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Letter: Rep. Carlson deserves our thanks and respect

I read Mike McFeely’s latest attack piece on Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, June 14 and was reminded of an old industry joke that pretty well sums up McFeely’s articles on Carlson.

If McFeely happened to see Al Carlson step out of a boat and walk across the water to shore he wouldn’t ask the normal reporter’s question--how is that possible?

Instead I would expect McFeely to write a column entitled: Al Carlson can’t swim!

For those of us that have been in public service and dealt with primary elections, you realize that sometimes you are going to be in the front and other times behind. It will happen to all of us including Rep. Carlson.

I am confident in the fall Carlson will be sent back to Bismarck by the voters in District 41. Much of the success that Fargo has had in the legislature from the water supply project which will bring water to the eastern part of the state, to funding for flood control and many other significant accomplishments benefiting Fargo, Cass County and most of the state can be directly attributed to Rep. Carlson’s leadership.

Much of the growth of our state has been under his direction and leadership. As a rural legislator I have greatly appreciated his willingness to listen to my concerns and beliefs as I brought forth issues on behalf of my district. He supported some and opposed some, but always, always with the respect that another legislator’s beliefs should be entitled to in the legislature.

I have served under Carlson’s leadership for many of my nine sessions in the North Dakota House of Representatives and have found him to be a remarkable leader. During my term as Speaker of the House, to my years in committee leadership to serving as a House member, I have never seen Carlson “bully” anyone.

Does that mean that any of us always agree with Al, of course not. When you have 94 members in the House of Representatives, all with different ideas and beliefs on what should be funded, you are going to have major disagreements. A former majority leader said: “it is like herding cats.”

Carlson has an unwavering belief in the people of North Dakota, whether they live in Fargo, Finley or anyplace else. He is a respected leader in national legislative-related organizations and in the North Dakota House of Representatives. He not only deserves re-election, but certainly deserves better than cheap shots in the largest newspaper in the state.

Devlin represents District 23 in the North Dakota House of Representatives. He lives in Finley, N.D.