Bill Kuisle
Bill Kuisle
It is that time again when political hopefuls tour the state to introduce themselves to the public and voice their stance on important issues.

Bill Kuisle, a lieutenant governor hopeful running alongside governor candidate Jeff Johnson, made a sweep through Fillmore County last week as part of his campaign.

Kuisle grew up on his family's farm just outside of Rochester in High Forest Township. He still lives and farms in the area with his wife and two children.

Though he considers himself a farmer, first and foremost, Kuisle is no stranger to the political world. He was elected to High Forest Township Board, then to the Olmsted County Board where he served until he was elected into the state Legislature in 1996. He served in the House of Representatives, where be eventually became the assistant majority leader, until 2005. It was during that time he was introduced to Johnson, also a former member of the House.

Now they are together again running for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively.

Kuisle believes their mutual vision for the future of Minnesota will make them strong candidates.

As part of his stop, Kuisle touched on topics affecting our region of southeast Minnesota.

"We always talk in this area about DMC (Destination Mayo Clinic) and what affect that will have, but also trying to find other industries to make sure our business climate is such that it can attract those jobs," Kuisle explained. "It gets harder and harder as cities and counties try to attract businesses because of some of the things we have in place. It's not only the taxes, but the rules and regulations. So companies are also finding it harder and harder to expand and attract new jobs."

According to Kuisle, the government should be supporting these companies who would otherwise be investing in their communities by creating a tax base that helps the schools, the city and the county making for a stronger state as a whole.

Healthcare and education are two more key topics for the team.

Simply put, they believe the government has become too involved in both areas and should instead put more of the decisions back in the hands of the people who know best: parents and teachers and the healthcare professionals and their patients.

When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as most know it, Kuisle says, "We're going to be looking at ways to contain the cost of MNsure, because that will start creeping into education whether it's K-12 or higher education. There is only so much of the pie you can divide up."

Johnson received the Republican Party endorsement at the state convention at the end of May, but he faces three challengers in the Aug. 12 primary. The winner will face incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton in the Nov. 4 general election.