Clark: 6th District voters should be focus of the jobTarryl Clark has tried to frame her 6th Congressional District bid as a race against someone who is politically self-serving and not interested in serving the district.
Tarryl Clark has tried to frame her 6th Congressional District bid as a race against someone who is politically self-serving and not interested in serving the district.
Clark, who is attempting to oust two-term GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, said she wants to make constituents’ concerns a priority and that the Republican congresswoman’s record of accomplishments is thin.
“Why should they rehire her?” Clark asked.
In the highly visible 6th District race, Bachmann has tried to paint Clark as being in lockstep with a “Pelosi/Obama” agenda. But Clark points to her record as a state senator representing conservative areas of central Minnesota and said there are key areas where she differs from President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Clark said she would not have voted for the financial services bailout because it lacked accountability. She also said she would have preferred to see more of the federal economic stimulus funds directed to infrastructure.
Clark said stimulus funds helped to complete important infrastructure projects and that the legislation provided more jobs in the 6th District than in any other of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts.
Clark said the stimulus package also provided tax breaks for the middle class. “She voted against that,” Clark said of Bachmann.
On the sweeping federal health care legislation, Clark said the bill did not do enough to contain health care costs and address escalating health insurance premiums. If elected, Clark said she would want to work on “cost containment” and try to prevent Minnesota from being penalized through smaller federal health care payments because it operates more effective programs than do other states.
Clark said she would seek spots on financial services, health care and education committees if voters send her to the U.S. House.
The two leading 6th District candidates have spent millions, including for a blitz of TV advertisements. Clark used voters from the 6th District, including three men from Woodbury, to attack Bachmann in ads. And after Bachmann aired ads criticizing Clark for voting for tax increases, Bachmann fired back, highlighting Bachmann’s support for a state constitutional amendment that used a voter-approved sales tax increase for outdoors projects.
Clark has sought to debate Bachmann beyond the three forums they agreed to and said the congresswoman is “afraid to engage in the conversation because she knows she hasn’t done anything.”
A Clark victory likely would be viewed as an upset. Bachmann has collected $10 million in campaign donations – a record for a Minnesota congressional race and more than twice Clark’s fundraising haul – and a poll and political observers have given the incumbent the advantage. But Clark said she has demonstrated an ability to win in politically conservative areas of the state.
At a glance: Tarryl Clark
Residence: St. Cloud
Family: Married; two adult sons
Elected experience: Elected to Minnesota Senate in 2005, 2006.