Prosch announces campaign in 7th District

Photo by Deb Gau Matt Prosch, of Lake Benton, announced Saturday that he will be running for Congress in Minnesota’s 7th District

LAKE BENTON — People are ready for change, Matt Prosch said — change in policies that affect agriculture and business in rural Minnesota, and a change in their U.S. representative. Prosch said he hopes to be that change.

On Saturday, surrounded by signs reading “Real People, Real Results,” Prosch formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s 7th District.

“I feel I can bring a real perspective to this country,” Prosch said, addressing a group of area residents gathered at the Lake Benton Community Center.

Prosch held a campaign kick-off Saturday afternoon in Lake Benton. He will be seeking the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District, where current Rep. Collin Peterson has served since 1991.

“I wanted to do this years ago,” Prosch said of his decision to run for office. But now the timing was better to campaign and try to give back to the community.

Prosch grew up on a family farm in western Minnesota and graduated from Lake Benton High School. He is the owner of a trucking company he started in 2007, and he also served eight years in the Army National Guard. Prosch and his wife Chandra live in Lake Benton with their three children.

Prosch spoke about some of the concerns he would like to address if elected. An important focus for him will be on easing some of the economic burdens Minnesotans face today, he said. Prosch’s trucking business has taken him to communities around the state, and he said it’s given him perspective on people’s concerns.

“People are really struggling,” Prosch said. Right now, taxes are high, businesses face heavy regulation, and jobs need to be brought back into Minnesota. He said one possible way to grow jobs, especially in western part of the state, would be to support renewable energy industries like wind and solar power and biofuels.

Prosch said he would also like to work on immigration reform and addressing issues like people overstaying their visas.

A Saturday news release also outlined some of Prosch’s positions. He believes in limited government, reducing the national debt, and promoting conservative values, the release said.

Prosch said he plans to campaign in communities throughout the 7th District this summer. The campaign will start today in the southernmost counties in the district and then work its way north, Prosch said. He’ll have plenty of ground to cover — the 7th District stretches across nearly the entire western half of the state. But, Prosch said, it will be important to get out to rural communities that may have been neglected by past political campaigns.

Challengers have run against Peterson in recent years, including state Sen. Torrey Westrom in 2014 and Dave Hughes last year. Neither were able to defeat Peterson at the polls.

However, Prosch and supporters gathered in Lake Benton this weekend said they hoped his being a political newcomer, and connecting with rural Minnesotans, would give him an edge.

At the campaign kickoff, Eddie Lee Felder, vice president of human resources at the University of South Dakota, introduced Prosch as “Someone who is going to make a difference, someone who is going to keep it real.”

“I am western Minnesota. I’ve lived here all my life,” Prosch said. “I think people want to see a change.”

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