(credit: CBS)

Welcome to WCCO.com’s 2018 political guide!

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer’s questions.

Above is the video and below are the answers Erik Paulsen provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.

Responses from Erik Paulsen, Republican candidate for the 3rd District:

Should voting rights be restored to convicted felons?

Decisions about the voting rights of individuals convicted of felonies are made at the state level, which I believe is appropriate. In Minnesota, the voting rights of felons are restored following the completion of any felony conviction sentence, including parole or probation.

Do you support legalization of the recreational use of marijuana?

I’m proud to be supported by the law enforcement community, including the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Minneapolis Federation of Police. Until I hear from the law enforcement community that the legalization of recreational marijuana will make our communities safer, our roads safer, and our schools safer, I do not support legalization for recreational use. I support its usage for medicinal purposes, to help those suffering with pain.

Do you believe that there should be a cap on how much money a candidate can spend on campaigning? If so, how much?

Caps on campaign expenditures benefit incumbents with high name-ID at the expense of first-time candidates. They would also expand the role of outside groups like Nancy Pelosi’s SuperPAC and other SuperPACs, which are spending millions of dollars in support of my opponent despite his hypocritical “pledge” to reject outside special interest money.

Should people convicted of non-violent drug offenses be released from prison and their records expunged?

There is growing bipartisan support for federal criminal justice reform. I’m supportive of reforming federal sentencing guidelines and providing judges with more discretion in sentencing with law enforcement consultation and support. It’s important to ensure that individuals who pose a threat to our communities are kept behind bars and off the street.