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Letter: Astrup the right choice for state tax commissioner

I’ve listened to both candidates for tax commissioner and while both have their strengths, the one who has impressed me the most is Jason Astrup. He’s serious, sincere, passionate and exceptionally knowledgeable.

What really impresses me about Jason Astrup is his background and perspective. He’s a tax and business lawyer, a small businessperson, a young professional and a husband. He’s not a bureaucrat or someone who has come up through the party ranks. He’s not politically connected or related to the right people.

It is clear from listening to Astrup that he sees tax issues from the perspective of real, everyday North Dakotans. He is an expert in tax and business law who has helped countless North Dakotans resolve tax issues and achieve their goals of starting or expanding a business. We need that kind of perspective in the tax commissioner’s office.

Special interest groups always have an investment in who sits in the tax commissioner’s office. Why else would the last two tax commissioners leave in the middle of their terms to go lobby on their behalf?

We can expect these same interest groups will spend a lot of money to maintain the status quo in the Tax Department. But don’t let their money blind you. Take the time to listen to both candidates. Once you do, I’m confident you’ll agree with me that Jason Astrup has the right stuff to serve as our next tax commissioner.

Ross Hettervig