Effie, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) The timber industry has long been the bedrock of small towns across Itasca County. Republican candidates for U.S. Congress are taking notice and are pushing for expanding the logging industry across Northern Minnesota if elected.
On Wednesday, two republican candidates running for U.S. Congress toured Lovdahl Logging, a logging company in Effie, Minnesota.
"We have to do everything we can to support the logging industry to make sure the infrastructure is there and the roads are there," Stewart Mills said.
Mills is opposing U.S. Representative Rick Nolan (D-MN) in November's election.
"Our family is from a logging background - that is why we came to the 8th district," Mills said. "My great grandfather worked in the lumber industry, same with my grandfather. It's in our blood"
Mills joined U.S. Senator Al Franken's GOP opponent, Mike McFadden, while traveling the sprawling county.
McFadden is a first time political candidate who is talking up his experience as a businessman who consulted small and medium businesses across Minnesota.
"We were at a lumber mill earlier this morning and they have 35/36 employees," McFadden said. "They have an opportunity to double their facility, but they are so concerned about regulations that have taken place."
McFadden added that the lumber mill is "really thinking twice about how they expand."
Moreover, McFadden said Washington politicians have hampered job growth with burdensome regulations, including the Affordable Care Act.
"What I'm a big fan of is having smart regulation, not over regulation and we are way, way, way over–regulated," McFadden said. "We are not good at it, we need to be great at it."
While in Itasca County, McFadden and Mills said they want to see the Affordable Care Act replaced with a customer based system.