Mueller announces re-election bid

Published 9:36 am Monday, March 7, 2022

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Rep. Patricia Mueller announced today that she will run for reelection in the newly formed District 23B.

Mueller is in her first term as representative after unseating long-time legislator Jeanne Poppe in 2020. She will be running against former Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm, who held his kick-off event Sunday afternoon.

“It has been truly wonderful representing my neighbors in District 27B, and I am excited to continue that representation in our new district,” Mueller said in a Monday morning press release. “I have had the opportunity to advocate for our students and teachers, parents and children, businesses and priorities across our district. I look forward to continuing that work in the next biennium.”

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Later in the afternoon Monday, Mueller spoke specifically about some of the reasons for running for reelection.

“The work’s not done yet,” she said, speaking by phone after Monday’s legislative session. “The truth is, we have plenty of things to do here as legislators, specifically for us in the minority party hoping to be the majority party. We want to ensure we are standing up for Minnesotans.”

In particular, Mueller said that the COVID-19 pandemic has painted a new picture of further steps that can be taken at the state level to help support businesses.

“We learned that there are things we can change that can remove barriers for our businesses,” Mueller said. “That’s kind of exciting.”

Another bill Mueller still has hopes on passing is for short-call substitute teachers in schools, which would open doors and ease requirements to make it easier for school districts to call in substitute teachers.

It’s something that has come to the forefront of district concerns who are facing extreme teacher shortages.

Before the start of this year’s session, Mueller said she was optimistic that her bill would pass. She received notice from the Democratic majority that they would take up the bill and that they were going to put it together with other legislation.

While voted down in the House, though, the bill did make it to the Senate.

Either way, Mueller, an educator herself for over 20 years, said she will continue working to support teachers.

“I really want to make sure we are advocating for teachers and for our students,” Mueller said. “To have direct funding and that we’re expanding the pool for our educators with fewer barriers for them to become teachers.”

Mueller pointed to her work at the ground level that got her elected in the first place. The need to get out and meet the people where they are.

“It has been very important for me to be out and talking to people,” Mueller said. “I want people to remember that since the moment I was elected until now, I have been to 60 different meetings in the district. I’ve listened to law enforcement and with business owners. I want them to see I’m willing to listen to the people who are doing the work. Nobody can be an expert in everything. It’s incumbent on us to learn from people who are doing the work.”

Mueller serves on the Education Finance, Education Policy, and Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committees and lives in Austin with her husband Dan.