For anyone frustrated with politics, Minnesota caucuses offer a chance to make a real and lasting difference. In addition to helping choose the next President of the United States, caucus attendees select candidates for the Minnesota Legislature and set the future direction of our political parties.

My husband, Aaron, and I attended our first caucus in 2006, and have volunteered for local Republican candidates ever since. Due to caucus, our kids and we have gotten to know our elected officials - the people who stop by to put signs in our yard - personally. These relationships and the chance to make government work better for our children are why I ran for Farmington Area School Board, a position I have been honored to win for two terms. Suddenly the distant and powerful are real and approachable. This is how our democratic republic should work.

Unfortunately, that is not everyone’s experience. The politicization of seemingly everything turns many people off. That feeling is real, as power brokers at state and federal levels abuse our trust, centralizing greater control over our economy, our health care and our values.

Look no further than insatiable thirst of Mark Dayton and the DFL to raise taxes, again, on everything at a time when the state is already running surpluses of over a billion dollars. This is offensive. We don’t need more programs and entitlements borne of a 19th century mindset. We need smarter, leaner government that works for us in the here and now, and for the future.

I am asking for the Republican nomination for Senate District 58. In Saint Paul, I will serve as the strongest voice possible for our communities in the same way I have fostered greater public engagement in the direction of the Farmington Area School District. As state Senator, I will support conservative principles to eliminate excessive regulation and burdensome mandates, reducing the size of state government. I also will amplify the voices of individuals over those of the urban special interests intent on micromanaging our daily decisions.

Please join me on March 1. Let’s return accountability to Saint Paul, and build a brighter future for Minnesota together. Beginning at 7 p.m., Republicans in District 58A will meet at Lakeville North High School. Republicans in District 58B will meet at Farmington High School. Find your caucus location here (http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us), and help us get Minnesota pointed in the right direction.

Melissa Sauser,

Farmington

Melissa Sauser is a Farmington School Board member and a candidate for Senate in District 58.