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US House: Shelly Madore, DFL

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I believe that we need to have real representation in Washington that reflects our true Minnesota values. If elected I will be that person: someone who will show up, stand up ,and fight hard for all of us, not just the special interests on Wall Street. I represent common sense, Main Street values.

The country is facing serious challenges -- high unemployment, rising health care costs, out-of-control spending, other economy issues, and a continuing high number of mortgage foreclosures. What should be done, in your opinion, to address them?

We must put consumers back into the driver's seat for their personal financial futures. We have allowed Wall Street to operate under the cloak of secrecy for too long. Consumer protection legislation, just passed, will go a long way to level the playing field and benefit consumers over corporate executives. We need leaders in Washington who will fight for Main Street Minnesotans, not pharmaceutical companies, CEO's, and special interest groups. Hard-working Minnesotans should have leaders who will work with them to maintain their homes and businesses. Leadership demands attention to local needs.

Currently, the country has little faith in, respect for, Congress' handling -- and resolving -- of the major issues. Can this be changed? Can members of both parties work together for the good of the country? How?

When elected officials focus on what's best for citizens instead of their own political career track, they can work together for the greater good. When deciding how to vote on issues, my filter is not Democrat or Republican. Instead I ask: will it keep someone in their home, will it help a small business keep a job and does it keep our community moving forward? I worked across the aisle when I served in the Minnesota House of Representatives and I will do the same in Congress.

What other challenges do you believe this country faces in the next several years?

Government is made by the people for the people. The challenges we face, we face together: from bringing our soldiers home to combating poverty to re-establishing the U.S as the world's economic leader. These are tough issues we face. We must work side-by-side to focus on building for the next generation to restore hope and prosperity to America. Each of these challenges demands job growth and a strong and vibrant workforce. As your congresswoman, I will focus on increasing jobs, providing a world-class education for all and delivering true consumer-based health care.

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

I care passionately about leaving a strong and vibrant Minnesota for our children and grandchildren. My experience in the Minnesota Legislature has given me insight on how to address these problems in Congress: including transportation, work force development, housing and building sustainable communities. In Congress, I will focus on delivering results to the citizens of this district.