Breaker running for House 6A seat

by Tom Coombe

The race for Minnesota House seat 6A now includes a candidate from Ely.<BR><BR>Marty Breaker, a teacher, retired Army Reserve Colonel and former owner of two area resorts, is seeking the seat now held by State Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) and will run as a Republican.<BR><BR>Tuesday, the 53-year-old Breaker was endorsed by 6A Republicans and he’s been prepped for the run by the House Republican caucus, including Speaker Steve Sviggum (R-Kenyon).<BR><BR>Breaker is hoping to crack the traditional DFL stronghold on northeastern Minnesota legislative seats and give the region at the table with the party that now controls the State House.<BR><BR>“We need a voice down in the legislature,” said Breaker. “Currently, the House has 81 Republicans to 53 Democrats. I think I can bring a voice from the north down there and be heard.”<BR><BR>And though Breaker is trying to unseat Dill, he’s betting that DFL-endorsed candidate Bill Hansen will be his opponent in the general election. Hansen and Dill will square off in the September primary.<BR><BR>“I have to assume the endorsed candidate is going to win,” said Breaker, although Dill won without the party nod two years ago.<BR><BR>But regardless of who survives the DFL primary, Breaker said he’s in the race - his first try at public office - to stay. He’ll focus his campaign on three key issues: job creation, affordable healthcare and educational opportunities.<BR><BR>Those priorities were shaped in part by Breaker’s employment as a college instructor for Bemidji State University. He teaches their off campus business degree program across northeastern Minnesota, including Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>“A lot of my students are out of work miners or people laid off from other jobs,” said Breaker. “I’ve been out of work and I know the pain that being out of work brings. We need to provide jobs.”<BR><BR>Breaker said the region needs to continue to build jobs in traditional industries including mining, logging and tourism, while at the same time looking for opportunities to diversify the area’s economic base.<BR><BR>According to Breaker, the region needs to do a better job of attracting entrepreneurs and create a climate that allows business to grow.<BR><BR>Breaker supports efforts to provide cheaper prescription drugs by re-importing them from Canada, and he has also called for reform of the litigation process to bring down health care costs.<BR><BR>“Whenever there’s a big judgment, the doctor isn’t paying that judgment,” said Breaker. “It’s the people who end up paying that judgement. We need to get regulations in place that will foster affordable health care.”<BR><BR>Breaker said that a strong education system is vital in the region’s efforts to sustain - and grow - its economy.<BR><BR>“The education system, the transportation system, the infrastructure are the kind of things businesses look at when they’re looking at an area.”<BR><BR>To increase funding for education, Breaker would seek not higher taxes but further revenue from school trust lands that now sit in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.<BR><BR>Breaker served on active duty in Korea and held many command positions in both the Army Reserves and Minnesota National Guard.<BR><BR>An avid hunter and fisherman, Breaker, along with his wife Heidi, previously owned two local resorts. Breaker has served as vice president of the Ely Area Resort Association and on the area’s lodging tax board. Currently, he is a member of the Ely Business Development Cooperative and the Business Advisory Board.<BR><BR>The Breakers reside in Ely and their daughter Emily is a junior at Ely High School. Son Matthew is in the U.S. Army.<BR><BR>Breaker said that Sviggum has promised to campaign here, and that he’ll be visible throughout the vast district - which extends from Cook and Crane Lake on the west side to the north shore of Lake Superior on the east - during the campaign.