Quist gets DFL endorsement for District 36 Senate race
Steve Quist has talked for years about running for office, but when he did he always imagined his campaign taking place in some vaguely defined future election. When his kids were older. When he had more time.
Plans change, though, and when Democrats in Senate District 36 found themselves in need of a candidate to compete for the seat of retiring Senator Pat Pariseau, Quist decided now was as good a time as any to take the leap.
"We've kind of been talking about it since probably January or February, just trying to decide whether I could take the time to do it," said Quist, who will balance his campaign with caring for three young kids who are active in sports and his obligations at Farmington Lutheran Church, where he mentors a confirmation group.
Quist and his wife are also active at River of Joy Lutheran Church.
District 36 Democrats gave Quist their official endorsement at the district's central committee meeting April 29 and he formally announced his candidacy the following day, though he'd mentioned it prior to that at MNDFL.com, a political blog he's written since 2006.
Politics has long played an important role in Quist's life. He attended his first caucus at 17 and voted for the first time just a week after his 18th birthday in 1988. He moved to Farmington in 1996 and has been involved in local politics in recent years.
Quist said he hopes to work with people from all parties to get things done.
"I don't really like the partisanship and I know that there are lots of people who say that," Quist said. "I feel like I have a lot more common sense. I have some common sense that kind of puts me above that."
Quist identified business growth, education and property tax reform as the issues he considers most important. He'd like to see increased efforts to help small businesses grow.
"It makes a lot more sense in Farmington for us to try and build some of those businesses we already have, because that's going to have an immediate impact," Quist said.
Quist said he'd like to see better funding for education and reforms that reduce the importance of property taxes in funding government budgets.
"They're all kind of intertwined," he said. "You need to have the education to have the innovation."
There is still a lot of campaigning ahead for Quist, who described himself as someone who knows a little bit about a lot of subjects -- "just enough to be dangerous to myself," he joked. But he said he's looking forward to the experience, even if it is coming a little bit earlier than expected.
"I'm excited," he said. "I'm not the best public speaker, but I'm looking forward to getting out and meeting more people."
Quist will face Republican David Thompson in the November election.