Kahn captures 14th

by Kelly Hildebrandt

Once again, Phyllis Kahn, a 26-year incumbent, ran away with the state House of Representatives seat for District 59B.
Kahn, a Democrat and former University research staff member, has consistently won as an incumbent with at least 60 percent of the vote.
At press time, Kahn had 59 percent of the vote with three of 16 precincts reporting. Her opponents, Republican Robert Fowler, a 22-year-old third-year University law student, had 27 percent of the vote while independent candidate Eric Hanson, a 24-year-old mass communications senior at the University, had 12 percent of the vote.
“I feel fine,” Kahn said, adding that she now needs to find out if she will be a majority or minority in the Legislature.
Kahn said she will work to get a more comprehensive smoking bill which will ban smoking in all work places, along with bars and restaurants.
In the long term, she will focus on global warming and work to start decreasing the use of carbon monoxide.
“When you’re kind of expected from the start it doesn’t have as much excitement,” Kahn said.
Kahn is currently on the House Governmental Operations Committee and will continue to work computer glitches facing the year 2000. The committee is also addressing the constitutional amendment on the ballot this election to abolish the state treasurer’s office.
Kahn has implemented many bills during her stay in the House. She authored the Minnesota Clean Air Act of 1975, which prohibits smoking in public buildings, along with many bills to expand women’s athletic programs.
Fowler said he would have considered 35 percent vote a victory, adding that he lost votes because a lot of people voted anti-establishment.
Fowler said he will now focus on school, which has been put on the back burner for the election.
“I’m ready to do this all over again,” Fowler said. He will review this year’s campaign to determine what needs improvement when he runs for District 59B again in 2000.
Hanson plans to graduate in the spring and may possibly enter another election in the future.
“I’d have to say win, lose or draw, I’m ecstatic with everything that’s happened,” Hanson said.
He decided to campaign less for himself and more for Reform Party gubernatorial candidate Jesse Ventura in the last weeks before the elections because he thought it would make more of a difference.
The Legislature creates public policy in areas such as crime prevention and education. They also elect members to the University Board of Regents. There are 134 representatives in the state House.
District 59B encompasses the University East Bank and the surrounding areas, which are highly populated by students.