The most rewarding part of my experience as a Marine Corps special operation forces officer was working with people from all different beliefs, backgrounds and walks of life. I deployed four times overseas, and each time I met new people and learned about their perspectives and how they viewed the world.

It wasn’t always easy bringing people together, but it was the most important part of my job as an officer within special operations. That’s the mentality I will bring to Congress. I’m a problem solver who will bring people together to address the hard issues facing our country, using my experience having led this nation’s finest men and women through the toughest and most chaotic situations.

We need a new generation of servant leaders to step up and get results for America in Congress. That’s why I made the decision to run for the Second District seat. I worked with Capitol Hill advocating on national level policy issues for the military. What I saw during my time left me frustrated. I felt that our representatives weren’t serving the American people. Too many are only focused on getting re-elected and moving up the political ladder. They’re afraid to debate the big ideas and propose bold solutions.

So, when I entered the race for Congress in January, I introduced myself to voters as a servant leader who will always put the country’s interests over those of my own party and special interests. I’m not afraid to stand up to my own party to do what is right for Minnesota, which is the biggest contrast between myself and my opponent Angie Craig.

Sadly, Rep. Craig did what most politicians do. She talked a good game to get elected, then went to Washington, D.C., and followed the party bosses’ orders 97% of the time. That’s not being independent, that’s contributing to the problem.

You’re probably asking, “Tyler, how are you going to be any different?” Here’s the answer. I’ll join the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is a group of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans who sit down and reach bipartisan consensus on the big issues. I’ll meet with a Democratic member of Congress each month to make sure perspectives from both sides of the aisle are being represented in Congress. And I’ll hold town hall meetings each month so I can hear from my fellow Minnesotans on what their priorities are in Washington and how I can best be an advocate for this district and the state.

As a father of two young children, I’ve also been campaigning on public safety. The tragic killing of George Floyd shocked all of us, and there is much we can do to improve our justice system. Both parties agree on that, but I was shocked when Craig voted to cut $600 million in funding for police programs. Despite what Craig says, defunding the police is not the solution to public safety issues.

I’m proud to have the endorsement of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and support of law enforcement professionals across the Second District. It’s important to me, and to many of you reading this article, that our law enforcement professionals have the resources they need to protect our families and keep our communities safe. I pledge to you that I will always make sure our first responders have the tools they need to keep us safe.

As a Marine Corps veteran, I will bring a unique perspective to Washington. It’s been my job to get people with different beliefs to work together, and I have a proven track record of getting the job done for the people’s interests, and not the special interests. It’s that mentality of servant leadership that guides me every single day, and I will be a true servant leader for the people of the Second District in Washington.

Send me to Washington and you will get an independent thinker who will always do what’s right for Minnesota. I’d be honored to earn your vote.

 

Tyler Kistner is the Republican candidate in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.