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Marshall’s Joshua Prine running for Senate Dist. 16

Photo by Deb Gau Marshall resident Joshua Prine says he will be running in Minnesota Senate District 16 as an independent candidate this year, against current Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls.

MARSHALL — Partisan politics has become one of the frustrating things about Minnesota’s Legislature, Joshua Prine said. While he wants to make a difference for state residents, he said the last thing Minnesota needs is more division.

“This country is so divided right now on parties,” Prine said. “We need more bipartisan laws passed.”

In addition, he said the two major parties in the state, the Republican and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor parties, have a “duopoly” that makes it hard for anyone outside the parties to get into state office.

Those are both reasons why Prine, a Marshall resident, said he will be running for the state Senate as an independent candidate this year.

Prine announced last week he is running for Minnesota Senate in District 16, against current senator Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls.

Prine grew up in rural Wisconsin, but he said the majority of his family lives in Minnesota. Prine has lived in the Marshall area since 2017, and has his own Information Technology business. In the past, he has also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, he said.

Prine said he wanted to run for office to help address issues that aren’t being looked at by the Minnesota Legislature. In describing his political views, Prine said, “I’m a constitutionalist.” He considers the Constitution the blueprint for U.S. government. “I want to get down to the roots of that,” Prine said.

Prine said he also supports term limits for legislators in the Minnesota House and Senate.

“I think if we limit terms, it’ll help get more legislation passed for constituents,” Prine said. Legislators would have an incentive to get things done while in office.

Prine said he also wants to increase support for health care and education in southwest Minnesota. One issue he’s concerned about is the need for better access to support services for autistic people and their families.

“I’m passionate about this one particular issue because it strikes home,” he said. Prine said his fiancee’s son has autism, and their family has struggled to find support services in the area. “I thought, if we’re having difficulties, other people are.”

Prine said he has been speaking with educators, mental health care and social service providers to learn more about the issue and what can be done to improve autism services, or to better connect people with available services.

Prine said he would also like to work on making health care more transparent and affordable, through practices like itemized medical billing, and better education for Minnesotans on self-insurance.

Running as an independent candidate will be a challenge, Prine said. While major party candidates in Minnesota are nominated through the state primary process, independent candidates have to go through a petition process to get on the ballot. Prine said he will have a two-week period later this spring in which to get the minimum 500 petition signatures he needs. He’s also hoping to get endorsed by the Independence-Alliance Party of Minnesota.

“Financing is another issue,” Prine said of running as an independent candidate.

In the meantime, Prine said he is hoping to reach out to southwest Minnesota residents, learn what issues they’re concerned about and earn their support. More information will be available on his website, voteprine.com, or on his Facebook page, “Joshua Prine for MN Senate, District 16.”

“I want to get in, and I want the people to hold me accountable,” he said.

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