By Lynda Jensen
WRIGHT, CARVER and McLEOD COUNTIES, MN Candidates for state and federal positions are stepping forward for fall elections, with the filing period closing Tuesday, June 1.
Last week, Carver County Republicans endorsed Ernie Leidiger of Mayer, for the soon-to-be-vacated District 34A seat served by Paul Kohls.
This was something of a surprise, since Kohls indicated that he wished Waconia Council Member Jim Nash to be his predecessor.
Kohls, who has served four terms, said he will not run again in the fall.
The DFL candidate in the fall will be Leanne Pouliot Kunze of rural Waconia.
Kunze and Leidiger have both filed. District 34A represents Hollywood Township and the cities of Watertown, Mayer, and New Germany.
In other endorsements proceedings, Republicans in District 19B endorsed Delano Mayor Joe McDonald last Monday. District 19B is the seat to be vacated by Tom Emmer, who is making a bid for governor.
Democrats have endorsed Chris Brazelton of Delano, who has filed, for the District 19B seat.
District 19 includes all of Wright County except for the following: the cities of Howard Lake, Cokato, and Annandale; and townships of French Lake, Middleville, South Haven, Southside, and Stockholm.
For the District 18 senate seat being vacated by Steve Dille, three candidates have filed Scott Newman (R), Hal Kimball (DFL) and Independence candidate Richard Hoff of Cosmos.
Newman is an attorney from Hutchinson.
Hal Kimball of Cokato will be the DFL candidate for this seat. Kimball served 11 years in the Army.
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.
For state representatives, all of the local seats are on the fall ballot.
State Rep. District 18A
The seat for District 18A, served by Ron Shimanski, is also on the fall ballot.
Shimanski, a farmer from Silver Lake, has filed.
No DFL candidate has been endorsed, or filed yet, for the District 18A seat.
District 18A includes all of McLeod County, plus Collinwood Township, Cedar Mills, and Cedar Mills Township in Meeker County.
State Rep. District 18B
The position for state representative in District 18B, served by Dean Urdahl, will be placed on the fall ballot. in the fall.
So far, two have filed: Urdahl, a history teacher and coach for the New London-Spicer School District, and DFL candidate Darrin Anderson of Litchfield.
Anderson teaches social studies in the Willmar School District and was endorsed by the Democrats in February.
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 (covering all of Meeker).
State Rep. District 19A
The position served by Republican Bruce Anderson in District 19A is also up in the fall.
Anderson intends to run again, commented Andy Cook of his office. He has yet to file.
Police officer Barrett Chrissis of Buffalo has filed for office.
District 19A includes: the townships Albion, Buffalo, Chatham, Clearwater, Maple Lake, Marysville, Monticello, and Silver Creek; and the towns Buffalo, Clearwater, Maple Lake, Monticello, and Silver Creek.
State senate seats
In District 34, incumbent Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen has been the only one to file so far.
District 34 consists of the lion’s share of Carver County, including both Hollywood and Camden townships, as well as the cities of New Germany, Watertown, and Mayer.
The state senate position for District 19, served by State Sen. Amy Koch, is also up for election this fall.
No one has filed for the District 19 state senate seat yet.
District 19 includes all of Wright County except for the following: the cities of Howard Lake, Cokato, and Annandale; and townships of French Lake, Middleville, South Haven, Southside, and Stockholm
For Congress, three local seats are up this year: District 2, served by Republican John Kline of Burnsville; District 6, served by Michele Bachmann of Woodbury; and District 7, which is served by “blue dog” Democrat Collin Peterson of Detroit Lakes.
All three incumbents have refiled.
For District 2, Dan Powers of Burnsville has stepped forward to run against Kline, who is a retired colonel in the Marines. For those who may remember, former Watertown mayor Steve Sarvi ran against Kline in 2008, but lost.
Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District spans the width of the entire southern metro area and contains all of Carver, Scott, Le Sueur, Goodhue and Rice counties.
In District 6, Bachmann will face off against physician Dr. Maureen Kennedy Reed of Anoka.
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.
There is also a race in District 7, with incumbent Collin Peterson running against Lee Byberg of Willmar.
District 7 is the largest and most rural of all the Congressional districts in Minnesota, and encompasses the northwestern portion of the state. At its eastern end, it includes all of McLeod and Meeker counties.
Wright County Sheriff Gary Miller plans to retire, which will take effect when he leaves office at the end of the year.
Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty has filed for Wright County sheriff, and is the only candidate to do so, so far.
Longtime Carver Co. Sheriff Bud Olson will retire after finishing his third term there.
Two have filed so far for sheriff in Carver: Derek Lee of Waconia, and Jim Olson of Waconia.
McLeod County Scott Rehmann has announced his intent to run again for a second term. A second candidate who filed for sheriff is former Glencoe chief Wes Olson.
Candidates listed are those who have registered as of Wednesday. Filing ends June 1. It should be noted that the filing period for city and school board elections isn’t until August.
County commissioner races heat up
In Wright County, there will be a three-way race for the District 5 county commissioner seat (Howard Lake-Cokato and several townships), served by Dick Mattson of Buffalo.
Mattson is being challenged by two candidates, Leonard Wozniak of Cokato and Tom LaPlant of Buffalo. LaPlant has unsuccessfully challenged Mattson in the past.
In Carver, the seat for District 5 is up (Mayer, New Germany and Norwood Young America), served by Jim Ische.
Two have filed so far: Ische of Norwood Young America, and Bruce Schwictenberg of Chaska.