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A personal comparison of the candidates

I was born in Wadena and raised in Motley, where I lived for 26 years before going to work at the state Capitol for Senate District 12, which included Morrison and Crow Wing Counties. I personally know Al Doty and Paul Gazelka very well, having developed a good working relationship with Al before going to work with Sen. Gazelka.

Having worked closely with both candidates over the years, I've seen firsthand their professional differences come down to votes and principles. Sen. Gazelka tends to vote more conservatively on social and fiscal issues. As a result, we see a state budget with a current surplus of $1.2 billion.

Respectfully, I've noticed that Rep. Doty tended to vote more liberal on those issues, in addition to empowering Minneapolis/St. Paul liberals to set their agenda. The results of this agenda we all saw in 2010, when the new Republican majorities had to make up for their $6.2 billion deficit.

This tremendous budget turnaround of $7 billion was due in large part to Paul Gazelka's leadership. Paul knows we can't spend more than we have, and his leadership has helped make Minnesota's budget better. Sen. Gazelka's leadership has helped ensure greater economic security for you and your family.

Ken Swecker, legislative assistant for Sen. Paul Gazelka

St. Paul