Smith good choice for southwest Minnesota

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s choice of Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Al Franken as U.S. Senator was the most logical choice for Democrats.

Smith’s appointment appears to be a good development for southwest Minnesota. Of course, Republicans in the region would prefer a conservative. But short of that happening, Smith has left good impressions with officials and residents who have connected with Smith.

Tina Smith “is a good listener,” was the common response given when reached by the Independent about her appointment. David Sturrock, a professor of political science at Southwest Minnesota State University, described her as someone who has the ability to connect with people around Minnesota.

But what’s good for southwest Minnesota is that Smith has made several visits to this region during her time as lieutenant governor.

Most recently, Smith was in the region for the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Marshall.

Last year, both she and Dayton visited Park Side Elementary to learn about early education at Marshall Public Schools. Preschool teacher Jill Schwarz said Smith seemed genuinely interested in what Marshall was doing in early childhood education.

“She’s always taken a pretty keen interest in Marshall,” Cal Brink said. He’s executive director of the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce. Brink said Smith has toured businesses and industries in Marshall.

Franken represented Minnesota well during his time as U.S. senator. And he has had his moments of showmanship during some major Senate hearings.

However, during a time it more and more appears Washington, D.C., is out of step with public opinion, maybe what we need right now are more representatives who will do more listening and less showmanship.