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News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Profiles

News Headlines
Lyle Koenen

Party: DFL
Residence: Clara City, MN
Web site:

Statement from the candidate:
My reasons for running is to represent the people who live in District 20B. Farmers need open, fair, and competitive markets. I've farmed a vast majority of my life. I can understand the concerns farmers have today and want to make a difference for them. It is in our best interest to support today's independent family farms at home and at the legislature.

The rising costs healthcare has to be checked. The state should form a buying pool for seniors to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies, delivering medicines through local pharmacies, making prescription medicines affordable for the retired members of our communities.

Health insurance is as great a concern as prescription coverage. Minnesota needs to include more working people, self-employed, farmers, or small business owners and its employees in our state's healthcare plan.

Renewable energy has many benefits for our state. While it can provide better economic possibilities, it can also help improve the air quality and environment. I support the state investing in ethonol, bio-diesel, wind power, and other enivormentally responsible energy sources.

I support the state looking to improve and entice businesses with livable wages to relocate to the rural communities of Minnesota. We also need to look at the current tax structure that encourages corporations to export jobs. The state of Minnesota needs to look at its contracts to prohibit the outsourcing of jobs that could provide more livable wages to Minnesotans.

With school aged children living at home I understand the concerns parents have towards class sizes and adequate school funding. I support measures to provide resources that would help reduce the size of classrooms while providing additional resources for the school districts to meet the needs of their students.

I grew up in the Clara City and Maynard area. I attended what is now Ridgewater College in Willmar and Minnesota West in Granite Falls. I farmed livestock and grain for 27 years. During my years as a farmer, I also worked as a bus driver and milk truck driver which I continue to do off and on.

My wife, Sandy and I, have been married for 13 years. We have a blended family of 4 children: 23, 21, 12, and 9 years of age.

We belong to Bethany Reform Church in Clara City. I am a Farmers Union member.

In our spare time we enjoy bowling and billiards and various water sports. We are avid campers, fisherpeople. We support our children with after school activities such as Boy Scouts and 4 H.

On the Issues:
Should increased taxes be considered as part of a solution to a projected budget deficit?

Should gambling be expanded in Minnesota to generate new revenue for the state?

Should state funds — directly or indirectly — be used to build new sports facilities for the Twins and Vikings?

Do you support Gov Pawlenty's JOBZ zones program?

Should K-12 spending in Minnesota be curtailed in order to balance a projected budget deficit?

Should a constitutional amendment be presented to voters that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota?

Should the state spend money for expanding mass transit options in Minnesota?

Should there be additional restrictions on abortion in Minnesota?

Should the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which seeks to protect wildlife habitat and wetlands by paying farmers for taking marginal lands out of agriculture production, be supported?

Should the state's subsidized health care program be trimmed in order to reduce a projected budget deficit?