Voter guide: See 4th District candidates' stances on education, immigration, more

Two women pose for a photo
Betty McCollum, right, and May Lor Xiong.
Courtesy photos

Minnesota has eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and all of them are on the ballot this fall.

In the 4th Congressional District, Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, is running against Republican newcomer May Lor Xiong. McCollum has served in the U.S. House since 2001.

The 4th Congressional District covers nearly all of Ramsey County and part of Washington County. It includes St. Paul and the east metro. The district is solidly Democratic, and has not sent a Republican to Congress since the 1940s.

May Lor Xiong, who previously taught English as a second language in St. Paul and now is a real estate broker, is facing off against McCollum. She is the first Hmong candidate in the United States to win a Republican primary.

Here’s where each candidate stands on the top issues for Minnesotans.

Abortion

McCollum: The day Roe v. Wade was overturned, McCollum tweeted that she “will never stop fighting for our rights” and the decision was “a direct attack on women.”

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Xiong: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.

Crime, police and public safety

McCollum: She does not believe in defunding the police. She recently supported giving $2.9 million in federal funding to public safety in her district.

Xiong: She tweeted on July 19 “I support our men and women in blue.” She has said she wants to create programs to educate police officers about how different cultures view law enforcement, which she hopes will result in law enforcement acting more equitably. On her website, she says she believes in “good common-sense laws.”

Economy and tax policy

McCollum: She was against the monumental 2017 tax cuts passed by Republicans and President Donald Trump. She said the cuts “stimulated income inequality” while adding billions to the federal budget deficit.

Xiong: She said that, if she becomes congresswoman, she would “put an end to reckless decisions being made in Washington” about fuel and food prices.

Education

McCollum: She supports full funding to school districts for special education. She says “every high school graduate must be prepared and equipped with the fundamental skills and education foundation to succeed.”

Xiong: She has said “education does not equal indoctrination.” She supports putting policy in place that allows parents to choose what students learn. In an email to MPR News on Oct. 7, Xiong’s campaign said she will “put policy into effect that will strengthen our education system that will empower teachers but must be focusing on the needs of the student and give parents choices where their children get an education.”

Environment and climate change

McCollum: She is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal and has been working to ban sulfide-ore copper mining within Rainy River Watershed.

Xiong: In an email to MPR News on Oct. 7, Xiong’s campaign said "we need to unleash innovators in this country to find solutions and make our country and the world cleaner, healthier place to live while providing affordable, reliable energy.” She said that the Green New Deal is “so extreme that it will kill jobs, opportunity, food sources, make it unaffordable and unattainable for people who live in Ramsey and Washington Counties.”

Farming and rural Minnesota

McCollum: She recently showed support for “carbon farming” to help Minnesota lead the practice of sustainable agriculture.

Xiong: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.

Guns

McCollum: She supports banning assault weapons, requiring background checks for all gun purchases, banning the sale of high capacity magazines and banning the federal transfer of military weapons to police departments.

Xiong: She said we must have “good common-sense laws to live in a well ordered and safe society and we must support our law enforcement.”

Health care

McCollum: She voted for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and has said she supports strengthening federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. She says health care access should be a fundamental right for all Americans.

Xiong: In an email to MPR News on Oct. 7, Xiong’s campaign said that she wants the federal government to return block grant funds to the states to control and use as they see fit. Block grants are money the government gives to states to provide benefits or services, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income for people with disabilities, and The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for people experiencing poverty. Under Xiong’s proposal, one state could offer universal health care while another state isn’t involved in health care at all.

Immigration

McCollum: She said she supports comprehensive immigration reform. She is in favor of the DREAM Act for DACA recipients, which provides a path to citizenship for some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and wants to see the criteria for those who fall under Temporary Protected Status extended, a status often given to immigrants in the U.S. whose homeland is experiencing ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster.

Xiong: Sahan Journal reported “She said the border should be closed to all but asylum seekers” and said she argues this would protect women and children from being trafficked and cut the flow of drugs into the country.

The 2020 election

McCollum: She said Trump “attempted to use the Department of Justice as his own personal law enforcement body to help him overturn the 2020 election.”

Xiong: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.

Map of Minnesota US house district 4
Minnesota US House District 4
Elisabeth Gawthrop | APM Research Lab

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Additional Resources

  • Election 2022: View more voter guides and resources.

  • Populist: Research incumbents, learn about incumbent records, and see what's on your ballot.

  • APM Research Lab: See the latest polls and learn about who is contributing to the campaigns.