INTERVIEW: Benda paints himself as real outsider in Minnesota congressional race

Matt Benda supports more NATO involvement in Ukraine and feels that U.S. farmers can aid failing global food supply chains.

Congressional candidate Matt Benda talks with Alpha News editor Kyle Hooten. (Alpha News)

Republican Matt Benda said he’s the real outsider in the contest for Minnesota’s First Congressional District in a recent interview with Alpha News.

Benda’s most prominent Republican opponents include former Minnesota Rep. Brad Finstad and current Rep. Jeremy Munson, who are vying for the chance to replace the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn after his untimely death earlier this year. The Republicans will face off in a special primary May 24. Benda said his newcomer status, having never held elected office, will make him a more accessible leader.

“I have my cellphone right here … more people can text me in the First District than ever before,” he said, holding up an iPhone. “When I’m sitting at committee, I want [constituents] to text me. I don’t want to be listening to lobbyists or people that have advocated for other things outside of the district,” he said.

He also told Alpha News about his other positions ranging from the emphasis he places on electoral security to his belief that the U.S. should uphold a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“I’d like to see NATO do more [in Ukraine],” he explained.

Alpha News’ Kyle Hooten asked the congressional hopeful how he addresses critics who highlight that such action could put America in direct conflict with Russia. Benda said that perspective “doesn’t translate, it doesn’t hit the common sense in main street.”

Benda then explained that his position on Ukraine reflects a concern for the global food supply chain, noting how “Egypt is having food inflation … 25% per month food inflation. Countries like Lebanon, we’re talking 1,000% food inflation.” He feels American farmers “will step up and increase food production. They’ll make sure we’ll get as much food into the system as possible” to “help provide the support we can around the world.”

Benda also discussed his life philosophy that he calls the “Old Acres Way,” named after the family farm that he grew up on.

“I tell these stories about growing up on the farm because they translate into who I am today,” he said.