From: Michael Charron
I am writing in response to Doug Nopar’s letter of July 27 entitled, “Protect Winona County…” His letter underscores precisely why I am running for Winona County commissioner. I believe people are as tired and saddened as I am by such misleading and fear-inducing political rhetoric like Mr. Nopar’s letter. County commissioners are supposed to be non-partisan. It should be about neighbors working through problems by listening to neighbors. I have over 12 years of experience in non-partisan public service, and, during the two years I served in partisan office, I was recognized for being able to work with “both sides of the aisle.” To start this campaign, I met with all kinds of different people in Winona County with different points of view. One of the farms that I visited is now on their sixth generation of their family working on their successful farm. Without any promises, I visited their family-run farm and listened to them, but they are not the only people I’ve heard from. I toured Fastenal. I visited small businesses. I met with veterans. I attended an emotional graduation at drug court. I talked to our law enforcement personnel. I have met people from all across the political spectrum for coffee. I’m meeting hundreds of people at their door. And I’m listening. Because I’m willing to hear everyone out, many of those people who have felt unheard have decided to support my campaign. Every single one of them is from Winona County. They are real people with real lives from our county – our neighbors. Labeling them and ascribing them some evil intent does not help to build community. All citizens are equally valuable. Mr. Nopar, I’d be happy to meet with you too. But, if we disagree, let’s not name-call or induce fear for the sake of a vote. As neighbors, let’s put politics behind us. It starts with all voices being heard.