CANNON FALLS — Lori Ann Clark has announced her candidacy for Minnesota House District 21A. The Cannon Falls business owner will seek the endorsement of the DFL Party at its District 21 convention March 10.
"I believe it is the job of a politician to find compromise on issues, so we can move forward and address the challenges facing our communities," Clark said in a released statement. "Our current political environment doesn't allow that. I am a woman who wants to champion the values of the large, moderate core yet I feel my voice is being drowned out by the extremes of both parties. The truth is, most Americans are moderates. It's time to send a new voice to St. Paul that truly represents the people of our District."
Clark is the co-founder and CFO of Danville Signal Processing Inc., an electronics manufacturing company based in Cannon Falls. In 2018, the company will celebrate 20 years in business.
"As a small-business owner, I definitely related to the 2016 Politics of Small Business Survey by National Small Business Association that stated 67 percent of small-business owners consider themselves independents, and 40 percent feel that neither party represents them as an individual," Clark said.
"I do believe a lot of people feel this way right now. We want our voices to be heard when it comes to creating policies that affect our lives," she added.
Clark will challenge Rep. Barb Haley of Red Wing, who won the open 21A seat in the 2016 election.
Clark said that opposing administrations often undo or scrap existing legislation that is working instead of making appropriate tweaks. As a result, many key issues never get addressed year after year. One example, she said, is finding a sustainable way to fund our local roads and highways.
"Communities compete based on the full range of amenities and services we provide. Everything from our roads, housing, childcare, and broadband to our cultural and natural assets affect people's desire to live, work and play here," Clark said. "We can and need to do better for those of us who have chosen to live here now and to attract those who will help us succeed in the future."
In 2004, Clark participated in the Cannon Falls/Randolph Blandin Community Leadership
Program. She has been involved with Toastmasters International, Cannon Falls Rotary Club, MN Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners, Business Women's Network and the Cannon Falls Chamber of Commerce. She also served as a mentor for the Kids-n-Kinship organization and a board member for both the Cannon Falls Arts Festival and Pet Adoption of the Cannon Valley. She is currently a member of the League of Women Voters Northfield-Cannon Falls Chapter and the Red Wing Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Together, she and her husband also foster dogs through English Springer Rescue of America.
Born and raised on the family farm in Bird Island, Minn., she graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1990 with a degree in political economy and German. She received her MBA in venture management from the University of St. Thomas in 2007. Clark has lived in Cannon Falls since 2000 with her husband and business partner, Al Clark. They have an adult daughter who lives in Oakland, Calif.