Photo provided by Debra Hilstrom

Website: https://debrahilstrommn.com/

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Official Bio:

I was born and raised in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. I was the first in my family to graduate from a four-year college (University of Minnesota), and I put myself through law school at William Mitchell College of Law.

I have served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 2001. During my service, I have held leadership roles such as the DFL Deputy Minority Leader and as the Chair of the Public Safety and Judiciary committees. Prior to serving in the Legislature, I served on the Brooklyn Center City Council for six years.

Outside of the Legislature, I have worked as an Assistant County Attorney for Anoka County, where I fought to protect the public and victims of crime from those who steal from vulnerable adults, commit domestic violence, and sell illegal firearms. I have argued a criminal case in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court, trained officers on how to investigate elder abuse, fraud, and financial exploitation, and educated prosecutors on how to bring justice to those victims.

My husband Joel and I have been married for over 32 years. We are proud parents of Jeremy, Stephanie and our son-in-law, Taylor.

Your key platforms:

The Attorney General’s job has changed since January of 2017. It used to be that the Attorney General sued companies who seriously and persistently violated the law—whether it was insurance companies, credit card companies, banks, or cable companies. Now, however, two of the worst violators of the law are the U.S. President and the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Working Families

I am proud to be labor endorsed by the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) and the Teamsters Joint Council 32, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Minnesota Peace and Police Officers and Women Winning. To look where someone is going, you need to look where they’ve come from. I am the daughter of a former 49er (Heavy Equipment Operator), the granddaughter of a Teamster and dairy farmers, and the wife of a union carpenter. I know the value of economic opportunity and fair play. I have a long-standing record of fighting for worker’s rights. I strongly support paid parental leave and efforts to combat wage theft.

Consumer Protection

The primary job of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office is consumer protection. Too often, ordinary, hard-working Minnesotans feel the deck is stacked against them by powerful corporate special interests. I have taken on the banking lobby, stood up to credit card companies, and fought for ratepayers against powerful corporate special interests. As your Attorney General, I will never back away from a hard fight when it comes to protecting Minnesota consumers. I will continue the proud tradition of the Attorney General’s Office in fighting for consumers.

Elder abuse continues to be a problem. I have authored legislation to tackle these issues. I authored and passed the law that protects vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. The law created a new type of penalty for the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult involving an amount greater than $35,000. The law also makes it easier to investigate and prosecute cases.

As Attorney General, I will ensure everyone in the state has a fair playing field. We must ensure we have open and fair elections. Until we can repeal Citizens United at the federal level we must strive for increased transparency and disclosure at the state level in our campaign spending.

Healthcare

Healthcare is a major part of the work the Office of Minnesota Attorney General does because Minnesota's health care insurance companies are nonprofits. I will work to make certain that healthcare insurance companies follow the law so all Minnesotans have access to health care. I will continue to hold Minnesota has taken the lead on holding companies that make generic medications accountable for price gauging. Minnesotans need to have access to their medications. We can't allow large entities, whether they're corporations or nonprofits, to interfere with Minnesotans' abilities to get the medications that they need.

We must combat the opioid epidemic. Pharmaceutical companies must be held accountable for their role in this epidemic. We must protect those with ppre-existing conditions and ensure they have access to health care. When someone in the family gets sick families should not lose everything resulting in bankruptcy.

What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?

As Attorney General I will hold companies, nonprofits or individuals that break the law accountable. No one is too big to be above the law and no one is too small to be below its protection. I ask for your vote in the August 14th DFL primary.