One of my jobs as Mayor of South St. Paul is to be a good host to our state and federal officials when they come to town.

Yesterday was one of my first opportunities to host and while I was familiar with my guest, we both were learning from our new positions.

Congressman Jason Lewis and I worked together at KSTP AM1500 and we both won an election this past November.  I was there when Jason held his first “Beatles Bumper Friday Beetle Giveaway”.  It was a promotion with  VW to give away a Beetle Bug to a lucky listener who won the chance to turn a key.  The stage was set, the contest was over and 12 lucky people showed up for his Friday show LIVE on the radio at a restaurant.  The crack promotions team (Judy Dibble and Myself) had the place looking KSTP.  We had the car positioned up front and at the start of the show, Jason explained that over the course of the show, each contestant would come up and turn their key – if the car started, they won! Of course we wanted to stretch it out and have excitement build, but alas, the very first person, the very first key started the VW and the contest was over. Anti-climactic but fun memory non the less.

Yesterday I took Congressman Lewis to our city airport, Fleming Field and showed him our city.  We then toured WipAire and Cherokee Manufacturing two important business in our area.  I then was able to ask for his help with an issue our city faces in bringing FedEx to our community.  The issue is a federal one and something he and our Senator Klobuchar and Franken might be able to put pressure on to keep this deal on track.

As I said, we both are still learning.  He got to learn more about an area and a city in his district and what we have to offer.  I learned that losing my phone somewhere along the tour was OK – he has staff to take photos!

I can’t wait to do the same “50 cent tour” with other state and federal officials. I am proud to represent our city and impressed by our business community.

(my phone was found in a van that was used to drive us for the tour)

Mayor James P. Francis, Chris Francis, Congressman Jason Lewis, Jerry Gunderman, Matt Gunderman Cherokee Manufacturing


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