Emmer now says he's open to rail projectsby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer says he's open to considering rail projects even though he repeatedly voted against those projects during his time in the Legislature.
Rep. Emmer told reporters in Rochester Wednesday that he's staying out of a dispute over several rail projects being considered in southeastern Minnesota.
He says he's concerned about high speed rail, but is open to considering projects like a line from Chicago to the Twin Cities.
"I haven't been a fan of it in the past which is no secret," Emmer said. "But again, when you're governor, you have to wait until local people do the work and figure out whether it's something the state should be facilitating or not."
During his six years as a legislator, Emmer voted against legislation that would fund light rail and high-speed rail projects and also supported efforts to strip funding for light rail projects.
Several Rochester residents and the Mayo Clinic have been lobbying for Rochester to be a stop on a high speed rail route between Chicago and the Twin Cities.
(MPR News reporter Elizabeth Baier contributed to this report.)