Transportation a focus for Dakota County Commissioner District 3 candidates

Three-term incumbent Tom Egan and challenger Janine Hudson are squaring off in the Dakota County Board of Commissioners race in District 3.

District 3 includes Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights and parts of Eagan.

The Review asked the two candidates what skills and experiences they think they’d bring to the county board, what they think are the top challenges facing the district, and what issue or project they’d prioritize if elected. They answered via email. 

 

Tom Egan, 69, is a non-practicing attorney. He has a juris doctor degree from the William Mitchell College of Law. He lives in Eagan with his wife of 47 years, Betty.

Egan has been a Dakota County commissioner for 12 years, two years as chair and three years as vice chair. He previously served three terms as Eagan mayor and three terms as a city council member. He also served on the Met Council under governors Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty. Egan practiced law for 35 years and is a certified Rule 114 Qualified Neutral for mediation in courts. 

“The single greatest challenge is to establish a comprehensive, long term and sustainable transportation and transit funding program,” said Egan, who added that the Legislature has not been a dependable partner when it comes to transportation. 

Egan said if he is re-elected his priorities would be to maintain Dakota County’s low tax levy, establish a comprehensive, long-term and sustainable transit program, make reforms to the Metropolitan Council governance structure to make it more accountable, and to complete the Orange Line, which would be built along Interstate 35W from Minneapolis to Lakeville.

 

Janine Hudson, 50, lives in Eagan and works for Hennepin County as a human service representative. 

She has a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State University in parent education, family life education and consumer homemaking. She also completed insurance classes at Kaplan University and has an insurance producer’s license.

Hudson has over 20 years experience working with low-income or homeless individuals with mental health needs and who struggle with parenting.

“But most dear to my heart are the veterans who unselfishly served our country and may need help acclimating back to the civilian world,” Hudson said.

She said the top challenges facing Dakota County include maintaining the county park system, improving transportation and providing needed services for all the citizens of Dakota County. 

If elected, Hudson said the issues she would prioritize include keeping social services in the county and not outsourcing them, and enhancing the parks.

 

Election Day is Nov. 8. To find your polling place, visit http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.

Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto.

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