CANDIDATE PROFILE Name: Scott Metcalf
Address: 203 4th St. Kenyon.
Family: Married, four children.
Work history: Worked in the department of corrections at the Faribault prison system for 14 years.
Education history: Completed three years of college in criminal justice; working toward completion of bachelor's degree.
Community activities: Toys for Tots Marine Corps League.
Government history: President of local correction officers union; executive board member of the statewide AFSCME Council 5; on the OSHA advisory council for the state; member of the 34th Infantry Military Police Division of the Army National Guard.
Contact information: Phone, (507) 421-0826.
Top three issues:
1. Health care.
This race is not about being on the left or right. It's about moving forward and doing what's right for Minnesota.
Five questions of the candidate:
1. Should the state constitution be amended to ban same sex marriage? No.
2. Do you support taxpayer funding for a Twins baseball stadium? Yes, as long as we get to keep a percentage of revenue from ticket sales and concessions.
3. Should Minnesota opt out of the federal education program called No Child Left Behind?. Yes.
4. Should Minnesota raise taxes to close a budget deficit? No.
5. Should the state provide more funding for education? Yes.
By Matt Stolle
Minnesota needs a change in leadership, says Scott Metcalf, a DFL contender for the House District 28B seat now held by Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum.
"I figure after 26 years in office, Mr. Sviggum has lost touch with the district's people. After so many years in office, it gets to be about the struggle. It's about power. Power is fine, but you need to know how to use power. You need to work toward a common goal," Metcalf said.
As a corrections officer for the state, Metcalf, 45, said he's seen how the state can operate in a wasteful way and how cuts in those wasteful areas can make the state more efficient.
Legislators need to have the welfare of the state's citizens more in mind. For instance, people should have the same health plans as senators, representatives and the governor.
The biggest challenge the Legislature faces, Metcalf said, is to "get off their butts and start working together."
Metcalf said he's had opportunities to live in other states, but chose Minnesota because "it's a great place to live."
One major priority, he said, is for the Legislature to pass a sex offender law.
Another problem is with the state's prisons: There is no more space, Metcalf said. That state prison population has swelled to such an extent that county jails are now being asked to handle the surplus. The riot in the Olmsted County jail, which was precipitated by a decision to double-bunk inmates, is one symptom of an overburdened prison system.
"If the state is not going to build new prisons, the counties are going to (see more people in their) jails, and those in jail may be released early, because there is no place to put them up," he said.
As someone making a bid for the Legislature, Metcalf said some have criticized him for lacking experience. Yet, how much experience is a first-term legislator supposed to bring to the job, Metcalf asked. Moreover, as a member of the military and a union negotiator, Metcalf said he's been in plenty of situations where leadership and tough decisions have been required.
"I know what it is to follow. I know what it is to lead, and I also know what it's like to sit across from each other and negotiate difficult situations. It's about working together and putting personalities aside," he said.