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Gubernatorial Candidate Profile
Dick Borrell
By Eric Jansen
February 26, 1998
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St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman is not the only GOP governors candidate who's switched parties. Meet Dick Borrell, born and bred in Waverly.

Borrell: Being born in Waverly, Minnesota, where Hubert Humphrey is from, you're born Democrat. To me, it's like having blue eyes. Theres nothing you can do about it. Until about 10 or 12 years ago, I got tired of fighting in the Democratic party and went to a meeting of the Republican party and felt really welcome. My ideas were their mainstream ideas.

Those ideas include trimming government and the control Borrell feels it is exerting over individuals and their businesses. His business is a 13-year-old direct-mail marketing firm.

Borrell: Over the last five years, the fun has gone out of running my own business. We have about 70 employees out in Delano, Minnesota, and I came to realize that government has quit serving us and started governing us. It's telling us what to do in every aspect of our lives, and I've just had enough of it and am willing to do something about it.

For example, Borrell says employers shouldn't be forced to give their employees maternity leave. He says he does, because its the right thing to do. And he says he pays his employees more than minimum wage because he has to to get qualified staff. He says with a current shortage of qualified workers, employers have to treat their employees well to stay in business. In other words, free enterprise will take care of employees.

He says government's proper role is to do things citizens can't do for themselves; primarily provide infrastructure, like highways, airports, clean streets, water, and sewers. He says the government also should provide welfare for those who truly can't take care of themselves. But he says incentives should be changed to encourage people to get off welfare, not encourage teens, for example, to get pregnant and not marry so they can get on the dole.

Borrell: We as a society have to look at single mothers and teen pregnancy. We have to find a way to make that uncomfortable. Not easy. Without hurting the children involved, thats a real fine issue to work on. But its gotta be a change in our society, a change back to some morality, a sense of right and wrong.

Borrell says fiscal conservatism came naturally to him, as he grew up in a family with 11 siblings. He says if elected, he'd direct commissioners of state departments to trim their operations. He acknowledges he's got an uphill battle.

Borrell: My opponents might tell you if I were an ant on the sidewalk and got stepped on, nobody would notice. My campaign is very serious, I intend to work as hard as I can to be not only nominated by the Republican Party, but elected and defeat whatever democrat comes up in the fall.

Borrell, a private pilot and former marine, has not picked up any organizational endorsements, and he has not held any elected office. He has served as a caucus delegate in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Dick Borrell's web site