Candidates in District 57B offer contrast: Anna Wills
Anna Wills aims to put Capitol experience to work
Anna Wills, the Republican candidate in House District 57B, has seen the state Capitol at work from the inside.
As a legislative assistant in the 2012 session for state Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, Wills has seen how much work goes into the position she is seeking this fall.
In addition to seeing the effort that went into the 60-some bills Benson was an author or co-author for, Wills has learned what issues are of concern to residents by fielding a wide range of constituent communications.
On the top of the list are jobs, taxes and education.
“People are concerned about the economy,” she said. “They are working hard to make ends meet and pay their mortgage each month.”
Wills said she understands those concerns firsthand as she and her husband are doing the same for their Apple Valley townhome. Wills said she worked two part-time jobs before accepting her new position at the Capitol.
“They are looking for help,” she said of people who call their legislator. “Often we are their last stop.”
In some cases, Wills said she would like to help more, but can’t because of legal constraints and then refers people to those agencies that can help.
She said reducing taxes on businesses will create more jobs as they will be able to invest more in their workforce.
Since next year is a budget year, she said the Legislature needs to evaluate programs to ensure they are cost-effective.
Working at the Capitol also has helped Wills develop working relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
“I want to hear all ideas to find solutions,” Wills said.
The Apple Valley resident since 2010 also has been a campaign volunteer for local Republicans and served as city chair of the Burnsville campaign for John McCain’s 2008 bid for the White House.
Wills lived much of her teen years in Burnsville where she was homeschooled and then took classes at Northwestern College in Roseville through the post-secondary education program.
She said being homeschooled by her mother and through homeschool co-op programs was a great experience.
“Homeschooling is not for everyone and public schools are not for everyone,” she said. “Families should have the freedom to choose what works best for them.”
With the values that were instilled in her, Wills said she isn’t someone who does things halfway.
She realizes the sacrifice of time the campaign will take and will give 100 percent effort to meet as many people in her district, which includes Rosemount, the northern portion of Apple Valley and the city of Coates.
“I want to earn the votes,” she said. “I want to be able to reach out to. Everyone has concerns. I want to listen to all those concerns.”
Despite the geographic differences and range of housing in the district, she said one common trait among its residents is that they love their community.
“It takes someone who is willing to put in the work and cares about the community,” Wills said of earning people’s trust.
More about the Wills campaign is at http://willsforhouse.com.