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Paynesville Press - Sept. 5, 2002

Statewide primary to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Polling Places The statewide primary election – to determine the ballots for the general election in November – will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in sites in each city and township.

A number of local and statewide races are being contested. In some races, notably the races for governor of Minnesota and for the open U.S. Senate seat, two candidates from the same party will vy in the primary for their ticket's one spot on the November ballot.

In local races, notably several county races, the top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to face each other on the final ballot in November.

Contested local races include: the Independence Party candidate in House District 13A and the Republican Party candidate for House District 18B. In both of these races, voters who cast ballots from those respective parties in the primary will choose the candidate to appear on the November ballot. Note that, according to the Secretary of State's office, voters must choose the races in one party to vote on in the primary. Voters who vote for candidates in more than one party will have their ballots thrown out as spoiled.

Other contested local races are for: Stearns County Commissioner for District 3; Stearns County Attorney; Stearns County Recorder; Stearns County Sheriff; and Kandiyohi County Sheriff. In these races, all the voters of the respective county, regardless of party, will vote for their top choice and the two top vote-getters will appear on the November ballot.

Brief descriptions of the candidates in the local contested primary races follow.

Uncontested primary races include: the Sixth Congressional District, with Dan Becker (Independence), Mark Kennedy (Republican), and Janet Robert (DFL); the Seventh Congressional District, with Collin Peterson (DFL) and Dan Stevens (Republican); House District 14B, with Mark Slavik (DFL) and Doug Stang (Republican); Senate District 13, with Joe Gimse (Republican) and Dean Johnson (DFL); Senate District 14, with Michelle Fischbach (Republican) and Lynn Schurman (DFL); Senate District 18, with Steve Dille (Republican), Paul Murray (Constitution), and Sheila Sudbeck (DFL); and Stearns County Commissioner for District 5, with Don Otte.

House District 13A includes the western portion of Stearns County, the northern part of Kandiyohi County, and all of Pope County.

I Paul Ellering
ndependence Party Paul Ellering, 49, lives five miles south of Grey Eagle. He graduated from SDSU with an ag major but got into professional wrestling through his interest in weight lifting and spent 25 years as pro wrestler. He currently is a turkey farmer and raises sled dogs.

He has no government experience but has served on the St. Rosa Parish Council and the St. Mary Social Concerns Committee. He is running because he feels he has been called to give back, and he wants to fight for farmers and to work for the elderly, especially when it comes to health care.

Anton Massman
Anton Massman, 27, of Freeport is the endorsed candidate. Born and raised in the district on a family farm, Massman served four years in the Marine Corps and was called back to active duty in January. He is scheduled to be released from duty again in December and will be available to take office in January, if elected.

He has been the city clerk for Freeport since 2000 and is the former secretary for the Freeport Chamber of Commerce. He is running for office because he thinks it's time for a change and for the state legislature to reflect the views of the residents.

Other Candidates The winner between Ellering and Massman will face Bud Heidgerken (Republican) and Bruce Schuck (DFL) in November for this open seat.

House District 18B includes almost all of Meeker County as well as the western part of Wright County.

Republican Party David Detert
David Detert, 52, is a family practice doctor in Litchfield. Having grown up on a farm, having served in the military, and being a doctor, he feels he has a good background to serve in the Minnesota Legislature.

He feels he lost the Republican endorsement because he is pro-choice and believes more emphasis needs to be placed on preventing unwanted pregnancies. He considers himself a moderate, is concerned about the projected state budget shortfall and about education in rural areas, and would support year-round schools.

Dean Urdahl
Dean Urdahl, 53, lives between Litchfield and Grove City and is the endorsed candidate. For 32 years, he has taught American history in the New London-Spicer School District, where he also coaches the boys' and girls' cross country teams.

He served for four years on the Minnesota Board of Nursing, was appointed by Gov. Arne Carlson to the Commission on Public Service and Reform, and served on the Minnesota Education in Agricul-ture Learning Council. He said he is running because of his long-held desire for public service; he intends to protect rural quality of life and lists education and transportation funding as key issues.

Other Candidates The winner between Detert and Urdahl will face Mari Pokornowski (DFL) in November for this open seat.

STEARNS COUNTY Commissioner District 3
Commissioner District 3 is one of five newly redrawn districts in Stearns County. It includes Munson Township and Eden Lake Township in the Paynesville area as well as the cities of Richmond, Cold Spring, Rockville, Avon, and Holdingford. Voters will vote for one candidate, and the top two vote-getters will advance to the November ballot.

Ron Czajkowski
Ron Czajkowski, 57, has lived in Holdingford for over 30 years. He currently teaches special education at St. Cloud Apollo High School. He has also coached and previously was a lineman for a telephone company and farmed with his father. He ran for the Minnesota House in 1986, has served as president of the St. Hedwigs Council, as a building representative at Tech and Apollo, and has lobbied for the St. Cloud Education Association.

A year away from retirement at school, he is interested in public service and in being productive.

Steve Dehler
Steve Dehler, 52, served five terms in the Minnesota Legislature. He recently moved from St. Joseph to Holdingford. He is taking classes to become a reading teacher and working part-time. He has also served on the parish council for six years, as a city council member for 18 years, as mayor of St. Joseph for two years, and in the Legislature for ten years.

He wasn't ready to retire from public service and thought his state experience would help at the county level.

David Friedrich
David Friedrich, 47, has lived in Brockway Township for 27 years and in Stearns County for all his life. For the past 17 years, he has owned and operated his own insurance agency in Rice. He has served as a township supervisor for the past 12 years and has served on the Stearns County Township Association Board for the past three years.

He has thought about running for several years and decided to run after the redistricting this year. He describes himself as a conservative who won't spend any unnecessary money and who wants to maintain the quality of life in the county.

Jeff Howe
Jeff Howe, 43, is a former building official/fire marshal for the city of Waite Park and is a 16-year veteran of the St. Cloud Fire Department. He has lived in Rockville since 1991. He has served in the National Guard for 24 years and has government experience on a fire code committee, in arson investigations, and says he has worked with every county department.

Since he estimates that over half of the county meetings deal with zoning and planning issues, he feels his experience with land use makes him well qualified. He thinks the budget needs to better address the county's needs.

Chad Middendorf
Chad Middendorf, 38, has worked as a controller for 18 years. He has lived in Cold Spring for the last nine years, previously living in Luxem-burg and, prior to that, on a dairy farm near Melrose for seven years.

While he has no government experience, he feels he can make a difference in this transistional period for the newly-redrawn District 3. He also thinks his financial background will be helpful on the county board.

Vince Schaefer
Vince Schaefer, 65, has lived in Rockville all his life. He has lived in the city of Rockville since 1965 and prior to that he lived in Rockville Township. He is retired from working in an auto shop, though he still works part-time as an electrician.

His extensive government experience includes serving as the mayor of Rockville for nine years (he still serves on the city council), serving on the Sauk River Valley Planning Association for five years, on the Stearns County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Board for two years, and as a firefighter for Rockville for 14 years. Having 21 years of experience with city government, he thinks he can do a good job for the county.

Lowell Voight
Lowell Voight, 58, has been a dairy farmer all his life. He has lived in Eden Valley for the past 11 years.

He has no government experience and is fed up with the current government, which he thinks has too many rules and regulations, especially for farmers, who are being driven out of the profession. He isn't sure how he will fix this, but knows that something needs to be done.

Jim Wirz
Jim Wirz, 61, has been a dairy farmer in Luxemburg Township for 27 years, though he plans to retire in a couple years. Previously he taught social science at Albany High School for ten years as well as volunteering to teach in a Catholic school in South America.

He served on the school board in the Kimball School District for 19 years, including five years as the chairman, and he served 22 years on the rural electric board, including four years as president. He is interested in politics, thinks his farming experience will be helpful to him as a commissioner, and sees land use and environmental issues as important to people of District 3.

The Stearns County Attorney handles criminal prosecutions, civil legal proceedings, and advises the county board on legal issues. Residents throughout Stearns County will vote for their top choice and the top two vote-getters will be on the ballot in November.

Janelle Kendall
Janelle Kendall, 37, has practiced law in St. Cloud, where she lives, since 1990. For the past three years, she has served as the Mille Lacs County Attorney. A graduate of the Hamline University Law School, she previously worked in the city attorney's office in Minneapolis and in the prosecutor's office for Hennepin County.

In addition to allowing her to work closer to home, she thinks she can provide better leadership, service, and accountability as the county attorney. She says she was encouraged by law enforcement personnel to run for county attorney and pledges to have tougher crime-fighting efforts, to better support law enforcement personnel, and to use her experience as both a prosecutor and a county attorney to do a better job.

Roger Van Heel
Roger Van Heel, 60, has lived in St. Cloud since 1971 and has served as the Stearns County Attorney for the past 28 years. Born and raised in Melrose, he previously served in the U.S. Navy for four years, taught at the University of Minnesota Law School for 11 years (also where he attended law school), and served as the assistant county attorney prior to taking the top job.

He feels he has the experience, the knowledge, and the good judgment to continue to lead the office.

Mary Yunker
Mary Yunker, 47, has worked as a prosecutor in the Stearns County Attorney's Office for the past 16 years, the last 12 as the chief of the criminal prosecuting division. She graduated from Northwestern University Law School, served as an adjunct professor in criminal justice at SCSU for four years, still teaches at the James E. Preece Trial Advocacy School, and is the co-chair of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Education Committee. Having handled grand jury proceedings, prosecuted felony cases, and argued appeals in the appellate courts, she prides herself on being a good trial lawyer. She believes her experience in training other lawyers, her experience with the largest division in the county attorney's office, and her open communication will enable her to manage people and get the job done.

The Stearns County Recorder is responsible to maintain the files and records pertaining to real and personal property. Current county recorder Pat Overman has not filed for re-election. Residents throughout Stearns County will vote for their top choice, with the top two vote-getters to be on the final November ballot.

Diane Grundhoefer
Diane Grundhoefer, 47, has worked in the Stearns County Recorder's Office for 23 years, serving as the assistant county recorder for the past five years, where she has assisted the recorder in all office duties. She has lived in St. Cloud since 1974.

She feels her knowledge of state and federal laws, of the computer system used by the county, and of the financial management of the department make her a good candidate for the office. Through her work in the office, she also said that she has developed sincere care for the job and understanding of the duties of the county recorder.

Jerry Roering
Jerry Roering, 54, has lived in St. Cloud all his life and has worked in the Stearns County Auditor/ Treasurer's Office for the past 34 years. In that office, he has worked primarily with taxes, calculating taxes, tax rates, and tax forfeitures. He is running for county recorder because he feels he needs a new challenge and is ready for a change.

Joanie Rothstein
Joanie Rothstein, 58, was raised in Stearns County and has lived in St. Cloud for the past 15 years. She has worked for the county for 18 years: 15 years in the auditor's office and three years in the recorder's office, where she has worked in statutes and licenses and as the head clerk in the land records department. She also worked five years as a licensed realtor.

As county recorder, she thinks she can bring new ideas to the office and that it's time for a change in leadership. She said she will restore customer service, review new technologies, and renew efficiency.

Dana Schmid
Dana Schmid, 46, has lived in Sartell her entire life and has worked as a licensed abstrator of real estate titles for the past 16 years.

Since she works in seven counties, she feels she knows all the different systems. She said that she has always wanted to be the county recorder. She notes that she is the only candidate coming to the job with immediate experience in the private sector.

Current sheriff Jim Kostreba has not filed for re-election. Residents throughout the county will vote for their top choice as sheriff, and the top two vote-getters will be on the final ballot in November.

Tim DesMarais
Tim DesMarais, 42, has worked in the Stearns County Sheriff's Department for 22 years, as a jailer, jail sergeant, senior patrol officer, investigator, patrol sergeant, and, currently, as a human services fraud investigator. He also has served on the dive team, on the bike unit, on the water patrol, as an explorer advisor, and briefly on the S.W.A.T. team.

He feels the most satisfying part of his career was when he was part of the jail transition and had an opportunity to affect change, which he would like to do again as sheriff. He would like to increase efficiency and to better inform the public of the results of the department's investigations. He notes that he is the only candidate with supervisory experience both in patrol and at the jail, which he feels is important because much of the sheriff's responsibilities are at the jail.

Joseph Lichy
Joseph Lichy, 41, has worked for the sheriff's department for 21 years, including as a school resource officer, on the boat and water patrol, and on the snowmobile patrol. He has lived in Sartell for the past 12 years.

He has wanted to be sheriff since the beginning of his law enforcement career and is running because he thinks the department needs a change. He feels the department needs to do proactive law enforcement, starting by working with kids to keep them from crime.

Jim McDermott
Jim McDermott, 55, moved from Miami three years ago to Waite Park, where he serves as the chief of police. In Miami, he served for 15 years with the Metro-Dade Police Department. Prior to that he served for seven years as a part-time officer on the Waite Park Police Department, two years as a part-time officer with the sheriff's department, and three years with the St. Cloud Police Department as a reserve officer. He also was in business for ten years in St. Cloud.

He holds a master's degree in human resource development,is working on a Ph.D. in education, and has 15 years of experience in teaching aspects of police work on the collegiate level. He wants the sheriff's department to be more professional and feels his experience, in education and business as well as law enforcement, will help him think outside the box.

John Sanner
John Sanner, 48, has lived in St. Cloud and worked for the sheriff's department for the past 18 years. He earned an associate degree in law enforcement from Alexandria Technical College and is working on a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. At the sheriff's department, he has worked for five years on patrol, as a patrol sergeant for two years, as a detective for eight years, and as a captain for the past three years, a role where he supervises 70 employees.

Having worked in the department for 18 years, he wants to maintain the professionalism, feels he works well with the county administration and county board, wants to encourage preventative programs for youth and the elderly, and wants to be approachable if elected sheriff.

Current sheriff Don Kujawa has not filed for re-election. Residents throughout Kandiyohi County will vote for their top choice, and the two top vote getters will be on the ballot in November.

Daniel Burns
Daniel Burns, 38, was born in Hawick, graduated from New London-Spicer High School, earned an associate arts degree in law enforcement, and served one year as a police officer before joining the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Depart-ment in 1984. He used to serve on the S.W.A.T. team but now works as court security at the courthouse. Dan Hartog
He thinks the law needs to apply to everyone equally, and he saw some abuses that prompted him to run for sheriff, as he felt he needed to be in charge to affect change. He also thinks the media should be treated well.

Dan Hartog, 42, has lived in rural Atwater for nine years and in the county for over 20 years. He studied law enforcement at Willmar Community College, worked in Dodge Center for 13 months, and has worked in the sheriff‘s department for over 20 years, the last five years as the chief deputy. During his time with the department, he has been a patrol deputy, a dispatcher, a detective, a detective sergeant, and a member of the S.W.A.T. team.

As sheriff, he would want to improve an already good department. He feels he has the administrative experience and skills to manage a budget, handle personnel issues, and communicate with and supervise personnel.

Rick Kleinschmidt
Rich Kleinschmidt, 46, has lived in Kandiyohi County for the past 20 years and worked for the sheriff's department and the Willmar Police Department. He has an associate of arts degree in law enforcement and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. With 27 years of experience in law enforcement, he has worked as a police instructor, as a sniper, and a community policing coordinator. He currently is a patrol supervisor, with the rank of sergeant, with the Willmar Police Department.

He believes it is time for a change and different philosophy in the sheriff's department. He notes that he is the only candidate from outside the sheriff's department and feels the department needs improved drug enforcement, a greater presence in small towns, and needs a stronger relationship with the community.

These state races will also be on the primary ballots, with voters choosing the top candidate from their party and the top vote-getter in each race representing the party on the ballot in November. Remember that you can only vote for one party ticket throughout the primary ballot. If you cross party lines, your ballot will be considered spoiled.

DFL Party
Roger Moe/Julie Sabo (endorsed)

Ole Savior/Doug Lalone

Green Party
Richard Klatte/Mark Hanson

Ken Pentel/Rhoda Gilman (endorsed)

Independence Party
Bill Dahn/Rome Hanson

Tim Penny/Martha Robertson (endorsed)

Tim Pawlenty/Carol Molnau (endorsed)

Leslie Davis/Pete Wagner

DFL Party
Alve Erickson

Dick Franson

Paul Wellstone (endorsed)

Green Party
Ed McGaa (endorsed)

Ray Tricomo

Independence Party
William McGaughey

Jim Moore (endorsed)

Republican Party
Norm Coleman (endorsed)

Jack Shepard

These races will be listed on the primary ballot but are not being contested in the primary. These candidates will face each other in November.

Sixth Congressional
Dan Becker (Independence)

Mark Kennedy (Republican)

Janet Robert (DFL)

Seventh Congressional
Collin Peterson (DFL)

Dan Stevens (Republican)

House District 14B
Mark Slavik (DFL-St. Joseph)

Doug Stang (R-Cold Spring)

Senate District 13
Joe Gimse (R-Willmar)

Dean Elton Johnson (DFL-Willmar)

Senate District 14 Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville)

Lynn Schurman (DFL-Cold Spring)

Senate District 18
Steve Dille (Republican)

Paul Murray (Constitution)

Sheila Sudbeck (DFL)

Stearns County Commissioner District 5
Don Otte (Sauk Centre)

Contact the author at editor@paynesvillepress.com   •   Return to News Menu

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