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Paynesville Press - May 1, 2002

Two more candidates announce in District 13A

Bud Heidgerken of Freeport and Randy Olson of Sunburg have announced their candidacies for the open House of Representatives seat in District 13A. Heidgerken intends to seek the Republican nomination, while Olson will seek the DFL nod.

Due to the redistricting released in March, District 13A is an open house seat. It includes the northern half of Kandiyohi County, the western half of Stearns County, and all of Pope County. Included in 13A are Roseville Township, the city of Regal, Irving Township, Lake Henry Township, the city of Lake Henry, Spring Hill Township, and the city of Spring Hill.

Bud Heidgerken
Bud Heidgerken Heidgerken was born on a dairy farm south of Freeport. He is a graduate of St. John's University and St. Cloud State University and taught school in Brooten School System, and then Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa School System, for 21 years.

He challenged Rep. Sylvestor Uphus for a House seat in 1988 and lost by 150 votes. For the past 12 years, he and his wife have lived in Freeport, where they are the owners and operators of Charlie's Cafe.

Presently, Heidgerken serves on the Freeport City Council, the Melrose Advisory Council, and the Freeport Rec Board. He has also served on the Freeport School Board, and the Stearns Electric Trust Board, including as president.

This time, Heidgerken will run as a Republican, because the party better encompasses his views. "Last time I ran as a Democrat," he said. "After running a business these last 12 years often found me on their side of the aisle. I am against bigger government and against more taxes."

As a representative, Heidgerken, who is pro-life, stated that he would want to write legislation to equalize payments to rural schools, rural hospitals, and rural nursing homes. In these three major causes, rural Minnesota receives far less aid than their metro counterparts, he said.

Randy Olson
Randy Olson Olson, a dairy farmer from Sunburg, will take his second shot at a Minnesota House seat as well. He was the DFL-endorsed candidate in 2000 in District 13A.

Olson, a graduate of BBE HIgh School, has farmed on his family's farm since May 2001. The creation of an open house district re-energized him to campaign.

He believes that working people need to stand up and unite for their interests in rural Minnesota, or the corporate economics Republicans have pushed in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. will ruin the wonderful small communities here.

"When a farmer must buy all crop inputs from the same company, and sell the produce of his or her farm to the same company, be it Cargill or ADM, we have a problem," he said. "When the town dwellers have to go to Wal-Mart to buy clothes or groceries because that's their only choice, we have a problem. Do we want to become a mass group of serfs being controlled by the Enron's of this country? As one of the little guys of this world, I want to help working people stand up to the big wheels."

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