Simpson visits Crookston

    Lieutenant Governor candidate and former longtime New York Mills Mayor Dean Simpson visited the Times recently to promote his campaign with Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Kurt Zellers.    

    Crookston isn't a foreign place to Simpson as he recalled visiting here many times with his 4-H group when he was a child.    

    "I remember coming to Crookston to the Red River Valley Winter Shows for years," recalled Simpson. "There was one time when there was a huge blizzard and we actually had to stay over at the Winter Shows building."    

    Simpson and his family own and operate retail grocery stores in New York Mills and Perham in Ottertail County and he was named Minnesota Grocer of the Year in 2006. Simpson has served three terms as state representative and became an assistant minority leader from 2007-2008.    

    If the August Primary goes their way, Simpson said he and Zellers, one of four Republican tandems seeking to emerge in the primary, plan to make it back to Crookston for more campaigning.    

    "Kurt is a good leader and a strong candidate," said Simpson. "He is one of the only people to say, 'No' to Governor Dayton. I encourage everyone to get out there and vote this August."    

     Zellers, a Devils Lake, N.D. native whose family still owns and operates their 135-year farm, served six terms as a Minnesota House state representative and was elected speaker of the House for the 2011-2012 Legislative Session. In 2004, Zellers was the chief author of a bill that imposed life in prison for violent sex offenders initiated in response to the kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.    

    One of the topics that weighs heavily on their minds is affordable housing.    

    "When people look for a place to live, there's a lot to consider," explained Simpson. "Once you get a job, you have to find a home and if you have kids, a good school. There are a lot of people out there that need to have affordable housing. Not everyone can buy a new home. We need to work hard in Minnesota to make sure there is affordable housing for everyone."