Former state Senator Dick Day once told Patti Fritz, “There’s pots of money all over up there [at the Legislature].”
The former state representative and nurse wants another chance to go find them for Faribault.
Former state Rep. Fritz announced Tuesday in a release that she will make a run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016.
Fritz said she was frustrated to see the 2015 session end without compromise on the issues important to folks in District 24B, which is currently represented by Brian Daniels, R-Faribault.
“I am disappointed that many issues important to greater Minnesota aren’t being addressed at the State Capitol and nothing is getting done,” Fritz said in the release. “I want to use my experience to help resolve the gridlock and work together to improve our schools, our roads and bridges and our future.”
The longtime Faribault resident said she believes more could be done for Dodge, Rice and Steele counties.
In a phone interview, Fritz said she has always been a cheerleader for Faribault and was particularly upset that more of the $2 billion surplus wasn’t being spent on early childhood education and on local projects, like South Central College. Gov. Mark Dayton dropped his push for pre-K education in a compromise education bill being hammered out in St. Paul this week.
“It’s not a bonding year, but it is a bonding year, and we still have needs down here,” Fritz said. “SCC still needs money for a new roof ... And the tuition freeze should never have been taken off.”
Fritz spent five terms in the legislature and was first elected in 2004. Since being defeated by Daniels last year, she said she has been asked repeatedly to run.
“I put the train on the right track for 10 years, and I don’t want to see it go off,” she said.
For his part, Rep. Daniels said he wasn’t too surprised that Fritz wants to head back to St. Paul.
He’d like to head back there, too, and plans to run again in 2016. He said, overall, he was happy with the five bills on which he served as chief author, including one that secures $2 million for technology infrastructure upgrades at the state academies. That bill remains tied up in the greater education bill debate, but Daniels said that as far as he knows, the academies will get their money.
“I’m still learning the ropes, but I feel I have more yet to contribute,” Daniels said.