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Parry visits Austin on Congressional campaign

Mike Parry of Waseca, MInn. made a stop in Austin, Minn. Thursday afternoon at the Coffee House on Main Street to visit with media. Parry is running for US Congress in the 1st District of Minnesota a seat currently held by Congressman Tim Walz.

State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, made Austin one of his stops in the First District Thursday as he officially launched his campaign for U.S. Congress.

Parry is the first Republican to seek the endorsement to challenge incumbent 1st District Rep.Tim Walz, a Democrat, in 2012.

"These are my old stomping grounds," said Parry, who was born and raised in Albert Lea.

While acknowledging he was in fiercely Democratic territory, the senator said he was in Austin "to listen to people, let people get to know me, so they know I can carry their voice to Washington.

"This whole campaign is about jobs and the economy," Parry said, claiming his compromise on 13 reforms at the state level "reduced the size of government."


Walz, he added, "is not representing what I'm hearing the people of southern Minnesota say they want. I'm one of his constituents, as well, and like many people, I'm disappointed in the turn the country appears to be taking."

He disagrees specifically with Walz's votes on health care; the cap-and-trade bill regulating environmental policies; and federal trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which "didn't show us he's for agriculture," Parry said.

"It appears the tax structure has been made to create a better atmosphere outside the U.S. than inside," Parry said.

He brushed aside Democrats' claims that he's an ultra-conservative Tea Party Republican.

"They've been saying the same thing since January 2010," Parry said. "This is the third time around. Maybe they should start working with me and focus on the real issues, so we can move forward on legislative policies (and a) better compromise."

What's important, he said, is jobs.

"We have to focus on the economy, and getting back to where the United States used to be. I don't care what party you're with," he said. "It all affects our pocketbook. All constituents want to be heard; they want someone to take their message to Washington. I believe I'm the guy to go there, even if I'm just the tipping point."

Parry also made stops Thursday in Albert Lea, Owatonna, Rochester and Winona. The campaign heads to New Ulm, Mankato, Fairmont and Worthington today.

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