July 3, 2006
Filing period to open for state, county offices
By Lynda Jensen
The political season for 2006 is underway with the official filing period open for several positions starting Tuesday, July 4 (which is a government holiday, meaning that filings will be accepted starting Wednesday, July 5).
Big races on the horizon will be for sheriff in McLeod County, as well as filling the seat to be vacated by State Rep. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), who plans to run for a judgeship.
In fact, all the area state representatives and state senate positions will be open, including positions served by State Sen. Steve Dille and State Rep. Dean Urdahl.
McLeod Sheriff Wayne Vinkemeier plans to retire, with several saying they are interested in the position. Several candidates have already declared their intentions to file for that position.
In addition, Carver County Sheriff Bud Olson and Wright County Sheriff Gary Miller have announced their intentions to run again.
Other positions open
Several other positions are open, including three state senate seats in the local area, and five local state representative seats. They include the following:
State senate seats open
• State Senator District 18 Steve Dille (R)
District 18 includes all of Meeker and McLeod counties, plus the following area in Wright County: the cities of Howard Lake, Cokato, and Annandale; and townships of French Lake, Middleville, South Haven, Southside, and Stockholm.
• State Senator District 19 Amy Koch (R)
District 19 includes all of Wright County except for the area covered by District 18 (see above).
• State Senator District 34 Julianne Ortman (R)
District 34 consists of Hollywood Township and the City of New Germany.
State representative seats open
• State Rep. District 18B Dean Urdahl (R)
District 18B includes the cities of Annandale, Cokato, Howard Lake, and South Haven, and the townships of Cokato, Corinna, French Lake, Middleville, Stockholm, and Southside in Wright County, and extends west into Meeker County.
• State Rep. District 19A Bruce Anderson (R)
District 19A includes Marysville Township, as well as the area surrounding the City of Buffalo.
• State Rep. District 18A Scott Newman (R)
District 18A includes all of McLeod County, plus Collinwood Township in Wright County, Cedar Mills, and Cedar Mills Township in Meeker County.
• State Rep. District 19B Tom Emmer (R)
District 19B consists of communities in eastern Wright County and a small portion of western Hennepin County. This includes the cities of Montrose and Waverly as well as the townships of Franklin, Victor, and Woodland.
• State Rep. District 34A Paul Kohls (R)
District 34A consists of Hollywood Township and the City of New Germany.
County seats open
All three counties will also feature open seats for the county attorney’s offices.
Local voters will also fill the Wright County auditor position and one local county commissioner seat, that of Dick Mattson.
In Carver, the attorney is Michael Fahey, and in McLeod, the attorney is Michael Junge. Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly announced his plans to run again.
For county auditor, only one of three local counties will feature an election Wright County because Carver and McLeod both keep the office as an appointed position.
In Wright, the office is served by Bob Hiivala. Hiivala was appointed to the position in June 2004 to complete the term of the late Douglas M. Gruber, who died from cancer while serving the position. Hiivala is a resident of Cokato and has been working in that department since 1995.
For county commissioners, the only local position up for election is Dick Mattson in Wright County. Mattson serves District 5, which includes Cokato City and Township, French Lake Township, Howard Lake City, Maple Lake City, Marysville Township, Middleville Township, Montrose City, Stockholm Township, and Victor Township.
Mattson lives south of Buffalo in Marysville Township and was first elected to the county board in 1992.
The other commissioner seat open in Wright County is Pat Sawatzke, who represents District 2, which encompasses the Monticello area.
For Carver and McLeod, commissioner seats that are open do not pertain to local voters.
Congressional seats open
Three Congressional districts are also open, including District 6 being vacated by Mark Kennedy, District 7 served by Collin Peterson, and District 2 being served by John Kline.
Kennedy has declared his intentions to run for the US senate seat being vacated by Mark Dayton, with several candidates expressing interest in his current position, including Michele Bachmann, Jim Knobloch, Phil Krinkie (R), Elwyn Tinklenberg, and Patty Wetterling (D).
US District 6 includes a huge chunk of area that is northwest of the Twin Cities. At its southern end, it includes the townships of Cokato, Middleville, Marysville, Stockholm, Victor and Woodland; and the cities of Howard Lake, Waverly, Montrose, and Cokato.
The US representative seat served by Kline is US District 2, which encompasses an area south of the Twin Cities, reaching from Faribault to Cottage Grove on the east and Carver County to the west.
The seat served by Peterson is US District 7, which includes a huge chunk of area covering the entire western portion of the state, from Lake of the Woods to the north, down to the Iowa border to the south. It includes Meeker and McLeod counties.
Anyone interested in filing should contact the local auditor or log onto the secretary of state web site, www.sos.state.mn.us.
Starting Wednesday, July 5, names of those who have filed for office will be posted on the secretary of state web site.
Soil and Water spots open
In McLeod, the supervisor position for Soil and Water Conservation that serves the Winsted and Lester Prairie area is up, which is District 1. It is currently served by Charles Mathews.
For Carver, the Soil and Water Conservation district supervisor is up in District 5, which is served by Robert Burandt. District 5 includes a piece of Mayer, Waconia Township and Cologne, as well as other areas to the east.
In Wright County, the supervisor position for District 3 in Soil and Water is up, which includes the townships of Franklin, Rockford and Woodland, as well as the cities of Montrose and Waverly. The seat is currently served by Mary Wetter.
Those who are interested in filing must live inside this district, but once elected the supervisor will serve countywide, commented Kerry Saxton of Wright County Soil and Water.