Thomas Knecht, a small business litigation attorney residing in Eden Prairie, has announced his candidacy for state representative in House District 49B.
Seeking the Republican endorsement, Knecht will face off against DFL-incumbent Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn in the newly drawn district.
“Like many Eden Prairie residents, over the last several years, I’ve witnessed rising crime, rising prices, and changes to education that are leaving some students behind. We need a return to normalcy,” Knecht stated in a press release. “I am running to advocate for hard-working Eden Prairie families and expand the American dream. As a legislator, I will prioritize public safety, promote economic prosperity, cut living costs, and ensure educational excellence.”
Knecht touched on his own life story to emphasize the importance of a strong and affordable education system.
“As the proud son of a construction worker and housekeeper turned school cook, obtaining an education transformed my life,” he said. “So, it’s especially painful to witness children fall behind in school because of COVID-19 and educational excellence suffer as political agendas invade the classroom. I am running to ensure every child – regardless of family background – has access to a world-class education and I will push every lever available to freeze and reduce the costs of higher education.”
Knecht appealed for more transparency in state government and for ensuring environmental conservation. “It is essential we increase transparency and reduce the influence of special interests in St. Paul,” Knecht said. “We must also ensure environmental conservation and incentivize innovation in energy-efficient technology.”
The newly formed House District 49B contains the southern portion of Eden Prairie, roughly running south of Highway 5 in the east before running south of Highway 212 in the center of the district to the western edge of town.