Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District badly needed a work horse, not a show horse, after former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s divisive, camera-chasing eight years in office.
Although Republican Rep. Tom Emmer, who succeeded her after the 2014 election, is only a few months into his first term, he’s off to a promising start. His first important decisions have aligned him with members of the Republican Party who are focused on governing, instead of hyperpartisanship.
The rap against Emmer when he sought the seat was that the fiery former legislator and conservative radio host would be another Bachmann, a founding member of the U.S. House Tea Party caucus known more for her outrageous statements than good sense.
Unlike his unsuccessful, gaffe-prone gubernatorial bid in 2010, Emmer ran a quiet but serious campaign for the congressional seat. He won by focusing on economic development and the needs of this rapidly growing suburban and exurban district.
Emmer has continued that pragmatic approach in Congress. Right after taking office, he supported Rep. John Boehner for House speaker, while radical members of his party sought out firebrands long on ideology but short on skills needed to serve in that critical position.
More recently, Emmer was a voice of reason on Department of Homeland Security funding. Some House members badly wanted an agency shutdown to thwart President Obama’s recent moves on immigration. But Emmer, in a high-profile statement, called out those in Congress who put “political gamesmanship” above the nation’s security needs.
Sixth District constituents are well-served by mature leadership like this. It’s a welcome change not just for them, but for all of Minnesota.