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Minnesota Legislative Elections – District 30

2020 Candidate Forum (Virtual)

The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce is providing a recording of live candidate forums for local political races.

Minnesota Legislative - District 30 Candidate Forum
Wednesday, October 21st at 5:00 PM
Elk River City Hall

Watch the Forum on You Tube

Meet the Candidates

The Elk River Area Chamber does not assume any party affiliation, nor do we endorse any candidate. We are hosting this forum to provide information about the candidates to the general public. Candidates without a bio and/or box by their name did not submit this information. All responses appear on this site exactly as they were submitted by the candidates, with no edits made.

Mary Kiffmeyer

Mary Kiffmeyer, MN Senate District 30

Married to Ralph Kiffmeyer, 4 children and 16 grandchildren. Big Lake Township resident for over 30 years. A small business owner and former Registered Nurse. Currently State Senator for District 30 and an Organizational Consultant. Currently Chair of the State Government Policy, Finance and Elections Committee, member of the Full Finance, Health and Human Services, Human Services Reform committees, member and Chair of the Finance Audit Division of the Legislative Audit Commission and member of the Senate Ethics Committee, Co-Chair of the Family Child Support Task Force, member of the Rural Health Advisory Committee appointed by Gov Dayton and member of the Center for Rural Policy Board.

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Why are you running?

To preserve support for law enforcement with accountability, continue my successful work on roads and bridges locally and Transportation for Hwys 10, 169 and I-94, preserve funding without raising gas taxes as we have done the past four years, promoting pro-job growth policies, balance the next state budget without increasing taxes or fees using technology and reforming delivery systems, finish totally exempting social security income tax (currently we cut the first 50%), advocate for educational funding fairness for my district, continue preserving the best health care system in the country with free market solutions while stopping government-only universal health care.

What previous civic and community involvement do you draw on?

My past experiences as Board member, Treasurer and Chair of the Big Lake-Monticello Community Hospital District Finance Committee, Chair of the Big Lake Community Education Advisory Council, member of the Big Lake Legion Auxiliary, Chair of the Big Lake Spudfest Coloring Contest, taught bread making for 16 years at the Big Lake High School, actively involved in my church teaching Sunday School and volunteered for numerous events from peeling potatoes to calling bingo numbers. Leadership and serving my community are essential experiences and life lessons for my work as a State Senator.

If elected, what is your top priority during your next term in office?

As a senator, multi-tasking is crucial to getting things done: for my district, roads and bridges funding without a gas tax increase is essential to every segment from jobs to schools. Next is increasing funding fairness to my district schools, preserving a strong affordable private market health care system, protecting law enforcement from defunding or unnecessary regulations, no tax increases so my district families have the money in their checkbook to pay for their own needs to mention a few.

Diane Nguyen

Diane Nguyen, MN Senate District 30

Nguyen, a resident of Trout Brook Farm in Elk River, is engaged to Chad Hobot, and has a son Jadison, who will be starting school at Sauk Middle School this fall. She is licensed in life and health/accident insurance and real estate. She also works as a freelance graphic designer. When not working or campaigning, Diane enjoys fishing, and is also an avid gardener and deer and turkey hunter.

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Why Are You Running

I’m running for the Minnesota State Senate to create jobs and economic development, especially amidst a pandemic, ensure every Minnesotan has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, usher social & criminal justice reform, make sure everyone who is eligible to vote can do so in a safe, secure and private manner, appropriately fund education & infrastructure and protect Minnesota’s environment.

If elected, what is your top priority during your term in office?

My top priority in this campaign and as your State Senator is to let the residents of Senate District 30 know that I’m listening and I will work hard in St. Paul to deliver results for our state and our communities. COVID-19 has turned life as we know it upside down and life before COVID-19 wasn’t working for everyone. As we adapt, we need to make sure our economy and society works for everyone instead of some.

Paul Novotny

Paul Novotny, MN Representative District 30A

Born and raised in Elk River graduation in 1983, I went on to get a degree in Law Enforcement from North Hennepin Community College. I worked as a Police Officer in Princeton before becoming a Deputy for the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, I was a patrol sergeant when I retired in May 2020. I was elected to serve the area in a special election February 4th 2020 to fill the House 30A seat.

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Why are you running for office?

I have dedicated my life to serving the public and I want to continue to serving. After the Special election in February, I was sworn in Feb. 11 2020. I am on the Public Safety and Corrections committees. I feel my background in Law Enforcement training for the Use of Force has been beneficial to give a working knowledge during criminal justice reform hearings. I feel my beliefs and values closely reflect that of the people I have had the privilege to serve in my new role.

What previous civic and community involvement will you draw on if you win the seat you are seeking?

As an active member of the community both as a Deputy Sheriff and as a father of two daughters I have had the opportunity to live, work and raise my family in the only place I have called home. I am a member of the Elk River Sportsman’s club, Central Lutheran church and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

If elected, what is your top priority during your first (next) term in office?

Public safety will continue to be my top priority. During my first term I was still actively working weekends as a Patrol Sergeant for the Sheriff’s Office. I saw firsthand the effects of the criminal justice reform movement. My focus will continue to be on victim’s rights and police/community relations.

I have been appointed to the Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council. This 15 person council will assist the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board in maintaining policies and regulating police officer training.

Chad Hobot

Chad Hobot, MN Representative District 30A

I own a small business in Elk River helping business owners with their online marketing.  When I’m not working, I enjoy volunteering at my church, muskie fishing, turkey and deer hunting.  I’ve been a youth hockey and footfall coach in Elk River.  I went to college at the University of St. Thomas.  I’m engaged Diane Nguyen.

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Why are you running for office?

We need to get our economy moving again and keep our families, children, and co-workers safe from COVID-19.   Our state government needs to pursue budgets, policies, investments, and incentives that produces both simultaneously.  I get it.  Our schools and local small businesses have been turned upside down due to COVID.   We need to help them recalibrate and rebuild.  On top of this, due to unemployment, many families have lost access to affordable health care.   We need to create an environment that produces options for them.

What previous civic and community involvement will you draw on if you win the seat you are seeking?

As a past President of the Jaycee’s, former youth hockey and football coach, church volunteer and local business owner, I have learned that the best solution to any issue or problem is found seeking input and collaboration from others.  We need more leaders in the House of Representatives that can work to find “Minnesota” solutions in state government vs Republican or Democrat plans.

What is your top priority during your term in office?

If elected, I pledge to pursue budgets, policies, investments, and incentives to get our economy moving and keep our families, children and co-workers safe from COVID-19.  Unfortunately, local party-line legislators have proven incapable doing this.  For example, they are blocking passing the Bonding Bill to pick fights with the Governor’s efforts to keep us safe during COVID-19.  The Bonding Bill is the economic stimulus we need today.  We should never play political games with public health, the economy and creating jobs.  I believe in calling balls and strikes.  It doesn’t matter to me if the pitcher of a good idea is wearing a Republican or Democrat jersey.  If it is good for the economy and keeps us safe during COVID, I’m going to take a swing at it.

Eric Lucero

Eric Lucero, MN Representative District 30B

My wife and I have been married for nearly 23 years and have lived in Dayton for over 20 years. My professional background includes a current cyber security professional for over 15 years, a licensed real estate agent and licensed general contractor, a small business owner, former college instructor, former truck driver, and an ordained minister formally teaching the Bible for over 15 years. My academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Forensics with Minors in Mathematics and Psychology, and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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Why are you running for office?

It has been my humble privilege serving in the MN House for the last six years and I am running for re-election to continue representing the values and priorities of our great community!

What previous civic and community involvement will you draw on if you win?

I am continuously involved with meeting constituents, communication with city council, school board, and county commission members, attending community events, and much more in my current capacity as State Representative.

If elected, what is your top priority during your term in office?

We must return to the Constitutional framework of three co-equal branches of government, end Gov. Walz’s abuse of emergency powers, re-open Minnesota safely, get our economy back on track, and resolve the expected multi-billion dollar budget deficit without raising taxes.

Brad Kovach

Brad Kovach, MN Representative District 30B

Brad Kovach is environmental consultant in practice for over 30 years, including a six-year tenure at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He has worked for both the public and private sectors doing environmental impact studies on infrastructure, community development, and other types of facilities throughout Minnesota and the U.S. Kovach’s top priorities include creating jobs and economic development towards recovery from the COVID 19 recession, ensuring every Minnesotan has access to affordable high quality healthcare, rural recovery through reinvestment and redevelopment, tackling the climate crisis and clean energy, and appropriately funding education and infrastructure.


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