Brown files for re-election in 27A

Published 9:55 am Friday, May 28, 2010

District 27A House Rep. Robin Brown filed for re-election Friday morning, citing strong relationships with local and state officials as one of the reasons she should be elected to her third term.

Brown, a DFLer from Moscow Township, said she sees the needs of the district as a high priority and believes she can balance those needs with the issues happening at the state level.

“I think there is still good work left to be done,” she said. “And I think I have developed strong relationships with the residents of my district, including county and city and school board, to do that work. I’ve found that people are very comfortable working with me.”

Thus far, she does not have an opponent.

Brown said she thinks she has stayed open-minded and willing to listen to the other side during her time so far in office.

She has a strong passion for school finance reform and is working on reconfiguring a formula that would make the funding formula for schools more equitable — giving more fairness to Greater Minnesota schools when compared to metro schools.

She said she’s had two education groups look at it, and both have said the formula is a strong, equitable proposal. She noted she thinks Minnesota is “ripe for a change in education funding.”

“I’m committed to working with the education finance chair to bring about the changes that I see duly important for statewide equity,” Brown said. “When you’ve got something that important, you have to be there to see it to the end.”

Regarding the state budget woes, she said she thinks the Legislature did “a really nice job in a bad situation,” during the recent term.

“We did it through holding the line on some of our funds, we did it by doing some shifts, some delays of payments,” Brown said. “That was the only thing the governor was going to agree to.”

And the budget problems are definitely not over, she said. She hopes people realize the connection between the state budget and the local budget.

“If we’re not paying for priority services at a state level, it will be the responsibility of local governments to pay for those services,” she added.

So when Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other Republicans vow for no new taxes, what that really means is just no new taxes at the state level, she said.

Aside from these issues, Brown said during her last four years in office, she has found the value of listening to the needs of her constituents.

“Working with my district and serving my district is highly important,” Brown said. “Listening to the needs of the residents, returning phone calls and e-mails to constituents, it’s so very important. It may be the most important part of the job.”

She said she looks forward to the campaign season and to knocking on more than 10,000 doors during her efforts to get out and meet the people of the district.

She noted that people can expect to see her in her yellow blazer “uniform” — which she has gained a reputation for in her first two campaigns.

Though she does not yet have an opponent, she said she thinks the focus needs to be on getting the work of the district done.

“Regardless of who your opponent is, the job still needs to be done,” she said.

In her work with the state House of Representatives, Brown works on four committees: the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division; the Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Division; the K-12 Education Finance Division; and the Telecommunications Regulation and Infrastructure Division.

During the first part of the year, Brown teaches photography and art at Albert Lea High School and then takes an unpaid leave of absence during the session.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in art education from Minnesota State University, Mankato, in 1996 and earned a masters in education from St. Mary’s University in 2006.

She also raises horses.

She and her husband, Joe, have raised six adult children who live across the Midwest.

Joe is the superintendent of Grand Meadow Schools.