Curiosity, compassion, and connection. These are the characteristics we should all be looking for in a congressional representative. Someone who is curious about issues and people’s lives and is driven to learn more about both; someone who has compassion for all individuals and will work to make their lives better; and someone who has the ability to make connections between people, ideas, and actions.

Dan Feehan is the clear winner in all three categories. I met  Feehan two years ago in St. Peter. He articulated a vision of the kind of world I want my kids to grow up in, and I remember thinking that I would be proud to have him represent me.

Feehan has already served his country as a soldier, a teacher, and as leader of a team working to prevent veteran suicide. You can tell that these experiences inform his concern for people from all areas of southern Minnesota.

And Feehan really does care. When a student of mine passed away, he immediately reached out and asked how he could help. And when my friend Anna’s community farm, which provides fresh produce for local food pantries, needed help with harvesting, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work.

This impulse — “How can I help?” — should be at the core of anyone who seeks to represent their district. If southern Minnesotans value helping their neighbors in tough times, I can’t think of anyone better to represent southern Minnesota.

In the face of so much cruelty and ignorance on display these days, it feels good to support Feehan, someone with the strength, integrity and skills to make life better for everyday Minnesotans.

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