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Paynesville Press - July 3, 2002

Johnson announces re-election campaign

Dean Johnson State Senator Dean Johnson (DFL-Willmar) announced last week that he intends to run for re-election in November.

Johnson is currently serving his sixth term in the Senate and previously served two terms in the Minnesota House. He switched from the Republican Party to the DFL Party during his latest term in the Senate. He was endorsed by the DFL Party in May.

"After the legislative session ended," said Johnson, "I stated that it was important to take a deep breath and perhaps take a step back. After doing so, I have decided that more work needs to be done. Since being re-elected in 2000, I have had two successful legislative sessions positively impacting jobs, public education, and agriculture. How-ever we still have more work to do."

Johnson currently represents Senate District 15, including all of Kandiyohi County. Due to redistricting, he will run in Senate District 13, which also includes Kandiyohi County, Pope County, and the western half of Stearns County. In the Paynesville area, District 13 includes Roseville and Irving townships in Kandiyohi County and Lake Henry Township and the city of Lake Henry, St. Martin Township and the city of St. Martin, and Spring Hill Township and the city of Spring Hill in Stearns.

In the last two sessions, Johnson has authored and passed legislation that successfully blocked an administrative proposal to cut jobs from the Willmar Regional Treatment Center, that equalized home health care rates in greater Minnesota, and that appropriated educational grants to help recruit nurses in rural areas and for funding for turkey respiratory research. He has also passed legislation funding partnerships for rural economic development, funding to improve rail service, and for biodiesel.

Johnson has served as the chair of the Transportation and Public Safety Budget Division, chair of the Transportation Policy Committee, and the chair for the Pension and Retirement Commission.

If re-elected, he would be among the most senior members of the 67-member Senate.

"Greater Minnesota has a tremendous amount at stake in the 2002 election," said Johnson. "As we lose representation to the metro area, seniority and experience will play a crucial role in our success. Kandiyohi, Pope, and Stearns counties need someone who knows how to get positive results. Our area needs proven leadership."

"If re-elected," he continued, "I will continue to work on rural economic development, improving our roads and bridges, stabilizing education funding, and improving the cost of providing health care."

Johnson has served as a part-time parish pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar for 31 years. He also serves in the United States Army National Guard as a special assistant to the chief of chaplains, earning the rank of brigadier general.

His wife, Avonelle, is retired after teaching for 34 years in the NL-S School District. Their only son is a pilot in the United States Air Force.

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