Republican Tom Emmer, who's running to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 6th Congressional District, told Central Minnesota Tea Party members Tuesday night he'll look for more federal spending on transportation and infrastructure in the district.
"You have to build more roads and bridges, you have to expand the ones we have," he said.
That money shouldn't be considered "earmarks," or wasteful government spending, he said.
"To me, earmarks are building a baseball field in somebody's community. Earmarks are building a swimming pool in somebody's community. Earmarks are getting luxury money for luxury things," Emmer said. "Earmarks are not dedicating funds that are meant for transportation proposes to building out transportation infrastructure."
On the other hand, if there's a pool of transportation funding, and Interstate 94 needs an extra lane going both ways, "that to me is not an earmark if you've got somebody out there who says we need some of those transportation dollars."
On the DFL side, Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, who was at the event Tuesday night, said he's strongly considering getting into the race.