State Sen. Foung Hawj announces re-election bid

Foung Hawj
Foung Hawj

State Sen. Foung Hawj, 50, announced his bid for re-election in Senate District 67 on Jan. 16 at a community celebration at the Carpenter's Union Hall in St.Paul. 

Invited speakers included Gov. Mark Dayton and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, among other politicians and community leaders and supporters. Former Vice President Walter Mondale also voiced his support through a letter that was read at the celebration. 

"I think it makes sense to have my campaign kick-off as a community celebration. I am here to serve my community. They are the ones who helped me get to this position, and I need their input and their support to do my job," Hawj said in a statement about his re-election bid.

Hawj, an East Side DFLer, was first elected to the Senate in 2012, and succeeded John Harrington, a former St. Paul Chief of Police. Hawj owns his own business as a freelance video producer. 

In an interview with the Review, Hawj said he plans to campaign on issues of economic equity, education, and helping to grow local industries in the East Side — "I want to put East Side on the map," he said.

Hawj is currently a member of the Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development and the Environment and Energy committees, and is vice chair of the Finance Committee for the Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Budget.

Hawj said he has three goals he wants to fulfil during this year's bonding session. First, he said he wants funding to restore, rebuild, and expand the Kellogg Bridge, which he notes is a major connection for the East Side into downtown St.Paul and to the Metro Green Line.

Second, Hawj also said he wants to get a snow machine for Battle Creek Regional Park to make sure there is snow in the park to attract skiers from outside the district.

Finally, Hawj said he would like to add improvements to the East Side Freedom Library.

Said Hawj: "It is an honor for me to serve in the state Senate."

—Marjorie Otto

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