Honour: The state requires 'bold vision'
Scott Honour hadn’t run for political office before, but he decided to dive in this time and aim high — governor.
“The reason I jumped in the governor’s race is that’s the place where you can really make a major difference,” he said. “We need a leader that’s willing to set the bold vision and articulate the message to the state as to why we ought to have government get smaller, do a better job at the core things it needs to do and then otherwise be out of the way and let the private sector flourish and grow.”
Honour, on the ballot with lieutenant governor candidate Karin Housely, is facing fellow Republicans Kurt Zellers, Marty Seifert and GOP-endorsed Jeff Johnson in Tuesday’s primary election.
Honour said during a Wednesday visit to Red Wing that his background in business, rather than politics, gives him an advantage.
“Because I’m not looking for a political career, I’m not worried about how a decision will lead to getting re-elected, and I’ll be free to make the best decisions on behalf of the citizens of the state,” he said, adding he also won’t be “beholden to special interests.”
That business experience also is important for a key issue facing Minnesota, which is economic competitiveness, he said.
The state needs to change polices to be more friendly to businesses, Honour said, including cutting down on regulations, making the permitting process easier, simplifying the tax code and lowering tax rates.
He also wants Minnesota to become a right-to-work state, which means joining unions and paying dues would be optional for employees.
Then, the state needs to spread the message of what’s available here.
“I have a lot of experience in how to lead an organization and how to set that vision and market the plan,” Honour said.
Honour’s philosophy is that “our economy will be strongest on the back of the private sector,” so he said he supports efforts such as silica sand mining.
“I think the state ought to be encouraging the development of our natural resources, and I support sand mining,” he said. “I want to play a role in helping break the logjam … between owners of those potential mines that ought to have the chance to develop those resources balanced against environmental concerns and local community concerns.”
While Honour said he would like to see government significantly decrease spending overall, areas such as infrastructure do need help.
“We’re not even meeting our current needs right now, let alone building for the future,” he said.
He also said pieces such as education funding need to be re-evaluated.
“We have a very convoluted system for allocating dollars in education, and many communities outside of the Twin Cities get the short end of the stick,” he said. “Basically taking a fresh look at that whole system and talking about what’s the best approach versus this Band-Aid approach that’s been taken is going to be a key priority for me.”
He said he would reduce Local Government Aid funding, but particularly to the Twin Cities.
“There is a role for it in communities that really need that assistance to provide their basic infrastructure, but let’s get Local Government Aid back to that concept,” he said.
There are many areas where the state can improve, Honour said, which is ultimately why he decided to run.
“I see that we’re not getting the best value out of government,” he said. “The state can do better.”