Redwood County commissioner First District candidates: Justin Lightfoot
Why are you running for county commissioner?
I am running for Redwood County Commissioner because I believe we are over governed in our county and country. We do not need more rules, regulations and taxes on homes, businesses, land and farming operations. It seems all government wants to do is control how we live. They love to tax and spend.
From your perspective, what is the role of a county commissioner?
The role of the commissioner is to represent the people and businesses of my district. I do not just follow, I question decisions. Being from a small town, a small business owner, farmer, veteran and president of one the biggest 501c3 non-profit organizations in Minnesota for veterans, Wounded Warriors Guide Service, I am well versed in life experiences and being the county commissioner is my next goal.
Do you support the current county courthouse project?
The current courthouse project is a subject I just do not have enough information to make a stand on, for or against. I have questions about where the funding is coming from to pay for the new courthouse. I understand the security concerns with transporting inmates from the jail where they are housed to the courtroom, but there are ways that can avoid having to transport them. Many courts are doing hearings via closed caption television, this is not an option that should be ruled out without further investigation.
How as a county commissioner would you help to promote economic development?
Economic development is so important in our small towns, we need to keep jobs and communities strong in rural Minnesota. We live here because we love it, but we need jobs that will support us and our families. We need low interest loans, grants for startup costs, and keeping businesses going in our district. I live in western Redwood County because I enjoy the solitude and rural life. I do travel for work and spend time on the road when not working on the farm. That is how I have made my small business a success.
How would you as a commissioner work to improve broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of the county?
Internet service has always been an issue where I live, right between Vesta and Milroy. We basically only have one choice, that I am aware of, for Internet service. It has always been the struggle, because the low speeds at higher cost for rural living. I am not aware of areas that do not have Internet access of any sort. Internet access is something that I would work to improve in rural areas.
What do you think is Redwood county's greatest asset? How would you as a commissioner best utilize that asset?
Our county’s greatest assets are the people, our communities and small-town living. Farmers and small business drive the local economy. With the world in unrest in the bigger cities we are very blessed to be in rural Minnesota.
Please provide a brief bio of yourself.
I was born and raised in rural Vesta. I attended Milroy school until the eighth grade and graduated from Mar-shall Senior High in 1994. After graduation I joined the United States Air Force where I spent most of my four years in Louisiana working on B-52 Bombers. I left the military in 1998 and returned to Vesta with my family. I attended college, worked in machining industries until starting my own business in 2008. I currently farm near Vesta on the family farm, offer fishing guide service and fish house rentals and recently finished my commercial pilot’s license and am now flying airplane for hire. My motivation is to provide for my family, wife Theresa and daughters Audrey and Savannah.