy going forward?


Many Minnesota businesses and working families have been devastated by the pandemic. The state needs to play a strong role in supporting businesses and workers in the recovery. This includes supporting our schools as they work to ensure our future workforce doesn’t suffer long-term consequences of an interrupted education. It also includes providing grants and other supports to businesses so that job opportunities return quickly once the health crisis has passed. I look forward to addressing these issues so that businesses and working families can return to normalcy as soon as possible.


What, if anything, should the state do to assist in improving police relations with diverse communities in Minnesota and address the larger issue of systemic racism?


I am a strong supporter of statewide police reforms, which would increase support for and trust in law enforcement. While the recent Minnesota Police Accountability Act was a good first step, we have a long way to go in addressing racial justice and police reform in our state. I support legislation for independent investigation and prosecution of police violence, enhancing the power of civilian review boards, reimagining police licensing and oversight through the POST Board, and allowing residency requirements for officers. To address the larger issue of systemic racism, we need to filter all policy decisions through the lens of equity and fully engage all impacted communities in the policymaking process.


What other priorities would you like to address if elected?


I will be a champion for fully funding our public schools so that they have consistent, equitable and generous funding no matter where a child lives in the state of Minnesota. I will also fight to expand access to health care in our state because health care is both a human right and a critical public health concern. In the Legislature, I will also focus on legislation aimed at protecting Minnesota’s natural resources, to ensure we can pass on a vibrant Minnesota to future generations. Together, we can build a Minnesota where everyone has opportunities and all are welcome.


Ronald Vogel

  • Age: 65

  • Residence: Columbia Heights

  • Family: Wife is Lucia Vogel. Two adult sons.

  • Education: Some college from U of M. Self-taught by reading a machine manual, became a CNC machining center set-up/operator/programmer.

  • Occupation: Machinist

  • Years lived in district: 31

  • Community involvement (top 3): Church; work in New Brighton; helping people when I have been able to

  • Website: bit.ly/2RPYou9

Assess state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the governor’s use of executive orders and the Legislature’s actions:


The governor’s use of executive orders and the Legislature’s actions are very questionable. Confirmed cases should never have been put back into nursing homes! The mandate for everyone wearing masks inside buildings is not working, some of the people that work in stores do not follow these sometimes. Closing some stores and churches while allowing some stores to have many people is not equitable! Many people are financially hurting because their companies closed and may never open again! Various businesses have closed, even where I work the whole 3rd shift was laid off! People are upset, as am I! I have seen pictures of the Governor at times standing close to several people sometimes and not wearing a mask, another politician that tells people to do as I say but not as I do. I want the emergency powers of the governor to be removed, and when I am elected to the House, I pledge I will vote to remove those powers so that the Senate and House and the Governor must all work together on decision making and not leave everything to just one man.


What is the best way for state government to support the economy going forward?


Cuts in expenses must be made for non-essential expenses, other expenses may need to be evaluated as needed over the next two years. Taxes should not be raised on the people just because our government has not managed well during these times of crisis.


What, if anything, should the state do to assist in improving police relations with diverse communities in Minnesota and address the larger issue of systemic racism?


Improve police relations with diverse communities by teaming up with schools, churches and other organizations to invite police officers to meet and talk and interact with the people directly so the community and the police can talk about managing things better together for everyone’s safety.


What other priorities would you like to address if elected?


$5 billion-plus deficit. Stop non-essential government spending! Rebuild companies, help people get jobs. Safety for all people in every neighborhood. The homeless. Reform school education.

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