Election endorsements: Our choices in House Districts 38B, 42A, 44B and 48A

By Editorial Board Star Tribune

District 38B: Patti Anderson

Republican Rep. Matt Dean’s retirement after 14 years in the Minnesota House has prompted a comeback bid by Patti Anderson, a Republican who as Patti Anderson Awada was elected to a single term as state auditor in 2002. Residents of the northeast-suburban district should be pleased she’s back. Anderson is better prepared for legislative service than DFL contender Ami Wazlawik.

Anderson, 52, has been out of office for a dozen years. But she has worked in and around politics and government for much of her adult life, including stints as mayor and City Council member in Eagan, state commissioner of employee relations and a member of the Republican National Committee. In 2010 she ran unsuccessfully first for governor, then for state auditor. More recently, she purchased five European Wax Centers in the metro area, with 80 employees.

Philosophically, Anderson qualifies as a libertarian; she once headed the Minnesota Free Market Institute. She’s also a pragmatist who understands that governing requires deal making by people with opposing views, that market forces alone don’t produce satisfactory results in health care and education, and that infrastructure is a government responsibility.

Wazlawik, 32, is seeking the District 38B seat for the second time; she garnered 43 percent of the vote against Dean in 2016. She’s strongly drawn to public service, as evidenced by a background that includes varied public-affairs volunteer work, AmeriCorps service and a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. But Wazlawik’s idealism has not been tempered by service in local government or the private sector. That’s Anderson’s edge.