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LETTER: Heard loud and clear: focus on people, not partisan politics

Thank you. I want to extend my gratitude to our community for your support in re-electing me to represent Minnesota Senate District 53. I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve, and I take very seriously my obligation to represent all of you in my next term.

I also want to thank my volunteers and campaign team who have stood with me through a tough election and worked so hard to help me share my message about a vision for our community and our state. Thanks also to my friends who are always in my corner, with special gratitude to my family, especially my husband, Chris, and our son, Andrew, for unwavering support.

This is also an opportunity to express my appreciation to Sharna Wahlgren for her hard work and for participating in this important part of our democratic process. It's not easy, and she — like all candidates — is to be commended for stepping up to a challenging endeavor.

As I reflect back on my first term and look ahead to the next four years, I am proud of the work we have done, yet I know we have a great deal to do to continue creating good jobs and building a strong economy for the future — for Minnesota and especially here in the east metro.

After thousands of conversations with constituents throughout my district, I have heard clearly that you want me to focus on people, not partisan politics.

In addition, I have also heard grave concerns about protecting people's rights, standing strong against hate and divisiveness, and continuing to realize the American dream of opportunity for all.

I remain dedicated to working hard, staying positive and avoiding partisan bickering as we work together to face the challenges of our times and create opportunities for our future.

Finally, as we look ahead to the 2017 session, I will continue to work hard to be accessible to my constituents because I want to hear your perspectives. I have gained valuable experience in my first term in elected office, and as I prepare to return to the State Capitol, I know that this experience will be especially critical in the most important part of my job: staying connected with you.

With deepest gratitude,

Susan Kent