Jessup is aiming for rematch with Yarusso in House District 42A race


Barb Yarusso

Randy Jessup

Candidates have been jumping in the House and Senate races for the Bulletin area, but House District 42A has remained relatively quiet on that front until now. 

Rep. Barb Yarusso, DFL-Shoreview, currently holds the seat -- representing Mounds View, Arden Hills, part of Spring Lake Park and the northern portion of Shoreview -- and last week told the Bulletin that she is seeking a third term. 

Yarusso has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and her House committee assignments are Aging and Long-term Care Policy, Education Innovation Policy, and Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy.

She taught chemistry and physics at Hill-Murray High School for eight years, and has also taught engineering classes at the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. She currently is a math and science tutor with WyzAnt Tutoring.

Yarusso and her husband have three children.

“I want to keep working to move Minnesota forward. We have big jobs ahead of us,” she said in a statement, listing a few of those jobs as funding for sustainable transportation, planning for public transit in the north and east metro area, groundwater conservation and better coordination between K12 and postsecondary education.  

Her District 42A seat is being eyed by longtime Shoreview resident Randy Jessup.

That name may sound familiar to some, as Jessup ran as a Republican for the seat in 2014. 

Coming within a couple hundred votes of winning two years ago, he said he’s ready to try again, because the votes he received in the last election indicate to him that “many in the community are ready for a change.”

“We lost by, I think, 1.2 percent,” he said in regards to his last campaign attempt. “So it was pretty close.”

Jessup said he received more votes than Yarusso on that Election Day. He said his mistake last time, however, was not getting the absentee and early votes. 

“I got into the race late, in late May,” he said. “We think that had an impact.”

As the franchise owner of four UPS stores in the metro area, Jessup said he knows the basics of representing the business community, as it’s been part of his job. He sits on a seven-member advisory council that represents over 4,400 UPS stores across the country. 

But more than that, he said, he feels like he resembles the average resident of District 42A. 

“From an ideological standpoint, I think I’m very similar to those in my community. I am conservative on the fiscal side, but overall I think I’m closer to the mainstream or the middle,” Jessup said.

He used his stance on education and funding for education as an example.  

“Traditionally, everyone wants to cast Republicans as hating education, but I come from a family of teachers,” he said, adding that three of his grandparents and both his parents were teachers, and now his sisters and a brother-in-law are educators. “I think education is dear to the hearts of those in our community, education is critical.”

Jessup is a graduate of Bethel University, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in business administration. Jessup and his wife have three grown children.

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him at twitter.com/JPooleNews.

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