2022 Brainerd Dispatch Voter's Guide

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BRAINERD DISPATCH VOTER’S GUIDE

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

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Brainerd School Board (Elect 3) Charles Black Lance Employment: Central Lakes College, director of TRIO programs. Public office experience: Four years on the ISD 181 School Board, board president for the Cass County Economic Development Corporation Black Lance of Directors, ISD 181 District Advisory Committee and American Indian Parent Advisory Committee, previous service on the ISD 181 Community Education Advisory Council. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I will provide fiscally responsible direction for our school district operating budget to ensure a balanced budget annually while keeping our focus on effectively educating our students. I will also continue to move the dial toward greater transparency by increasing effective communication with community members. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will build on existing efforts to increase communication and advocate for visible, effective and consistent communication from our schools and staff with families and the community. We will achieve greater transparency by collaborating with students, parents and the community to gain a clear understanding of what information is needed and how they prefer district or school information communicated to them. As a school district we must begin our yearly operating budget discussions earlier than previously practiced. We will have community discussions as we walk through our operating budget process moving forward. This will provide valuable input and transparency. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a current ISD 181 school board member, I have four years experience in providing oversight for our district operating budget, superintendent and making informed decisions. I helped provide leadership to navigate our district through the recent pandemic. I understand the challenges ISD 181 faces. I will be the longest tenured school board member and will provide continuity and experience to our school board. I have three children within ISD 181. I am an active, visible school board member, consistently taking part in many district wide activities. I have 24 years of large budget management experience in higher education. DJ Dondelinger Employment: Small business owner. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to get back to basics and focus on excellent academics for everyDondelinger one. Teachers and students are leaving the district at an alarming rate. I want to stop this. Brainerd graduates should be smart, confident, independent thinkers prepared for their future. These are our future leaders. They deserve better. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would start with the curriculum. There are too many agendas and not enough arithmetic. More time needs to be spent on reading, writing, math, science and history. Getting administration and educators to work together on elevating these subjects will be my main objective for ISD 181. I would also address behavioral problems. Other districts do not tolerate students disrespecting, swearing at, biting, hitting or kicking their teachers. Why should we? I will make sure the district’s current policies are being enforced plus add or remove policies, so our schools get back on track and back on top. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m focusing on the students, not the candidates. This is not a popularity contest for me. I’m not a politician. I sell cars. As a driven business leader, I see an opportunity to improve our schools by leveraging my 30 years of experience dealing with finances, budgets, advertising and cost-cutting. ISD 181 is running a $1.8 million deficit this school year. Unacceptable. The district budget is over $96 Million, which is about $15,000 per student. I’m confident we can balance the budget while paying our teachers and administrators a fair wage. It’s time to get things done.

Randy “RJ” Heidmann Employment: Retirement plan consultant (retired). Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Remove progressive politics from the classroom and the Heidmann division that it causes. Focus on academic excellence in order to prepare our children for life’s challenges. Support teachers in controlling their classrooms so they can do their job effectively. Propose a pro-education prudent budget. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? We need to remain vigilant in reviewing curriculum content for progressive ideology. Academic excellence can be accomplished by focusing on the core subject matters: reading, writing, math, proper history, computer, trade, life and critical thinking skills. Excellence, not equity, by raising the bar for all not lowering it. Reinstitute the valedictorian and salutatorian honors. Respect for teachers must be restored through strict discipline measures supported by district policy and administrators. Add teacher assistants where needed. Fiscal transparency is required. I believe in targeted spending and cuts with education needs trumping administrative/ bureaucratic needs. Use common-sense approaches to solve problems. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Working 45 years as a consultant interpreting IRS tax laws and regulations takes a lot of time reading and study. After making your interpretation, you must then work with other consultants to determine the company’s position as others have different interpretations. Collaborative teamwork is essential in reaching consensus, so a company position is determined. After this process was completed, I had to explain in layman’s terminology tax laws and accompanying regulations to employees of financial organizations so they could then explain it to their customer. This experience will make me a better board member! Elisa Korentayer Employment: Author, public speaker, singer-songwriter, teaching artist. Former nonprofit expert and project manager. Public office experience: None. What do you want to Korentayer accomplish if elected? Ensure a world-class education for every child; remedy achievement gaps exacerbated by pandemic; meet students where they are, as who they are, every day; revive community connections with communication — bring the stories of the school to the community, and bring the community into the schools. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Leverage STEM, vocational/trade programming, arts, special education, and community relationships to prepare students for a complex global economy; develop creative strategies for post-pandemic academic recovery; ensure schools have necessary resources to handle the wide variety of needs for the full range of students; spend time each week in schools, visible to teachers and students and able to answer questions from the community. I will lead storytelling events for sharing school successes, Q&As to help parents to see inside the schools, and act as community liaison to the board. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I offer a broad array of skills to enhance the Board. I have nonprofit management experience from cofounding an international nonprofit and advising organizations as an independent consultant. As a project manager and professional facilitator, I led conversations between government leaders and Fortune 500 executives. I bring financial skill from time as a Wall Street investment banker. As a professional literary, performing and teaching artist, I am an expert in communicating ideas. I volunteer weekly in my sons’ classrooms. As a parent of a kindergartener and second-grader, I will be active in the Brainerd schools for the next 13 years.

Derek Owen Employment: General manager of the Northern Pacific Center. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to ensure that our students Owen and staff have the best possible experience being a part of District 181. I want to provide our teachers with all the necessary tools and resources to prepare our students for their future after graduation. Create a sense of pride! Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? We need more transparency with our teachers, staff and community. We need to show them that now more than ever, they have our support. Allow our teachers to teach and take back their classrooms. Have manageable class sizes to allow students the proper attention they deserve from their teachers. Enforce policies and disciplinary procedures. Eliminate the outside distractions so our kids can learn and feel safe in their environment. Promote athletics, arts and opportunities for students to broaden their learning and personal traits. Create a positive, supportive culture by instilling accountability and respect for each other. Foster strong leadership. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have a degree in Public Relations and a board member should be doing constant PR for the district. I have many years of board service through multiple organizations and am active in our community through volunteerism. Currently, I am the assistant freshman football coach and head sophomore baseball coach for ISD181. With my wife teaching at BHS, two children in our schools, and my coaching experience, has allowed me to be one of the most in touch candidates with the happenings of our district. I have great relationship building and communication skills vital to this position. Lowell Smith Employment: Program director/faculty paramedicine, St. Cloud Technical & Community College. Past: 42 years in public safety of which 10 years were in law enforcement in Texas and North Dakota as a police offiSmith cer and a drug enforcement agent. 12 years working as a paid firefighter/paramedic and the last 20 years in EMS working in every capacity from a flight paramedic, EMS manager to currently teaching the future of my profession. Public office experience: Numerous state level task forces, some focused on recruitment and retention, scope of practice and curriculum, and EMS committees on stroke, trauma and cardiac care. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I’m running because I feel public education is mired in partisan political distractions. With no political aspirations, I want to get involved to influence positive change within our public schools. Public education should be a nonpartisan effort to improve the lives of our children and, in turn, our future community. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? If elected, I will: attempt to pass and enact policy on a parent’s bill of rights; focus policy to raise academic standards in Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies; ensure ISD 181 has a successful safety plan, tools, a safety team and training to identify students or situations that may lead to violence. I will work for our parents, educators and students to return to a focus on education. I will support parents being engaged in their child’s education. I support empowering all to ensure our children are independent thinkers, who are either career or college ready. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My passion to improve the quality of public education in our community. I am sincerely dedicated to learning. I believe everyone can achieve at least grade level success. I am driven by improved outcomes and performance. I believe decisions should be based on the best interests of the community, not individual constituents, or single-interest groups. I respect others’ views and have a strong desire to work to build consensus. I am not embedded into the status quo if it’s not producing the desired results. I have a commitment to public service, not personal gain or ambition.

Sarah Speer Employment: Marketing and public relations leader at Sourcewell. Public office experience: I am a current school board director for ISD #181. Although not considered public positions, I’ve served on Speer other boards and committees such as the Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership Team, Brainerd Business Council, co-chair for the outreach committee for the referendum in 2018 and other community groups. What do you want to accomplish if elected? My priority is ensuring a high-quality education for our students. It takes community support and partnership, transparent communication, a solid strategic plan, and fiscal responsibility at a board level to empower that success. I will continue to be a sensible voice for the community and a collaborative contributor. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? School board members are called to help create, support, communicate and be held accountable to a vision. I welcome the challenges ahead as we chart that path. I am invested in public education, trusted and able to make difficult decisions, and conscientious about fiscal responsibility. As a board member, I take personally that we are the district’s direct connection to the community, we are respectful of what taxpayers can afford, and we are trusted to research and be informed about issues, decisions, and impacts on students and learning. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am an accessible and connected representative with a commonsense approach. My experiences as a parent, professional, former educator and community member offer a well-rounded perspective at the board table. I am invested in children and opportunities for all to reach their highest potential. Raising my children in the district, I see the direct impacts of leadership decisions and committed staff and teachers. I am interested in and connected to the work in the district through volunteering in the schools, supporting music and activities as a parent and cheerleader, serving on the district advisory committee and other various roles.

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BRAINERD DISPATCH | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

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Brainerd School Board special election (Elect 2) Anthony Bonsante Employment: Truck driver at North Central Transfer. Public office experience: Shakopee School Board and Crosby-Ironton School Board. What do you want to accomplish if elected? First and foremost, I want to work collaboraBonsante tively with the staff — including teachers, the superintendent, parents — to build an environment where students want to attend school. I think the environment that surrounds our students has to be healthy, happy, safe and fun so that kids want to continue with school. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? It would have to be a group effort. It takes a village to raise a child, and I think we would have to get the community, all staff members and parents to come together and build focus groups to find out what everyone truly wants. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but over a course of time, I think we can build a wonderful school district. We have a great district already, but I would like it to be better suited to our students. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’ve served on school boards before, and I’m a no-nonsense type of guy. I’m not politically charged, and political affiliation doesn’t matter to me as much as what’s best for the students and taxpayers in the district. I’m very blunt, honest, straight to the point, and I have no personal agenda to get elected. I just want to make a better district and a better environment for our schools and students. Michelle Brekken Employment: Retired school social worker. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to use my professional experience, working with educators and Brekken families, to help ensure all students have access to a compassionate, inclusive, evidence-based education. I hope to foster a collaborative environment where all the stakeholders work together to serve our students, our schools and our community. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Ensure all students have access to high quality education, giving them the best chance to become good citizens, achieve academic success and thrive in our global world. Establish, monitor and uphold school district vision, mission and policy. Support the superintendent in the day to day management of the school district. Manage resources to facilitate student success. Be responsive to community voices in public education in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the school district and the community at large. Our schools are stronger and safer when the citizens of the community work together to support our youngest learners. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I was employed for 32 years as a Pre K-12 school social worker in two area school districts. I am a licensed school social worker with the Minnesota Department of Education and a licensed Social Worker with the state of Minnesota, Board of Social Work. Due to my tenure in the public schools, I was privileged to serve on student support, staff development, behavior intervention and crisis response teams. I was the district and school assessment coordinator. I also assisted in implementing trauma informed school practices at the district and school level. I am an experienced student/family/educator advocate.

Tris Cluever Employment: Self-employed day care. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Most important is to assist parents and teachers in providing an Cluever educational curriculum and experience that is age appropriate and challenging for every student. At the same time find a way to solve the budget shortfalls without adding pressure on students, parents and educators. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? First do my homework in exploring different teaching techniques and curriculums. Then fully understand the inner workings of the fiscal report — ask questions! Review with parents and educators our current curriculum and have open discussions about how the curriculum is being delivered to the student. There may be a better way of delivering curriculums, but people have to have an open mind and be willing to problem-solve. Then ask how any change would affect the fiscal budget and put in place a checks and balance of goals and outcomes. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? ISD 181 has a vast variety of educational programs from the ages of 0-21. These programs include ECFE, MAPS, AEC, special needs (physical and mental), and K-12. I have been involved in all of these programs on a personal and professional level. I am set apart from all the rest of the field because I listen with respect, ask questions and never give up until an answer is found. Jessica Lynn Forsberg Employment: None/disabled. Public office experience: Minnesota Government Engineering Council, Labor Management Committee while working for Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Forsberg What do you want to accomplish if elected? A deep understanding of the current issues, (opposing views and why), solve previously unresolved issues and tackle upcoming issues. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Read the room, understand what members are passionate about, talk with all stakeholders and devise viable solutions. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I come with a fresh set of eyes and no ties to any particular group. I’m unbiased and care deeply about kids. My engineering background and math skills have provided me the technical rootcause analysis method and my people skills allow me to determine what goes unspoken and to develop strong, trusting, relationships with all people, which fosters unprecedented, productive, collaborations.

Trevor Mulholland Employment: Business manager. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to make ISD 181 a great experience for all students, staff Mulholland and parents. We also need to support our teachers and let them do what they do best. And we need to gain trust back from the community. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Focus needs to be put back on preparing students for real life scenarios with basic life skills and education. Preparing them for real life and put them on a path for successful and fulfilling lives, regardless of their path after high school. Earn community trust assuring everyone their voices are being heard and that their input is valuable in making the district a success for years to come. The community needs to know the district has an open-door policy and all are welcome. Then we can truly make Brainerd Public schools a place that everyone feels they belong. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a parent and lifelong lakes area resident I have a vested interest in our community and the success of our students. I am eager and willing to participate in meetings to work on the best outcomes for our children, parents and staff. I bring a unique and fresh perspective to the board. Some of my strengths are my willingness to learn and understand so I can make the best educated decisions for all students. I am also willing to take on any task and hold myself accountable to see them through to the end. Mike Stanek Employment: Minnesota Army National Guard. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to ensure that every student feels safe and is offered a Stanek welcoming educational environment. I want to focus on a policy-driven, moderate approach of getting back to the basic fundamentals in our educational system, while advocating for all students in a balanced, equitable learning atmosphere. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I cannot accomplish anything alone. Cooperation with district leadership is imperative to advocate for students, educators and parents. Collaboration creates a nonpartisan educational environment for our students. Everyone deserves to have their voices heard. Students’ voices should not be overlooked. Educators arguably spend more time with our children during any one day; we must entrust them with our precious entity, our kids. Parents want to be respected by the district, however trust and respect should be reciprocated to fully maximize the capabilities of each student. I am hoping to be given the opportunity to join those voices together. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? A Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with Mathematics emphasis, being a substitute teacher, and 20+ years of military service gives me a unique lens to view the diverse topics facing our district. My ability to listen with a non-partisan mindset sets me apart from others. I am very collaborative with past and current board members and was one of few community members that attended the superintendent selection process. Lastly, I feel that the best candidates should have children in the district and can understand the current climate of the district in order to make thoughtful decisions on their behalf. David Stimac Employment: Retired USAF Colonel, substitute school teacher in District 181 and 182, assistant baseball coach at Crosby-Ironton High School, Brainerd youth hockey coach. Public office experience: None. Stimac What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to ensure our public schools provide the best possible educational opportunities for our children. It starts with hiring the most qualified teachers and having a professional staff that can support them. Our curriculum must remain relevant and challenging to best prepare our students for success after high school. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would start by meeting with our school principals to understand how they are being supported. I would make myself available to the teachers to better understand what they need to enhance their classrooms and their careers. I would also seek inputs from our parents, businesses and community members to ensure we are preparing our students for success beyond high school, whether they enter the workforce, learn a trade or attend college. Finally, I would dig into our budget process, existing contracts and current policies to ensure we are making the best use of our limited, but valuable resources. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have a Bach-

elor of Science Degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Master’s Degree from Troy State University. I served 29 years on active duty spanning 12 duty assignments, serving in seven states, two countries, and a deployment to Iraq. I spent the last 15 years of my military career in executive leadership positions making tough decisions that affected budgets, policies and personnel. My career has provided me amazing leadership experiences and educational opportunities that I can bring to the District 181 School Board to ensure we continue to offer the best education for all of our students. John Ward Employment: Retired educator/coach/advisor, retired licensed insurance agent. Public office experience: City Council in Proctor, Minnesota House of Representatives, City Council in Baxter. Ward What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to provide my passion, knowledge, years of educational experience, communication/listening skills, teamwork, problem solving work ethic, educational connections, fiscal responsibility and other God given skills while always keeping our students, staff and community as a top priority in continuing to move our great district forward. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will use my 34 plus years in public education and my God given talent and skills to help guide our children’s public school experiences and opportunities to the best fiscally responsible experience we can provide for them. We need to recruit and retain the best licensed educators available. We need to look closely at class sizes. We need to also let our support staff know how important they are to the team. We need to have vigorous academics, but also not forget about classes that provide lifelong skills. Extra and co-curricula opportunities are also very important. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I was very honored and trusted to develop, implement and teach/direct about eight new, unique and innovative highly successful educational and athletic programs for multiple public school districts or agencies. I will base my decisions based on my research, homework, facts and listening to all who want to give me their opinion. We also need to have strong community and business ties/partnerships. Board members need to work as a team, respecting the chain of command but asking questions and offer suggestions when needed. They should also know how to advocate and lobby for our students’ needs. Brent Yaunick Employment: Electrician at Brainerd Public Utilities. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? To become more involved in the community and to represent Yaunick the parents, students and community with transparency from input and feedback that is received. Also, to increase community involvement and support in the process. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? By making sure communication from the community is heard by all board members to help make the best decisions moving forward. To have the “why” decisions are made. For increasing involvement, try by reaching out through the students to increase parent involvement in the process. With more feedback I feel we would have a better understanding of what the community wants from the school district. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? First and most important, I will not make a decision without reason. I am a volunteer at heart and want to give back to the community. I am very hardworking and offer a fresh face that has not been in public office of any kind. I look forward to problem solving and want in the worst way to have every voice in the school district represented when it comes to the decision making process.

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BRAINERD DISPATCH VOTER’S GUIDE

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

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Crow Wing County Board Commissioner District 2 Jon Lubke Employment: Retired owner of a chain of Auto Value parts stores in the Brainerd lakes area. Public office experience: Serving as mayor of the city of Jenkins for Lubke the last 15 years. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to work hard at bringing people and organizations together to focus on solutions and stop focusing on who to blame. My campaign motto is “Stronger Together,” and I truly believe in the power of collaboration to serve the residents of Crow Wing County. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Small businesses are the backbone of communities. I will actively respond to their needs and ensure they have the support they need to thrive. We are currently facing critical child care, housing and workforce shortages. Together we need to tackle these economic issues and strengthen our local economy. Furthermore, I will accomplish my goals by having candid and open dialogue with the city and townships of the county. I believe we can work closely together to identify our shared challenges and come up with solutions that will make us the best county in the state to live, work, and play. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a servant-leader at heart. I managed a service business for 30 years and served the citizens of Jenkins as mayor for the last 15 years. I have lived in Crow Wing County District 2 for the last 49 years, raised my family here, a retired small business owner, and an involved leader in church. I also serve on a number of area boards, including Habitat for Humanity, Region 5 Development Commission, Pequot Lakes EDC, Heartland Cable Commission, and League of Minnesota Cities. I am committed to serving citizens of the county that I love in a full-time capacity. Robin Sylvester Employment: Currently I work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation Controller/Office of Financial Management Director. Previous employSylvester ment includes financial leadership with Military Affairs at Camp Ripley, Minnesota Department of Human Services in Brainerd, Bemidji State Universi-

ty, and the Minnesota Department of Corrections. I have also been a small business owner and currently participate in a family business. Public office experience: I have not held an elected public office position. As a state of Minnesota Financial Management Leader, I’ve served on a National Transportation Research Review Board, community emergency planning team, and many other state, local and stakeholder teams over the years. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Work with the community on responsible growth for economic development, housing, and preservation of the environment. Safety, security and access to services for residents and visitors is always something I will strive for. Lower taxes through the evaluation of county programs, reducing spending will always be a priority. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Increase the community engagement through cross functional/task force teams. Teams could include members of the public, industry experts, local officials, and a commissioner to address these issues together. Teams should develop strategies of engagement, communication, outreach and recommendations together. We should allow for public information and feedback sessions to enhance trust and transparency. The more difficult the topic, the more critical it is to bring teams together. Eliminate unnecessary laws and expensive “nice to have” government programs. Push back on state or federal unfunded mandates. Simplify government and partner, when able, to minimize the taxpayer burden. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am the candidate for “We the People”! My personal priorities are God, Family, Country. The experience I have has provided a solid foundation for me to step into the county commissioner position. Investment planning, financial management, internal controls, authoring/interpreting and implementing law/regulation/policy and procedures, evaluating and mitigating risk, shortand long-term planning, and working with internal and external teams is what makes a great organization. As a taxpayer funded position, I will continue to serve this great county through my commitment of hard work and representation of the voice of the people I serve.

Commissioner District 3

Barrows

Steve Barrows Employment: Crow Wing County Commissioner District 3. Public Office Experience: Elected to the Baxter City Council (2014), Elected to the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners District

3 (2018). What do you want to accomplish if elected? Produce a responsible budget, protect our natural resources, and ensure that Crow Wing County is the No. 1 place to live and recreate, and encourage business growth. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Budget: Work with the Senior Management Team to produce the levy goal proposed by the board. Protect our Natural Resources: Continually review land use ordinances, work with Land Services staff, lake associations, Realtors, and developers for their expertise concerning this issue. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have 8 years of local government service as an elected official. I worked for DHS for 28 years, the last 7 years managing a $70 million dollar budget for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. I feel a county commissioner is a full-time position; I do not have any outside employment, I have the time, the energy, and the passion to commit to this responsibility. District 3 residents deserve a Commissioner that will be available and work on a full-time basis. Tad A. Erickson Employment: Senior Transportation Planner, Region Five Development Commission. Public office experience: Brainerd City Council (2019-Present). Erickson Safety and Public Works Committee. Council liai-

son to the Northland Arboretum Board of Directors, Planning Commission, Transportation Advisory Council and Fire Advisory Board. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to enable residents, through low taxes, less regulation and less spending. I want to create an economic environment that will mobilize individuals, seniors, families, workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses to combat the mental health crisis, the housing crisis, the workforce shortage, and a host of other challenges through innovation. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will pursue progrowth policies that benefit families, seniors, workers, entrepreneurs and businesses through lower taxes, the reduction of restrictive regulations, and reduced government spending. I believe that individuals, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and businesses, not government, are better suited to address a host of issues faced by the county today. To harness the boundless potential that exists, we need to enable the community to address the rise of mental health issues, housing shortage, low wages, and low workforce participation. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’ve worked in local government for over a decade. Additionally, I have served on the Brainerd City Council (2019–Present) where I’m currently council liaison to the Northland Arboretum, Planning Commission, Transportation Advisory Council, and the Fire Advisory Board. Because families, workers and seniors are getting hammered by high costs and high taxes, one strength of my candidacy is that I am myself both a worker and raising a family — and I think that message will really resonate with voters; that by not being a retired person, I’ll be able to better recognize the needs and represent all residents.

Commissioner District 4 Rosemary Franzen Employment: County Commissioner, Ticket Manager for ISD No. 181. Public office experience: I am the current Crow Wing County Commissioner for Franzen District 4. I previously served one term on the Baxter City Council. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to continue the financial success the board has seen. I’m proud of the eight consecutive years of reduced property taxes and I want to continue to hold taxes down! Expanding day care and broadband in our community are also important. I want businesses to thrive and provide good jobs. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Crow Wing County has invested $1,641,000 in day care expansion in our community and financed over $4.5 million in broadband, with $1.8 million spent in District 4. We’ve provided $2,891,000 in small business assistance with federal COVID relief money. We need to continue to establish relationships and develop networks with other organizations to help expand business, build community and create jobs in Crow Wing County. We need to protect property rights for all constituents and make sure ordinances aren’t cumbersome for individuals or businesses, but still protect our environment as the engine of local progress. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have experience and sound judgment. I take this job seriously. I listen and treat everyone with dignity and respect. I know how to make tough choices without offending those I disagree with. I’m a proven conservative

with a 1.77% average tax increase on my watch. I never forget that we’re spending your hard-earned money and we need to take as little as possible. I work well with area legislators and I know how to get things done. When we work together, nothing can stop us. It’s been my honor to serve; I humbly ask for your vote. Troy Kenneth Scheffler Employment: Legal. Public office experience: None, I have no interest in being or becoming a career politiScheffler cian nor sit on the County Board for 20 years like the incumbent hopes. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Bring service and civic duty back to the board rather than shame-

lessly using the position as a retirement program at 72 years of age with pension and medical included. With me on the board, we will again take charge of the county instead of allowing administrative bureaucrats making the decisions. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Slam the brakes on this incessant obsession with taking grants from the state and federal government that have strings attached, are temporary, and keep us under the thumb of the state while costing us tenfold more than what the grant originally offered. Reverse the lack of transparency such as when Rosemary Franzen voted to hold certain “public meetings” behind locked doors in the County Administrator’s meeting room and remove them from being aired on YouTube. I will remain active

on Facebook on what I am doing for my constituents unlike Rosemary whose Facebook gets a post every eight years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I don’t want the position for what it provides me, I want the position out of obligation to the community; so, I’m donating $10,000 of my first year’s salary. Rosemary Franzen claims to listen to the people; she hasn’t bothered campaigning outside of Baxter for 16 years and instead has taken votes outside Baxter for granted and has used the population of Baxter worse than counting cattle for votes. I’m on pace to knock on every voter’s door in the entire district. Those that I may not reach, I will continue knocking after I am elected out of respect. PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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Brainerd City Council At-large Jeff Czeczok Employment: I decided many years ago to involve myself in local government and I consider this involvement in government as my occupation. Public office experience: City Council 1996 appointee Czeczok to Transportation Advisory Committee and current chair, Council appointee in 2012 to the Brainerd Regional Airport Commission and current chair, Council appointee in 2016 to the Brainerd Charter Commission and current chair. Two years member of Brainerd’s Walkable/Bikeable Committee and various committees as Airport Commissioner. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I will continue to support businesses and provide good city services. I will back Park Board efforts and continue to improve housing. Brainerd’s Police and Fire Departments can count on my continued support. I will work hard to minimize levy increases. I will listen to all sides of issues. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? With few exceptions, the City Council has done well over the past several years and have been respectful to the citizens. I have no hidden agenda and no ax to grind. I look forward to working together with Brainerd’s elected officials and staff to give the best services and facilities to the people of Brainerd. Police protection and fire protection are paramount in our world and will be respected. Streets, parks, buildings, water and electrical infrastructure all require maintenance and improvements and I will work hard to continue these, always with concerns for the taxpayers at the forefront. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? 27 years of being involved in local government as an appointed official has provided me with a significant education related

to the workings of the city of Brainerd. Even though I’ve learned a great deal over this period of time, I still find myself learning something new on a regular basis. I do my best to verify information before I move forward with it and I always try to make certain others do the same. If someone tells me something they claim is factual, I will either ask them to prove their claims or I’ll independently find out the facts. Justin Grecula Employment: Mortgage processor, First Western Bank & Trust. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? If elected I would work to increase Grecula pedestrian safety, remove barriers to smart development, and reduce city costs where possible. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Currently our neighborhood streets are designed like highways. As major street projects (reconstruction, water/sewer work) occur I would work to redesign them for their function. Redesigned streets would reduce construction/ maintenance costs. I would continue working to update the zoning code to allow smart neighborhood development. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m certain we both want what is best for the city and its residents. Where we differ are our backgrounds and the approaches we will take to solving issues. I have two adolescent children; every decision I make I think about how it impacts them now and in the future. I feel that I would be the best candidate because I am honest, forward looking, will listen to and consider others opinions, and am not afraid to dive deep into researching a subject.

Brainerd City Council Ward 1 (special election) Leonard Skillings Employment: Management analyst II, state of Minnesota. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Address the bicycling / electric Skillings scooters and such. We say we are a bicycle friendly town yet people do not know the rules and such. Homelessness, street conditions, mental health / chemical dependency issues. Waste in the budget! Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Have open discussions with police department, street department and social services. Questions would be who, what and why or why not. There are concerns here that could be better addressed. I still see a stigma regarding people who struggle with mental health and addiction. There are wasted dollars in our system that could help cut the budget. We need to address our streets. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m not so sure I have any abilities or qualifications that separate me from the competition. I’m willing to do the research, be open minded, look at both sides of the picture, listen to the people and then make informed decisions about matters at hand. I’m conservative, being a Marine, I learned to do more with less, and I try to practice this in my life. If it can be done, we can find a way. Perseverance is a necessity. As a council member I’d do my best to be prudent and trust the process to accomplish the tasks.

Kara Terry Employment: Crow Wing County. Public office experience: Four years city council in Champlin. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to further the work of Terry the existing council related to downtown Brainerd. I would also like to work on our lack of affordable, quality housing in Brainerd. Housing, or a lack thereof, is a hindrance to further economic growth in our area. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will continue the River to Rails work and support small business in Brainerd. I will meet with small business owners to understand their interests and do what I can to support them. In relation to housing, I will meet with the EDA, BLADEC, the Initiative Foundation, the HRA and other stakeholders to understand the existing stock and ways we can increase that stock. This may occur through refurbishment or new build. I will then work to develop an action plan to move the meetings into the work of making things happen. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a servant leader. I have worked in city/county government all of my life. As a government employee, I am not in it for the glamour; I am in it to make a difference in the lives of others. I know this sounds cheesy but it really is who I am. I have a proven track record of results and outcomes and would bring that experience to the council. I will listen to those I represent and will do my best to represent those viewpoints at the local, state and federal level.

Brainerd City Council Ward 4 Gabe Johnson Employment: Devine Johnson Marketing. Public office experience: Two terms on Brainerd City Council. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Johnson I want to continue to effect positive change in the community where my family lives. To me that looks like continued economic and housing development, investment in our parks and neighborhoods, and long-term financial planning. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Listen to the citizens to learn where the needs are and address those as they come. Continue working with the business community on economic development initiatives. Work with developers on in-fill housing development. Work with the park board on a sustainable master plan. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Municipal government experience is what separates me from my competitor. I have been council president, chair of personnel and finance, chair of the HRA, and chair of the EDA, so I have been intimately involved in city government for years. I

have a proven track record of doing the homework, and doing the work, and if you vote for me you can trust that I will do the best job I can. Emily LeClaire Employment: Journey North Community Church, children’s ministry campus coordinator. Public office experience: Four years Crow Wing County Head LeClaire Start Parent Committee member, four years TCC Policy Council Delegate, three years Minnesota Head Start Association Parent Affiliate Delegate from TCC, two years Minnesota Head Start Association Board of Directors. What do you want to accomplish if elected? My priority is to ensure and advocate for the well being of my constituents; keeping Brainerd residents at the forefront of all decisions. It’s my desire to bring a fresh voice and more diverse representation to the city council. I will also work to support law enforcement and first responders. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? By establishing and maintaining multiple streams of communication i.e. Facebook, emails and blogs,

along with phone calls and in person meetings. This will keep Brainerd citizens informed as much as possible and give them opportunity to have their voices heard. Many groups in our population are underrepresented; including women, single parents and those living below the poverty threshold. Belonging to all three, I’ll provide much needed representation. Law enforcement and first responders are overburdened by mental health crises. My goal is to bring more mental health professionals to our area and encourage interagency cooperation throughout to lessen that burden. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? We need a more diverse council with fresh ideas. For a long time, I feel the council has focused work on businesses, and specifically developing the downtown area. However, my philosophy would be a bit on the contrary, focusing on our residents first. If Brainerd is a great place to live, more people will want to live here, and businesses will follow. That said, I have experience engaging across counties and the state in cooperation and advocacy, skills I believe will be necessary to lobby the state and federal government, and to effectively cooperate with neighboring cities and agencies.

REBUILD • Respect and value staff by building back trusting relationships • Rebuild and repair severed partnerships with county leadership, as well as other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies This ad is paid for by the Klang for Sheriff Committee


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Baxter City Council (Elect 2) Amy Bogart Employment: Small business owner. Public office experience: This is my first time running for public office What do you want to accomplish if elected? I have three main goals: 1. KeepBogart ing regulations manageable, allowing for businesses and families to make reasonable changes to their properties and entities without major regulatory interference. 2. Responsible zoning and planning, and wise growth management. 3. Wise budgeting, being cognizant of spending during our current economic climate. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will work with and listen to city employees, professionals and board members to meet the priorities I listed and invite input from community members and stakeholders throughout any decisions. Change could come through altering our permitting processes as well as our tax code and our long and short range planning. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? A key differential between me and any of the other current Baxter City Council members is that as a resident with two family owned businesses in Baxter, I offer a business owner’s perspective on the real impact of regulations, taxes, zoning and infrastructure. This perspective

would add diversity to the board that is currently missing. Other experiences that I offer is a history of union negotiation on both sides of the table, as well as a working knowledge of finance, budgeting and economics that began with my degree in Business and Economics from Hamline University. Connie Lyscio Employment: Retired District 181 Physical Education Teacher. Currently employed as a Licensed Agent with Positive Realty and part time Sales Associate at Birgits Jewelers. Public Office Experience: Lyscio Baxter City Council — currently serving a four year term. What do I hope to accomplish if elected? I plan to support and guide Baxter’s current and future growth (industrial, commercial and residential) and encourage continued development of our parks and trails. I believe a multi use property development (ie – senior housing, day care, recreational facility, special interests and dog park) would be a needed and wonderful addition. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Referring to the city’s long range plan to confirm projects align and always keeping costs at the forefront and the impact it will have on residents and businesses are my priority. It is no secret to city staff that I am a huge advocate of work/life balance and emotional health. The pandemic affected every

aspect of our lives and emphasized the importance of leisure time, human interaction and having access to well maintained parks and recreational facilities. I believe emotional wellness contributes to every aspect of a healthy community. It is naïve to think I can do everything, but I can definitely do something. What abilities or qualifications separate me from the competition? What makes me the best candidate? I have great respect and admiration for anyone wanting to serve, providing there is no personal agenda. Having a career in public education has taught me the importance of making a difference, even if it is for only one person, one business, or one family. I am always a bit surprised when I am “thanked for listening/responding” especially given that I am thankful that citizens or business owners took the initiative to reach out to me. A public office is a public trust. I believe I have earned that trust while serving the past term and desire another four years to improve and grow for the people of Baxter. Zach Tabatt Employment: Program officer at Initiative Foundation Public office experience: 4 years on Baxter City Council and current member of Crow Wing County HRA board. What do you want to Tabatt accomplish if elected? I will continue to encourage business and residential growth while also advocating for improved

efficiency of operations and infrastructure. I will work to balance competing needs so Baxter can maintain a high quality of life and vibrant business community. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? By reinvigorating our economic development authority and improving collaboration with BLAEDC, the Chamber of Commerce, and others. These relationships can help the city be more creative with future development. By supporting new businesses and residential development, the city can improve job opportunities and balance the costs of government. The city’s job is to provide for public safety, quality infrastructure, and clear and concise city regulations. I will continue to support our great police department. I will also continue to advocate for the right sized infrastructure to balance costs and growth. I always advocate for clear, simple city codes. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Experience. I know the realities of working with people and getting things done. I have been a police officer, a financial advisor, and I currently run business-related trainings for regional nonprofits. I am completing my first term on the city council, giving me first-hand experience in the operations of this city. I have built relationships with partners across Crow Wing County and I have a longterm stake in this community. My wife, Jessica, works in the area and my two daughters are at the beginning of their school years. I am committed to Baxter for the long-term.

Cass County Soil and Water Supervisor, District 5 Jennifer O’Neill Employment: Retired. My career spans over 30 years as a news reporter, communications and human resources manager leading large technical programs in the agricultural, food and financial services sectors. I have managed staff and collaborative teams and balanced budgets while dealing with resource constraints. Public office experience: Ten years of combined service as director of two Minnesota lake associations, including the Leech Lake Association (currently). A Minnesota Land Trust monitor; certified Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Detector, and Minnesota Master Naturalist. Founding member of Minnesota Women for Agriculture. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I walk the talk. SWCD informs community members about the benefits of using SWCD funds to implement conservation projects and makes important decisions about their funding requests. My strong communication and business management experience will be valuable to broaden SWCD’s reach in Cass County’s lake, forest and agricultural settings. I blend environmental knowledge and decision-making with hands-on experience gained as a business leader, Minnesota Master Naturalist and lake association director, plus energy, enthusiasm and a passion for conservation. I actively walk lands for Minnesota Land Trust and I am regularly knee-deep in water projects with lake associations. Jon D. Osowski Employment: I am a retired Milwaukee police officer, Walker area resident currently substitute teaching and coaching basketball. I have the time to give back to the lakes that I have enjoyed fishing in the area for 40 years. Public office experience: No prior public office experience. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Osowski you the best candidate for the job? I have experience in the U.S. coast guard with invasive species (zeebs) in lake Michigan. We need to continue our efforts and funding with the DNR on protection, inspection, and education; but also realizing we have infected lakes and bodies of water in our county that need study and long-term plans and management.

Bob Wright Employment: Retired, continuing to share knowledge by training new employees for Environmental Resource Specialist Cass County Environmental Service Department (ESD)/Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD). ConWright ducting the culvert inventory for One Watershed One Plan. Public office experience: Twenty-five years accumulative experience working as an Environmental Resource Specialist Cass County ESD/ SWCD. Point-person for the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act, member of the Technical Evaluation Panel for wetlands, work with property owners to process shoreland/land alterations permits, cost share practices, land erosion issues, septic system review and inspection, zoning permits, and correct violations contrary to state statute and county ordinances. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Through my broad experience I have had the benefit of learning and working from the ground level in these watershed practices. I am well prepared to understand and collaboratively apply a comprehensive watershed program. My capacity to engage with citizens, experts, and other stakeholder groups, along with my technical experience will help me achieve that delicate balance between people and our natural resources by offering long term goals, objectives and action plans that will preserve and continue one of our greatest natural assets for everyone to enjoy throughout Cass County Soil & Water Conservation District. Thank you for your consideration.

Commissioner District 4 Scott D. Bruns Employment: Retired. Public office experience: Walker Volunteer Fire Dept: 35 years, Fire Chief: 10 years, Cass County Commissioner District 4: 8 years, city of Walker Councilor: 10 years; Mayor: 3 years. Bruns What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a life-long resident of Cass County and a self-employed business owner for over 40 years in District 4, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. During my 8 years as Commissioner, I have served on a number of committees that has allowed me the opportunity to partner with a variety of stakeholders in our district and better understand the needs of our taxpayers.

Steve Erickson Employment: Mediator and Owner of Erickson Mediation Institute. Public office experience: First time candidate for public office. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Erickson competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a Minnesota Licensed attorney who left the practice of adversarial law 45 years ago to work full time as a professional mediator. My conflict resolution skills make me the best candidate to help guide Cass County through turbulent economic times, as we face changes to our workforce, our climate and our precious lakes. By listening carefully to competing interests, I can help find solutions that are acceptable to all who bring their ideas, questions and problems to county government. Good governance is about actively charting a course that empowers all to help find solutions to difficult challenges.

Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk Employment: I am the Chief Deputy of Cass County, Minnesota. Public office experience:This is my first time seeking public office. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Welk your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I love my work and the people I serve. My preparation for the position of Cass County Sheriff is anchored

by 24 years of progressive leadership coupled with a great working relationship and a deep, broad base of support within my team, local law enforcement agencies and other agency partners. As the current chief deputy, I am endorsed by our current sheriff, two former sheriffs of Cass County, and the current sheriff from a neighboring county. My candidacy is also supported by two retired chief deputies from Cass County, county commissioners and community leaders from all parts of the county. Chris Thompson Did not respond

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Aitkin County Commissioner District 3 Travis J. Leiviska Employment: Owner/ machinist at Aitkin Machine & Manufacturing. Public office experience: No prior. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Leivska you the best candidate for the job? I was born and raised in Aitkin County. I have deep roots here and love this area. I have owned a small business for 15 years. I know how to spend money wisely on things it needs to be spent on. I have experience working with state legislators on issues affecting our area. I have been involved in local and state politics as a county, congressional district and state delegate for the Republican Party. I hold strong values I will always stand for. I am willing to ask the tough questions that the people deserve to know the answers to. Don Niemi Employment: District 3 Aitkin County Commissioner.

Commissioner District 4

Public office experience: Two years District 3 Aitkin County Commissioner, boards and committees include Arrowhead, Regional Development Commission, Minnesota Rural Counties Board, Aitkin County Economic Development Committee, East Central Regional Library Board, Lakes and Pines Community Action Board, Northeast Job Training Board, General Government Committee with Association of Minnesota Counties, former county assessor 23 years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Public speaking experience. Testified before House and Senate tax committees at the Capitol. Meetings with House and Senate Legislators in St. Paul and locally, work as a fulltime county commissioner with no other employment, knowledge of all county departments with 23 years working with them. Help to direct people to the right department and individuals. History of leading a tax bill benefitting all rural businesses in our small towns and cities. Worked with both sides of the aisle in St. Paul. Worked directly with the residents of Aitkin County for over 35 years. Knowledge, experience in local government separates us.

Brian Napstad Employment:Owner; Fishermans Bay Restaurant & Bar, Aitkin County Commissioner, 4th District. Public office experience:Aitkin County Commissioner (current), McGregor School Board, Chairman MinNapstad nesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), Vice Chairman Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB), Chairman Mississippi Headwaters Board, Have served on numerous public boards and committees. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’ve worked for General Electric, Hewlett Packard, and Floe International. In 2000, my wife and I opened Fishermans Bay Restaurant which we operate today. In 2004 I was elected commissioner. As commissioner, I have participated in the delivery of quality county roads, secure homes

Commissioner District 5 Michael Kearney Employment: Owner/ operator Gabby’s Eats & Treats, Palisade. Air Traffic Management Consultant (ATM) as Subject Matter Expert (SME) covering the following disciplines: air traffic control, air traffic Kearney radar and electronic maintenance, Airport/Airfield Management. Beef Cattle Farm, Palisade. Public office experience: Past Commander VFW Post 1721 Palisade, Current Adjutant VFW Post 1721, Palisade. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? 20-plus years Air Force, 15 as a police officer and five-plus as a certified airfield manager. After retirement, 2004-2010, I was a certified hardwood lumber grader. 2010 to present, perform duties as an Air Traffic Manager and consultant. I served as a Regional ATM with oversight of 10 to 12 airports consisting of military, international, foreign military. Personnel management of over 300-plus air traffic controllers, radar/ communication technicians, weather forecasters, and airfield management specialists. My history shows corporate, small business, police, airport, lumber industry, and farm experience, all of which are directly relatable to subject matters addressed by a county commissioner.

Aitkin County Attorney

Anne Marcotte Employment: Attorney at law, Minnesota State Public Defender 2000-2022. Public Office Experience: Aitkin County Commissioner, District 5, 2010-2022, Chair 2018-2020; Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) District Marcotte One Director, 2018 to present, Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board (NCLUCB) Chair 2017-2022; Mississippi Headwaters Board (MHB), Chair 2021; Arrowhead Counties Association (ACA), Chair 2015-2017; Aitkin County Planning Commission, chair 2021to present; Aitkin County Board of Adjustment, 2007-2010; Aitkin County Ordinance Committee, 2010-2022; Aitkin County Community Corrections Committee, chair 2021-to present; University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs and cohort specialist, Policy Fellow Graduate, 2020; Gov. Dayton’s Water Summit Panel speaker, 2017. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job?: As an Aitkin County Commissioner, I advocate for Aitkin County at the county and state level. As Chair of NCLUCB, I testified at the Minnesota State Tax Committee presenting NCLUCB’s PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) study requesting an increase in local PILT dollars. These additional dollars will have a major impact on the Aitkin County budget as a continuing revenue source of potentially $500,000 per year which will enable the county to continue to sustain one of the lowest average effective tax rates in the state. I’m an involved community member both as a volunteer and a participant.

Cindi Hills Employment: I have been licensed as an attorney since 2005. I currently work as an Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney prosecuting criminal law cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies, and consulting on employment and Hills labor law matters. I previously worked as a criminal law attorney for the MN State Board of Public Defense in both Aitkin and Crow Wing counties, and I was a bankruptcy attorney in Montana. I also have over 18 years of extensive senior management experience in local county government and health care where I was responsible for employment and labor law functions while managing a multimillion dollar budget. Public office experience: I am currently serving in my eighth year (second term) as an Aitkin Public Schools ISD#1 School Board Member. I was the board chairperson for four years and the clerk for two years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? There are county attorneys who do not carry a caseload and prosecute in the courtroom on a regular basis. I am the best candidate for the job because of my current criminal law courtroom experience and my extensive senior management experience. I also have over 30 years of continuous community involvement where I have volunteered for many organizations and community projects in Aitkin County. Staying connected to the community through volunteer service enables me to better understand the needs of the people that I am honored to serve.

Aitkin County Recorder Michael “Mick” Moriarty Did not respond. Tara Snyder Employment: Real Estate Assistant 2000-2003; Realtor 2003-2008; Executive Assistant 2008-2014; Aitkin County Deputy Recorder 2017-2020; Aitkin County Chief Deputy Recorder-2020 to present. Public office experience: I’ve had the privilege of serving Aitkin County residents and the public in the Recorder’s Office since 2017. I started as a Snyder deputy recorder, an entry-level position, and have worked my way up to chief deputy recorder. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As many know, I have been performing a vast majority of the County Recorder’s duties over the past two years while the current incumbent has been absent. I want to continue serving the public in this role. I am highly motivated and I am known for going above and beyond. The taxpayers of Aitkin County deserve a County Recorder who is present, accountable, dedicated, and committed to this role — that’s me. They can count on me to show up, work hard, and get the job done well. My prior experience and skills will ensure a seamless transition.

and businesses, an excellent Veterans Service Office, a healthy community, expanding high speed internet, growing day care opportunities, new housing opportunities and excellent recreational resources. My private sector, business, and public sector experience position me the best to continue delivering the results Aitkin County Constituents communicate to me as their priorities. Thank you for your vote! Bret Sample Employment: Retired/president of 501(c)(3) Forgotten Heroes Ranges and Retreat. Public office experience: McGregor School Board; Jevne Township Board Supervisor. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I believe new ideas and outlooks are good for the growth of District 4. I love America and want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. A voice for the people, by the people and of the people.

James “Jim” Ratz Employment: Aitkin County Attorney. Public office experience: I have worked in the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office (ACAO) for 26 plus years. I started as an Assistant County Attorney in 1996. In 2006, I Ratz was elected County Attorney. I am seeking re-election to my fifth term as the Aitkin County Attorney. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I will continue to devote 100% of my energy to being the Aitkin County Attorney because the position requires that level of commitment to successfully run the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office. I am the best candidate for the job due to my 26 plus years of experience handling every type of case and duty including prosecuting offenses at all levels, handling tax appeals and civil matters, reviewing/ drafting county contracts, and handling Planning & Zoning matters. Over the years, I have developed a strong working relationship with the ACAO staff, local and state law enforcement, and county officials and department heads.

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

Aitkin School Board (Elect 4) Jen Burgos Employment: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Lead Advanced Practice Provider at Riverwood Healthcare Center. Public office experience: If I am elected, this will be my first opportunity to serve. In addition to my clinical practice, I am the lead advanced practice provider which is an administrative and leadership position. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My children are Aitkin students. As a former Aitkin school nurse I had the opportunity to interact with students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents. It is the board’s responsibility to the district to put our best selves forward, to draw from the strengths of one another, to collaborate and be productive while being sensitive and aware of others’ viewpoints to work towards common goals: Promote an effective, transparent, respectful, and collaborative board to ensure our decisions align with and preserve the community’s vision. Advocate for the students, teachers, staff, and community to ensure our district provides fiscally responsible, high-quality education. David E. Bergstaler Employment: Owner of Northern Automation Inc. Public office experience: One term on ISD1 school board 2015-2019. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Bergstaler you the best candidate for the job? As a small business owner, I understand how to deal with budgets and people. You have to understand how to budget for the long term and the short term. I understand that 100% of the money that is spent comes from people’s hard earned tax dollars. For ISD1 to succeed you need to have strong leadership from the board and from the staff. The board needs to be civil and work together even when they disagree on issues. Having two kids in the district I want to have the strongest curriculum possible and CRT does not fit within my views. Roland Hill Employment: Business Consultant-Owner Indigenous Business Advisors LLC. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you Hill the best candidate for the job? I’ve made a promise to be “A Voice for Students” and “A Voice of Reason,” throughout my campaign. My experience includes serving on several higher education boards, teaching business at the college level and substitute teaching in secondary schools. I will work tirelessly to provide the leadership necessary to keep our great educators teaching curriculum that will allow our students to thrive. My wife Kay and I are 1983 graduates of AHS, our two sons are graduates of AHS. If elected, I will always cast my vote for our students because they deserve better!! Kevin Hoge Employment: I live on a beef farm (cow/calf) with my wife Carol (closer at Aitkin County Abstract). I retired in May 2019 from MnDOT. Public office experience: I’ve been on numerous boards holding different positions. Grand Rapids College, Glen Township, Local and State Cattlemen’s, Aitkin County 4-H, Dam Lake Sportsman’s Club, Aitkin Public School Board, Long Lake Conservation Board, Rice Lake Disable Hunter’s Board, FFA and numerous volunteering organizations. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have the experience from government to private organizations. I also volunteer for many groups. I have been on both sides of the fence in finances. I am free to meet any person who has a question about the school. I can agree to disagree with anyone but not hold a grudge. The board could have five new members out of seven and with my experience on the board will help. There will be cuts next year due to the size of families and later marriages. We must keep politics out of school and keep the kids as the top priority!

Jason A. Jones Employment: Graphic Packaging International (30 years); Manager of full-time service engineers, predictive maintenance programs and after market spare parts/conversion sales. Public office experience:Rabbit Lake Township Supervisor 2005-2011. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? In my current professional position, I am involved with long range planning, expense budgets, sales plans, and continuous improvements of our processes. If elected, I will bring my years of work experience of teaching, coaching and managing to the district. There is always an opportunity to grow and learn and I will use my leadership training to build positive relationships. All candidates bring different talents and experiences to the table; it is important that the newly elected board members work together with the sitting board members and the superintendent to move ISD 1 forward and put our kids first. Holly Mindrum Employment: Local business owner. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Mindrum As a parent, business owner, lifelong resident and 2002 graduate, I know the foundation of any thriving community is the school. I would love to see the Aitkin area grow and thrive. I want to join the board to focus on education, strategic plans and moving our district forward. I have prepared myself for this job by learning about education funding, school policy and board member responsibilities. I am fully invested in our community and would like to see our schools grow and flourish. I truly believe that our children deserve the best. Jaudette “Jodi” Olson Did not respond Taneal Palmer Did not respond Kassie Peterson Employment: Communications specialist at Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative, auctioneer at Reinhardt Auction Service, owner/designer at KP Creative. Public office experience: None. Peterson What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Growing up in the Aitkin area and graduating from AHS gives me a better understanding of our school system and community. My husband and I chose to start our family here because we loved our small-town upbringing. Our daughter will be attending Aitkin schools in a few short years. I believe I can be a voice for young parents in our area and help ignite positive change. If elected, I will be a steadfast board member using collaboration, communication and compromise to make educated decisions. I want to support our students and staff while keeping an open mind and heart. Michael Weitnauer Employment: Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Health Sciences. Evoqua Water Technologies. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Weitnauer competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? ISD #1 needs solid, rational-thinking individuals involved in the decision-making process that affects our students and community. Our district is facing declining enrollment, fiscal deficits, fewer teachers, inadequate student/teacher ratios and below average state and federal funding. I will work to address the concerns of our parents and students and drive our focus to the core areas that need it the most. Our school is not broken. My goal is simple: To provide the same great, well-rounded education I and many others received from ISD #1. Common sense leadership, common sense education, common sense results. Vote Weitnauer, Nov. 8th. Celia Young Did not respond

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Cass Lake-Bena School Board (Elect 3) Terri (Muller) Vail Employment: H Muller Trucking. Public office experience: 12 years on School Board. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m a Cass Lake graduate and put my kids through the district. We had/have great educators/staff. I’ve been on the School Board for over 12 years and worked in the school for 12 years. I have knowledge and understanding of school business and the day-to-day work done to offer students a quality education in a safe environment. Parents should be part of the decision making, and I listen to staff, students and families and make decisions on what is best for the children. I have the experience and knowledge to give every child the education they deserve. Jolyn (Holstein) Donnell Employment: Administrator — White Earth Land Settlement Project, White Earth Reservation Business Committee. (28 years). Public Office Experience: Cass Lake Bena School Board Member — 14 Years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My 14 years of Cass Lake Bena School Board experience will bring strong leadership in the following areas: Transparency of conversations regarding decisions and policy making. Throughout the years, I have listened to several families and staff ’s opinions pertaining to curriculums, discipline, busing, funding and many more.

Accountability of finances, supporting fiscally responsible motions. Finding common ground in union negotiations, maintaining a solid healthy operating budget and reserves. Pursuing funding opportunities for those activities outside the classroom. Community Awareness. We have to continue improving the educational system while maintaining a learning atmosphere conducive to the families of this school district. Lenny Fineday Did not respond. Terri Finn-Goggleye Employment: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Executive Assistant for Secretary/Treasurer. Public office experience: Leech Lake Housing Authority Board Chairperson, Bena Local Indian Council Chairperson, Second Harvest Food Board Member, Cass Lake-Bena ISD 115 Retiree. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? After serving 24 years as an administrative assistant with the school district I look forward to sitting on the opposite side of the table to finally be part of the solution. Not only will I serve as a liaison between the community and school district but I vow to work closely with teachers and support staff, parents, grandparents and students to ensure our education system is running as efficiently as possible. Our children deserve school safety and security, top-notch classrooms and buildings, teacher quality and effective career paths for all students. Miigwetch! Leila Northbird Did not respond.

Crosby-Ironton School Board (Elect 3) Beth Hautala Employment: Business owner at Strateligent, freelance writer, author. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Hautala you the best candidate for the job? I bring my perspective as parent, community member, community educator, business owner and storyteller to this position. While I’m not immersed in the school itself, I’m engaged with those who live, work, play and influence within this circle. This lends me the benefit of perspective. I bring my passion for community to this candidacy. I desire change that benefits those with the most at stake (students, parents and teachers). My heart for storytelling and listening to the stories of others is paramount. I am committed to seeing people before projects, families before finance, connection before curriculum, and accountability before agenda. Barbara Neprud Did not respond. Russel Reisz Employment: Area Wildlife Manager for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Public office experience: No previous public office experience. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My main motivation is

that I have two children in the Crosby-Ironton school system and I think I could play a part in ensuring that they and future students receive a quality education. In addition, I view running for school board as an opportunity to give back to our community. The school system is something that impacts almost all aspects of our area. Not only is it a major employer, a strong school system makes this an area that people and businesses want to move to. Tommy Sablan Employment: Events coordinator/chef. Public office experience: School Board, Hospital Board member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Sablan you the best candidate for the job? As a School Board Member, I’ve witnessed politics and ideologies filtering into the classroom. If left unchecked, these mindsets could become the norm. Our students should be allowed to learn free from distractions (i.e. social wokeness, politics, and/or gender ideology). Such topics must be brought to light and respectfully discussed. Continuing to listen to the views of our community and being their voice, I will utilize my 35+ years in management/hospitality experience to tactfully facilitate healthy dialogue. Our district must maintain focus on educating students in math, reading, and science allowing them to develop into productive community members.

Crosby-Ironton School Board special election (Elect 2) Steve “Hudson” Cotariu Employment: Headmaster and owner at Twin Cities Magic Academy. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Cotariu your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? We need to get back to basics — reading, writing, arithmetic and athletics. With my background and experience, I’m an ideal candidate for the Crosby-Ironton School Board. I understand education, having taught at the university level at West Point and Alabama A&M. As Headmaster of Twin Cities Magic Academy, I help children build confidence and communication skills every summer as they learn magic. With an MBA in Finance from Wharton, I understand budgets and can ensure we spend tax dollars wisely. And, as a veteran, I have the discipline to make the changes necessary to get our schools back on track. Michael Domin Employment: Supplier development administrator at Sourcewell. Public office experience: 24 years on Crosby-Ironton School Board. What abilities or qualifiDomin cations separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have served on the Crosby-Ironton School Board for the last 24 years, and I am the current board chair. I also currently serve as the President of the Minnesota School Boards Association. I bring experience to the board table to be able to make the decisions needed for our District. There is no doubt that public education has changed, and you need a board member that is willing to learn and change. I will stand up for public education and keep the focus on what is best for our students and their achievements.

Laura Lee Employment: Registered Nurse. Public Office Experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the Lee job I am a graduate of the Crosby-Ironton School District. My children graduated from the district and I have seen the issues/challenges happening. I want to see the school district succeed and not fail. I have a background within the community and the medical field so I have viewpoints that will help. I am a team player who takes the time to listen. I feel that it is important to work with everyone involved, which includes the legislators within the state. Education is important to me and I want the best education possible for the children of our future. The future starts today! Kennedy Niska Employment: Assistant director, Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota; music ministry coordinator, Lord of Life Lutheran Church; lesson instructor, Out Loud Music LLC. Public office experience: No Niska elected office experience, but I have served on the board of two nonprofits and most recently served on the staff development committee of my former school district employer. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I maintain an active Minnesota teaching license and have a background in elementary music. I am keenly aware of the successes, challenges, goals and initiatives that are unique to the C-I school district. As a representative of a public institution, I will invite all stakeholders — families, district staff and taxpayers — to be actively involved in the education of our young people. Should you contact me, you will always receive a return call or email. My decision-making process will keep all stakeholders in mind and be guided by the best interest of students, their families and our dedicated staff.


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BRAINERD DISPATCH | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

Little Falls School Board (Elect 3) Sharon Ballou Employment: Retired. Public office experience: Little Falls School Board since 2007. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the Ballou job? I’ve had through School Board Associations, including learning about legal issue changes. I follow facts not opinions. I’m available for committee meetings, trainings and board meetings. I’ve been involved with children/young adults through employment and volunteer service. I’m a former student, and my own children and grandchildren have attended this district. I feel I’m prepared to continue serving students, staff, parents and the community. I don’t focus on a single agenda or issue. Instead, I believe all points are important and need to be considered. I’m proud of what the school has accomplished and excited about new educational goals. Cassie Fredregill Employment: Thrive Properties. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m Fredregill a proud mother of four, wife of an active guard member, former business owner of my own company. I’ve gone through many life coaching courses, resilience training and I’m not afraid to say no and stand up for what is right. I’m the best candidate for this position because, I’m not afraid to speak up, I listen to others in the community and fight for those all here in little falls at our local level, I’m passionate and I believe here in little falls I can make the change we need and give our children back their future! Mark. A. Gerbi Employment: Business owner. Public office experience: 10 years on Little Falls School Board. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you Gerbi the best candidate for the job? In my 10 years on the board, I have witnessed a lot of changes in our school’s operations, but always with the idea to provide the best education we can for our students. I have been a lifelong resident as well as a business owner in Little Falls for the past 41 years. I have a long history of working with many groups in our community and would like to continue to serve the members of our school district. Brad Laager Employment: Retired. Public office experience: School board member for 12 years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best

candidate for the job? I’ve approved the following: iPads for students, two bond referendums, doubled number of agriculture teachers, Farm to School program raised 10,000 pounds of vegetables for schools, double door security entrances for schools, enclosed open classrooms, intern program has 75 students CNA certified, 150 students completed internships with two have returned to teach in Little Falls, second chance breakfast program tripled number of students eating breakfasts, sold school land to two companies which have hired hundreds of workers locally, hired police officers for schools, hired two former police chiefs and former police officer for hall monitors. I feel I’m the best candidate. Sarah Marrow Did not respond. Molly Jean Nelson Employment: Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Professionals Public office experience: None, but serving this community for the past 8 years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Nelson your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? One of my favorite quotes is the following: “Be the change you wish the world to see” — Gandhi. My goal is to help build a community and school district to be proud of. I believe in change. I believe in change for the good. We need to be the change and we need to do the best that we can for the children and for this community and I would absolutely love being a part of that. Daniel (Dan) Schilling Employment: I am currently employed by the Minnesota Army National Guard G4 Deputy Chief of Staff Logistics (DCSLOG) as a civilian, and work for the Defense Movement Coordinator (DMC) as a transportation management Schilling specialist. Public office experience: This is the first elected public office position I have filed, campaigned, and or ran for, so I have no prior elected public office experience. However, I did become an elected delegate this year at the Feb. 1 Morrison County Caucus, after which I went on to be 1 of 22 County Delegates to be elected as a State Delegate at the Morrison County Convention. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a retired 20 year veteran of the MNARNG, husband, and a father to an 11-year-old daughter. I swore an oath to protect our country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic when I joined the MNARNG. My oath does not have an expiration date. Our children are our future and as such, I will continue to serve my oath, and fight for them to receive the highest quality of education they deserve, free from political or ideological biases. Support for me for District 482 School Board is a vote for our children’s future.

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Pequot Lakes School Board (Elect 3) Erik Bresnahan Employment: Farmer. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Our job as a comBresnahan munity is to ensure all of our students receive a quality education that prepares them for life at all levels. We have a great school and as a board member it would be my task to help ensure that continues well into the future. This is an opportunity to represent the Pequot school district to help make and keep our schools and community the best places they can be. I am simply doing this to be a positive influence in our community because our children are our future and a good education is priceless. Jacob Thomas Cameron Did not respond. Brian Hankins Employment: Retired financial services risk management executive. Public office experience: No public office, but chosen on Fortune 100 company committee and nonprofit. What abilities or qualifiHankins cations separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My past experience on Boards and Fortune 100 company Committees has given me the ability to quickly identify the important questions and challenges. I have proven experience in working with different views and coming to a supported outcome. I am excited to support our students, teachers and administration. Go Patriots! Bryan Held Did not respond. Mariah Hines Employment: Substitute paraprofessional. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a parent to young students I will be in the disHines trict and affected by school board decisions for many years. When policies are passed they should be passed by parents whose families those policies will affect. As a young mother I can also relate to the issues staff and students are facing as I graduated public school 11 years ago. I have built a foundation with staff and parents who feel comfortable bringing concerns to me such as; the schools shifting from academics to social issues, or our support staff feeling unappreciated by the lack of a decent wage. Pamela J. Johnson Employment: Business consultant. Public office experience: Running for School Board ISD186. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Johnson you the best candidate for the job? I have served on the board of a nonprofit and understand the workings of how a board functions. Having served in the Army, growing up in an unstable home, and living on Native American reservation gives me experiences that my fellow candidates may not have. These experiences give me a heart and passion to make sure all students have what they need and caring adults in their lives. I have been a business

consultant for over 20 years and have a strength in long-term planning and having a vision for an organization’s needs beyond the present. I am a community member, parent, and business owner. I see the different perspectives of how decisions impact different stakeholders. The experience I have from sitting on the board of a nonprofit allows me to jump in and understand the workings of the board. I am passionate about academics, our students, and their futures — at the same time I clearly understand that being on the school board means that I listen to and seek the input of all stakeholders, not any personal agenda. Dena Moody Employment: School Board Director and substitute teacher in ISD186. Public office experience: ISD186 School Board Director since 2018. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Moody you the best candidate for the job? The past 19 years of my long career in education have been spent working in ISD186. I view school policies and issues through the perspective of an experienced classroom instructor, sports coach, parent educator, substitute teacher, and former guardian ad litem. I am reliable. I’ve never missed a meeting since my 2018 election, even Zooming in when I was on vacation. I’m cognizant of the laws that govern public schools. I strive to always be fiscally responsible with the use of our taxpayers’ monies, state and federal funding. I model and promote Patriot Pride: Respect, responsibility, integrity. Craig Polchow Employment: Operations at manufacturing facility. Public office experience: First time running for public office. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I believe that we all have our own unique qualifications for the position which we are seeking. I believe that I am a good candidate because my motive for running is to look out for and be a voice for the students of the Pequot Lakes School District. I stand strong on my morals, and I believe what is right needs to be brought forward and what is wrong needs to be addressed. I do not jump to conclusions, I will investigate whatever the issue that may arise and make a decision based on the evidence that has been researched. Tracy Wallin Employment: Graphic designer and bookkeeper. Public office experience: One four-year term on the Pequot Lakes School Board. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Wallin you the best candidate for the job? I am personable, caring, reliable, genuine, honest, kind, a good listener and thoughtfully consider all sides of an issue before making a decision. My work experience as a graphic designer has taught me creative thinking, attention to detail and problem solving and my bookkeeping experience has given me an in-depth understanding of the financial aspects of a business/organization. As a parent, I have a vested interest in the success of our district. I think there is value in my experience on the board as an incumbent and I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of ISD186.

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BRAINERD DISPATCH VOTER’S GUIDE Staples-Motley School Board (Elect 3)

Shelly DeCamp Did not respond. Bruce Drone Employment: Retired. Public office experience: Staples city council. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have been at 90% of the school board meetings since 2019. I worked at the Staples-Motley School for 32 years as a custodian, so I have a working knowledge of the maintenance and repair needs. I am well up to speed on what the school board has done and is planning to do. If elected, I will work hard to get your children the best education possible. I will work hard to stop the spending of taxes. I will work hard to take the gag off your free speech at the board meetings. Erich Heppner Employment: Central Lakes College, director of Student Life. Public office experience: 1. Thomastown Township Supervisor. 2. Region Five Development Commission. 3. Wadena County Planning & Heppner Zoning. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Since 2008, I have served as the director of Student Life at Central Lakes College. This experience has prepared me well because I have been on the front lines seeing how local graduates are prepared for

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

college and for entering the workforce. Community involvement is a core value of mine; I am actively involved in many local groups, like the Innovative Schools Project, and lead the monthly Ruby’s Pantry Food Distribution in Staples-Motley. If elected, I will help bring our communities together in an effort to provide a premier education for our most valuable resource, our children. Kyle Reese Did not respond. Chandler Trout Employment: Strategic business analyst with Lakewood Health System. Public office experience: In my professional and personal life, I have been part of many committees and organizations but nothing that would be conTrout sidered a public office. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a business analyst, I have plenty of experience using unbiased facts and data to implement the best solution to various problems. This has been very successful at Lakewood Health System, and I hope to do the same with the issues facing the Staples-Motley school district. I value transparency. I believe everyone in the school system should be well-informed of the decisions being made and the “whys” behind them, and likewise everyone’s input should be considered before decisions are being made. Ryan Wright Did not respond.

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Wadena-Deer Creek School Board (Elect 3) Julie Bushinger Employment: Commercial account manager at North Risk Partners, Wadena. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job?: I’ve lived and worked in Wadena for the last 28 years. I’m an active member and sit on the Board of our Wadena Rotary Club. I believe that a strong school system is the backbone of a strong community and I want to see our school continue to be a place that draws people in. I’m passionate about helping kids and giving them the tools they need to succeed in life. As a mother of two children that have recently gone through WDC schools, I think I could bring insight on the challenges and experiences our kids face in school. Ryan Damlo Employment: Foundation director for Tri-County Health Care in Wadena. Public office experience: Four years as school board member, elected in 2018, 10 years served on Wadena Housing Authority. Damlo What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have been an active leader in our community for the past 15 years, serving on the WDC School board the last 4 years, currently as vice chair. I helped create the Community House program, coordinating our student-built house with local contractors and partners to keep the focus on growing skills and trades such as carpentry for our students. I also actively work with state legislatures and groups to keep local control of our school instead of mandates from the state. I work with and listen to our community members to enact positive change for our students and staff. Brandon Kern Employment: Self-employed, Owner of Kern Homes, LLC. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Kern you the best candidate for the job? Operating multiple successful businesses

over my career has given me a well-rounded view of operations, management, financials, and customer relations. With my problem-solving skills I am willing to have difficult conversations to work toward the optimal outcome when issues arise. I will be an advocate and voice for all WDC children and families by being approachable, honest, and unbiased. As a 2000 WDC graduate with three kids attending our school district, I am proud to be raising my own family in the community I grew up in and honored to have this opportunity to serve the children of our future. Kyle Lehmkuhl Employment: Bongards Creameries as parts room coordinator. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Lehmkuhl you the best candidate for the job? Being a former teacher and coach I understand the struggles students and educators face in and out of the classroom. Because of my background, I know what it takes for a positive educational experience and the vital role all staff play in making this happen. We need a school board that is putting our student’s best interests first and not letting outside influences impact the choices being made. I am willing to talk about the difficult endeavors faced by our youth and make necessary changes to allow them to succeed. Melissa Seelhammer Employment: Accountant at Merickel Lumber. Public office experience: I am completing my first term on the Wadena Deer Creek school board. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have three children in the WDC school district, which gives me an inside perspective of the schools. I have good communication skills including the ability to listen to others and appreciate their views and concerns. I have an accounting degree that helps in budgeting and making financial decisions. I am passionate about making sure our students have a great experience, graduate, and have the tools they need for their future.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School Board (Elect 3) Samantha Bialozynski Employment: Independent contractor/school psychologist. Public office experience: This will be my first! What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you Bialozynski the best candidate for the job? I am a licensed school psychologist passionate about school safety, mental and physical health, and the success of all students. I previously sat on the MSPA State Board and the Laws and Legislative Committee. I have extensive experience working in the public school system and personal investment in the district, as multiple family members attend WHA schools. I believe I bring a unique lens as both a parent and educator. I recently moved here full time but have spent my entire life on Leech Lake and am happy to return home to this area. Thank you for your consideration!

Kimberley Gendron Employment: Self-employed. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the Gendron job? I genuinely believe all of the candidates are equally qualified and beneficial not only for our school district, but for our entire community as a whole. Therefore I don’t feel any one candidate is “best” suited for the board, so I will not say that I am, either. We all bring different attributes and personalities. I can say, however, that I will advocate not only for our children, but their parents as well. I have the drive, motivation and high hopes to make impactful changes within our district and am hopeful to improve the overall outcome of our adolescents.

Ben Jacobson Employment: Own/operate, Hiawatha Beach Resort. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the Jacobson job? In 1999 I graduated from WHA, I furthered my education by achieving bachelors’ degrees in Business Management and Biblical Studies. My wife Vanessa and I have five children, four attend WHA and one has graduated. For 10 years I enjoyed coaching Wolves Football. At the resort we hire a number of students from Walker and the surrounding area. I enjoy taking an active role in helping them improve professional and life skills, our goal is for them to be successful and to add value. I will strive to provide a safe and successful environment for all students and staff.

Keane Johnson Employment: Self-employed (tax accountant/ insurance). Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I graduated from WHA and have lived in the community for most of my life. I have many relationships with people within the community not only professionally but also personally. Having worked with many different clients for the past 12 years with personal and business taxes, I believe I have a pretty good understanding of budgeting and how to smoothly and efficiently operate an organization. Shannon Pfeiffer Employment: Victim services coordinator, Cass County Attorney’s Office. Public office experience: No prior elected public office experience. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Pfeiffer competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My husband and I have lived in Walker for 24 years and have been active members of the community. I started the Walker JFK dance program, was the President of WHA PTO, where I implemented the Watch D.O.G.s program and was president of the committee that raised funds for, designed, and built the City Park Playground. Our two sons attend WHA. I am committed to helping WHA reach its potential for all students, staff, and our community. My work and volunteer experience give me the lens to view multiple perspectives and will help me serve with civility and mutual respect.


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Morrison County Board Wadena County Board Commissioner District 1 Todd Krajsa Employment: I’m a small business owner of an electrical contracting business called Not A Problem Electric and Construction LLC. Public office experience: I have never run for any political Krajsa office before. I am the treasurer for our Lincoln Area Business Association and I am a delegate for Morrison County caucus and an alternate delegate for the state caucus. I’m also signed up as an election judge. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m not a politician so I don’t have obligations to any party or platform allowing me to be completely unbiased in making decisions. As a business owner I know how to set a budget and stick to it. You can’t spend money you don’t have. I know how to get jobs done in a timely and efficient manner to save money. I don’t know everything. I’m good at researching to find the most economical and efficient way of getting something accomplished. I’ll look to experts for more information. I’ll look at all sides to get fully informed before making decisions.

Mike LeMieur Employment: Crash Fire Rescue Firefighter at Camp Ripley, EMT for Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service, Little Falls Fire Dept (assistant chief retired). Public office experience: 2005-2008: Little Falls City LeMieur councilman/president, 20112012: MN State Representative for Morrison and Crow Wing counties; 2013-2016: Little Falls School Board Member; 2017-Current:Morrison County Commissioner (District 1). What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m a lifelong resident and the current District 1 Commissioner for Morrison County. I’m experienced in government, private business and public safety. Having served in different elected positions I have a unique understanding of different budgeting processes and I look for ways to collaborate with other public entities to save taxpayer dollars and to provide better services to our constituents. I support efforts to enhance and protect agriculture in Morrison County, I’ll continue to be a conservative voice on taxes and spending, and I understand the first duty of any government is to provide for the protection of its citizens.

Commissioner District 1 Don Burns Did not respond. Ron Noon Employment: Currently a MRI tech. assistant/driver for CMDI, Milaca. Public office experience: 2012-14 Wadena County Commissioner, Wadena Township Supervisor/chairman, 7 years. 25 years Police OffiNoon cer-Wadena Police Department/retired. Past President Immanuel Lutheran Church-Wadena. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are

Commissioner District 3

Gene Morthberg Employment: Regular guy/ truck driver. Public office experience: None, I am definitely not a politician. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you Morthberg the best candidate for the job? I have the courage to show up and say what I believe. Just the other day my opponent skipped a vote on increasing operating costs for the 2023 year by $1,056,019 — money Wadena simply government in check. When we don’t have hon- doesn’t have. I’ll not blame all our problems on St. Paul. est elections, we don’t have true representation I’ll push for a major increase in transparof the people. Because many of our recent elections have not ency so that the average Wadena resident been free, fair, or transparent, and our vote is the has better access to what is happening in our only way to make our voices heard, I dedicated county. I refuse to accept the failure = success myself to thoroughly researching election cor- narrative pushed by some local leaders and Wadena Pioneer Journal, nor will I sit down ruption after the 2020 election. I am the best candidate for Commissioner because I will do everything necessary to restore transparency and faith in our elections, restoring power back to we the people. Randy H. Winscher Did not respond

and shut up concerning waste and corruption. Bill Stearns Employment: Retired, I was a State Farm Insurance Agent for 42 years in Wadena, MN. Public office experience: I have been the County Commissioner for Wadena County Commissioner District 3 for the past 20 years What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I think I have a unique insight into the workings of the Wadena County Government structure having served the public for the past 20 years. I was instrumental in getting a $5,000,000 grant from MnDOT to the city and county for Highway 10 infrastructure costs and the fairgrounds drainage project associated with the recent Highway 10 reconstruction. I work on economic development projects that will help grow the tax base in Wadena County. I am a positive person and strive to lead this county Forward.

Michael D. Carr Employment: Wadena County Sheriff Public office experience: 28 years with 16 years as Sheriff. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Carr I have been Sheriff for 16 years and feel I have built a Sheriff ’s Office that is both innovative and proactive who care about the people. I have the experience and dedication and am the only candidate who knows the day to day operations of a Sheriff ’s Office. Since becoming Sheriff, I have never forgotten who put me in office and that I work for the people of Wadena County. I believe strongly in the constitutional rights of citizens. My core values are god, family, and freedom. I ask for your support November 9th by voting Carr. God bless!

Milo Scott Employment:I have worked for the Wadena Police Department for 18 years as a police officer. Public office experience:I have worked with the public listening to their concerns and working with them to meet Scott their needs. I have been a Scoutmaster, served as a member of the Army National Guard and also a member of the Wadena Hubbard County SWAT team. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’ve the ability to understand the realities we all face and to be fair and understanding of everyone’s unique situations. I’m not a polished politician and I don’t pretend to have all the knowledge that is afforded to an incumbent sheriff. But I’m intelligent, down to earth, real and not afraid to work for and with the people of this county. As a person working in law enforcement and as a taxpayer of the third highest taxed county I see that there needs to be change to make the tax dollars stretch further and to have better protection for all.

Commissioner District 3 Jeremy J. Pekula Employment: I am currently pursuing my Minnesota Insurance Adjuster License while simultaneously working to save this country. Public office experience: Zero experience which is exactly what we need, new Pekula leadership. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Our country was created as a Constitutional Republic by our founding fathers. Our elections were designed to keep

Wadena County Sheriff

Commissioner District 4 Robert “Bobby” Kasper Employment: 33 years as an electrical lineman, 6 years at IBEW local 31 as business manager/financial secretary, current supervisor at Buh Township. Public office experience: Current supervisor at Buh Kasper Township. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have worked with the public all my life. I love people. I am compassionate. Hard-working people deserve to be heard and helped and that is what drives me. I am not afraid to tackle tough issues and desire to help others achieve their goals. Being from a farm in Morrison County I was taught the value of discipline and hard work and that is what I’ll bring to the position of County Commissioner. God has gifted me with a “never give up” attitude and I will use that gift to the best of my ability for the people.

you the best candidate for the job? Having worked previously as a county commissioner, township supervisor and police officer, I was appointed to numerous committees that dealt with the day-to-day running of our county government. I worked with department heads in assisting them with decisions that affected the day-to-day running of our county. I promoted working with neighboring counties on shared activities to reduce costs to each county. Small Minnesota counties cannot continue to exist by hiking levies yearly to mainly fund “unfunded” state mandates, i.e. Social Services programming. The burden is crushing local businesses and taxpayers and must be changed at the state level.

Mike Wilson Employment: Current Morrison County District 4 County Commissioner. Public office experience: My past experience: Pierz School Board 19 years, Pierz Planning & Zoning, Rich Prairie Water & Sewer (Ripsaw), Wilson Morrison County Fair Board (25 years), Sourcewell (17 years), Minnesota school board Insurance trust (7 years), Present experience: Current Morrison County Commissioner — Board chair 2017 & 2021, Mn Council of Aging Mississippi Headwaters, Airport Board, Rum River Watershed, Morrison County Community Development. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Experience, I have been involved with the public my entire life! I was a member of Pierz School board when they took over school busing for the district. I was instrumental in the move of the Morrison County fairgrounds from inside city limits to its current location. I was a board member of RIPSAW when three cities (Pierz, Genola and Buckman) combined their cities’ sewer districts. From my experience of working on different boards, I have learned how to deal with government, citizens, staff and administration in a positive way.

Commissioner District 5 Rene’ Krousey Greg Blaine Employment: I have worked Employment: Ag Producas a dental hygienist the past 19 er / County Commissioner years. I am also a small business District 5. owner. Public office experience: Public office experience: I Morrison County Commishave had an increased interest sioner 2018-present, elected and concerns in politics since to the Minnesota House of 2010. I have been attending cauRepresentatives 2001-2007 Krousey Blaine cuses and conventions. I have District 12B where I served been involved as a delegate and signed up to be an 3 terms. What abilities or qualifications separate election judge. This year I became a state delegate you from your competition? Why are you the and attended state convention. I attend regular best candidate for the job? My experience in meetings which involve many concerned citizens public service is of great benefit to the people with concerned issues from the local areas. What abilities or qualifications separate you of Morrison County. Through my past experience, I’m able to be responsive to Morrison from your competition? Why are you the best County constituents and will continue to do candidate for the job? My number one qualifiall I can to assist them. My proven record of cation — I am not a politician. I am a grassroots fiscal responsibility to the people of Morrison patriot who loves my country! I use common sense County is understood and valued because I in making decisions. I care about the future of my care and take time to understand people’s con- country and my community. I am fed up with all cerns. I humbly wish to continue to serve the the fraud, corruption, lies and theft in every aspect people of Morrison County as their District 5 of our daily lives. I am ready for the battle of good versus bad. I am not afraid to speak up and speak Commissioner and respect their trust. the truth.

RESTORE • Restore trust with communities, staff, county board, and other law enforcement partners • Restore confidence in the elected office of sheriff This ad is paid for by the Klang for Sheriff Committee


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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

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Minnesota Senate Senate District 2 Steve Green Party: Republican. Did not respond. Leonard Alan Roy Party: DFL. Employment: Army Reserve Company Commander. Public office experience: Four years as the Secretary/ Treasurer of the White Earth Nation. Roy What do you want to accomplish if elected? As a candidate, I have prioritized farming, economic development, and education. We must take a look at how the State surplus can be returned to taxpayers. We must also assess the current tax rates that caused the surplus and determine if there are areas Minnesotans are being over taxed. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Farming: This is the bedrock of our Senate District, but we’ve lost touch with our farmers. I’ll increase support for farmers and the state’s vital programs, including drought relief and access to capital.

Senate District 5

I am well acquainted with the needs and priorA. John Peters ities for small businesses in Minnesota. As an Party: DFL. Employment: Owner and award-winning college educator, I have shown manager of A. John Peters the ability to communicate with people to negoComputer Services, where I tiate to come to a just solution. I put people first. I will be working for the repair and update computers, and teach computer and phone people in SD 5 and all of Minnesota by bringing fresh, no-biased ideas to the MN Senate. usage to Senior Citizens. Paul Utke Public office experience: I Peters Party: Republican. have been a community activEmployment: Commercial ist providing input and support to the people in Property Landlord, Legal VidTodd and Morrison counties. I am the chair of eographer and Licensed Insurthe board of Hands of Hope Resource Center ance Agent. providing support and protection to victims of Public office experience: domestic abuse. I am a member of the board for Todd County Broadband Coalition, and I proPark Rapids City Council, vide support to Todd County Council on Aging. Utke 2009-2016, State Senator, What do you want to accomplish if elected? 2017-Current. Enhance access to health care. Reduce propWhat do you want to accomplish if elected? erty taxes. Improve infrastructure. Support edu- As chair of Health and Human Services I would cation in public schools, Pre-k through 12, while have mental health and the availability and adding more training for new jobs. Increase affordability of health care as priorities. Tax relief availability of affordable homes for workers. for all taxpayers and eliminate the tax on social Expand clean energy opportunities. Create new security. Public safety support across the state markets for farmers. Provide affordable high- and support of all law enforcement officers. speed internet for everyone in SD 5. Specifically, how would you accomplish Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? First, the Legislation needs the your goals? whole committee and/or caucus committed to Expand Medicaid and Medicare. your vision. As legislators we bring ideas and Increase state funding for townships and pub- proposals forward to get support from our collic schools by Increasing taxes on people making leagues. I bring forward ideas that I believe are more than $400,000 while verifying that large good for Minnesotans and then recruit support businesses pay their fair share. Increase trans- from our fellow members. Again, relationships portation budget. Fully fund public schools. matter and you need the majority to move anyDecrease tuition for technical colleges. Add thing forward. Steve “Sam” Samuelson or improve programs in agriculture industries. What abilities or qualifications separate you Party: DFL. Provide incentives to build small family homes, from your competition? Why are you the best Employment: Retired townhomes, and apartments. Increase incentives candidate for the job? I have six years of quality (currently a caregiver for my for clean energy companies and startups. Pro- experience in the Senate. I have been a leader in father). vide farmer training and business incentives for our caucus and my common sense approach to Public office experience: processing current products, new grain products policy-making has been effective. Relationships None. and hemp. Make full use of current federal matter in the legislature and that is why I have What do you want to money without leaving infrastructure money on had success. I was asked to serve as the chair of accomplish if elected? My the table. Samuelson the Senate Health and Human Services Committop priorities are protecting the What abilities or qualifications separate you tee this past session and we had a very good year. election integrity laws that we currently have in from your competition? Why are you the best I look forward to continuing in that capacity and place, ensuring safe gun measures, and being a candidate for the job? I am a leader in com- leading a committee that addresses the needs of Senator who is actively inclusive, a Senator that munity revitalization. I would like to bring this the young, disabled and the elderly. seeks out rational opinions of voters and experts, ability to all people in SD 5. and represents all voters without hesitation or I have been a business owner since 1989, so bias. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would look to build bridges with members of both parties to bring reasonable legislation forward surrounding gun safety. I would focus on ensuring that background checks are continued and that we expand mental health problems. We can have the jobs, schools, hospitals, Suzanne Cekalla care access across the state. I would continue to roads, and bridges we deserve. We just have to be Party: DFL. support our current election security laws, and Employment: Small business willing to do the work until the job is done. would reject proposals that infringe upon the Nathan Wesenberg owner; former nurse, pastor, ability or ease for a legal voter to actually cast Party: Republican. and hospital chaplain. a legal vote. I would actively look for ways to Employment: Wildlife BioloPublic office experience: ensure that everyone has a voice in their govgist/self employed. None. ernment rather than only those who I personally Public office experience: What do you want to accomagree with. None. plish if elected? I look around What abilities or qualifications separate you Cekalla What do you want to accomCentral Minnesota and I see from your competition? Why are you the best plish if elected? candidate for the job? My whole life has been people who want opportunities: to start businesses, Give control of the governspent in service to my community. I am a proud learn trades, to create wealth and security for their Wesenberg ment back to the people. Cut union supporter. I am willing to sit down with families. I am determined to bring those opportuanyone of any belief or political party and not nities back to the people in this community, and and eliminate taxes, stop wasteful spending, protect our children, shrink government, less over-reachjust listen to them, but I will find ways to help put our economic future back in our own hands. Specifically, how would you accomplish your ing regulation, term limits, uphold our Constithem through the legislative process. We differ on many things — abortion rights versus gov- goals? Reliable, affordable internet is essential to tution, put Minnesota first. There is no place for ernmental control of women, minimum wage, new business, which creates jobs and revitalizes California Emission Standards in Minnesota, and I and environmental protections to name a few. communities. I support revenue-neutral low-in- will fight to keep them out. Specifically, how would you accomplish your But the real difference between us is that I will terest loans to electricity cooperatives to provide always put the needs of all of us front and center broadband internet service, and to family farmers goals? It takes a strong leader to stand up to and local business owners who want to make misguided decisions. Myself and other Conserwith my vote. capital investments. I also support tax credits for vative Republican Senators will bring back common-sense voting. Together, we will be voting for businesses who invest in infrastructure. Besides planning for the future, we need to cre- our constituents and our conservative values. It ate opportunities in Central Minnesota right now. only takes one Senator to stand up and force a vote. That’s why I would fight for funding for paid-train- I am not afraid to do this to bring the topics that ing and apprenticeship programs in robotics and matter most to Republicans onto the floor. What abilities or qualifications separate you green energy installation and maintenance for Central Minnesotans. The technology of the future from your competition? Why are you the best Robert Farnsworth candidate for the job? I will be a voice for the should be built right here! Party: Republican. What abilities or qualifications separate you people. I have been working throughout my district Employment: Special Edu- from your competition? Why are you the best making change and fighting corruption in our govcation Teacher/Real Estate candidate for the job? Growing up on a fami- ernment. This is a battle of “good versus evil” — no Agent. ly farm in Central Minnesota I learned the job longer “R versus D.” While Democrats burned our Public office experience: I isn’t done until the job is done. I’ve served as a cities, killed our economy, raised taxes, and put ran for house district 6A in pastor and nurse, built two small businesses, and America last — I will continue to fight for your 2020, coming within 30 votes co-founded the Rice Chamber of Commerce. rights, freedoms, and America. I will be a voice of of winning a seat not held by Farnsworth These experiences made me an unapologetic reason. I am not indebted to anyone, so I can make a Republican in a generation. moderate. Treating politics like a team sport is care- change we need without having to “scratch someWhat do you want to accomplish if elected? I less and cruel, and it’s done to keep us angry at our one’s back.” It is time to change the status quo and would like to reduce the cost of living in our state neighbors instead of working together to solve our take our country back. through permanent tax cuts. I would especially like to eliminate the tax on social security beneWĂŝĚ ĚǀĞƌƟƐĞŵĞŶƚ fits. I would also like to focus on transportation ĂĐŬĞĚ ďLJ >ĞĂĚĞƌƐ͙ funding for Greater Minnesota and work on improving our schools. ƵƌƌĞŶƚ ĂƐƐ Ž͘ ^ŚĞƌŝī Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? In regards to transportation, I will Ϯ ĨŽƌŵĞƌ ^ŚĞƌŝīƐ support funding for roads and bridges rather than more trains in the Twin Cities. In the area Ϯ ĨŽƌŵĞƌ of education, I will focus on revamping grad standards so schools have more flexibility to ŚŝĞĨ ĞƉƵƟĞƐ provide education kids can use after high school. Specifically, we need to improve our education for students who don’t plan on attending college ŚŝĞĨ ĞƉƵƚLJ ƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĞĚ or university and rather go into the technical trades. In regards to taxes, I would support using ďLJ Ϯϰ LJĞĂƌƐ ŽĨ ƉƌŽŐƌĞƐƐŝǀĞ the $9 billion surplus for permanent tax cuts so folks have more money in their pockets at the ůĞĂĚĞƌƐŚŝƉ͕ ƚŚĞ ƐŚĞƌŝīƐ end of the month. What abilities or qualifications separate you ǁŚŽ ĐĂŵĞ ďĞĨŽƌĞ Śŝŵ͕ from your competition? Why are you the best ĂŶĚ ƚŚĞ dĞĂŵ ŚĞ ǁŝůů ůĞĂĚ͘ candidate for the job? I have work experience in both the private and public sector, as a teacher and real estate agent, that I will bring to the Legislature. In addition, I have served as my local WƌĞƉĂƌĞĚ ďLJ ƚŚĞ ŽŵŵŝƩĞĞ ƚŽ ůĞĐƚ union president and have worked with people ƌLJĂŶ tĞůŬ ^ŚĞƌŝī͕ ŽŶŶĂ ƵŐĂŶ͕ dƌĞĂƐƵƌĞƌ͕ across the spectrum to get things done. My wife WŽ Ždž ϭϲϭ͕ ZĞŵĞƌ͕ DE ϱϲϲϳϮ and I are raising our four children right here in the Northland, and I am determined to make sure our area is the best place to raise a family. Education: Teachers and schools need resources to move education forward. Job training programs and apprenticeships can both help in this regard. Economy: Make smart business decisions and keeping a close eye on expenses. I’ll focus on making the most of state revenue while championing programs that will help families. I’m a fiscal conservative who knows how to get things done even when people disagree. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As an Army veteran who deployed to Iraq, I learned the value of freedom and public service — and when to step up as a leader and build agreement. I also believe in education. I have a MPA from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a BA from the University of Minnesota. We have to do a better job of supporting farmers and attracting new jobs in energy, high-tech and other businesses. I’ll focus on economic development incentives, including improving access to low-interest capital, which will help small businesses get back on track and create more jobs.

Senate District 6 Justin Eichorn Party: Republican. Employment: Small business owner – Property Management. Public office experience: First elected as State Senator in 2016, re-elected in 2020. What do you want to Eichorn accomplish if elected? I want to finalize the repeal of the tax on Social Security income. Make investments in MN economy to reach our full potential in both industry and small business. Support our law enforcement and keep MN a safe place to live, work, and play. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will focus my time on pushing legislation that can get passed and signed into law. In my time at the Capitol, I learned from my Northern Minnesota colleagues that it often takes a bipartisan approach and a coalition of supporters from across the state to get things done. Whether it’s energy policy or tourism grants or anything in between, it takes 34 of us to pass in the Senate and 68 votes in the House. I’ve spent time building those relationships and can deliver results for Northern Minnesota. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am the best candidate to be your state Senator because I am a Christian family man, small business owner, and lifelong resident of Northern Minnesota. We have shared values in part by how we were raised and in part by how the Great North raised us. We all care about keeping our beautiful lakes clean and our forests mighty and bountiful. We can do that while having world class timber operations and a coal fired power plant that supports us all through our frigid winters.

Senate District 10

Senate District 6 Ben DeNucci Party: DFL. Employment: Small Business Owner (Nashwauk & Eveleth Markets) and County Commissioner. Public office experience: Former Mayor of Nashwauk (2014-2017) and Itasca County DeNucci Commissioner (2017-current). What do you want to accomplish if elected? My campaign is built around three issues: Local jobs, strong schools, and healthy communities. I will go to work every day to make sure the Northland continues to be the best place to live, raise a family, work a good paying job, and retire comfortably. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will make sure the Northland gets its fair share. Talk of closing mines is irresponsible. I will bring the companies together to negotiate a lasting solution. I’m a Twin Metals and Polymet champion – our natural resources can transform America’s clean economy if we stop endless attacks on our permitting process. There’s no reason school districts here should lag behind the metro for funding; I will fight to put our students first so Northland schools are as high quality as anywhere in the state. With a record budget surplus, eliminating taxes on social security will afford our seniors dignified retirement. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m unique from my competitor because I believe in freedom and preventing government interference in private health decisions. When a woman decides how to start a family, I don’t think politicians should have a veto in the doctor’s office, but my opponent wants one. With years of experience as a successful small business owner, I know the local economy, what our communities need, and how government can be responsive to help businesses and working families thrive. As a mayor and county commissioner, I have the experience to do this important work on day one.

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BRAINERD DISPATCH | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

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BRAINERD DISPATCH VOTER’S GUIDE

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Minnesota House of Representatives House District 5A Brian M. Hobson Party: DFL. Employment: 3rd Grade Teacher at Laporte School (teacher for 20 years). Public office experience: While I have not served in a publicly elected position, I have served as a local union Hobson vice president, negotiator and member rights advocate. I have held volunteer leadership roles in the Hubbard County DFL, and am active in the local arts community in and around Park Rapids MN. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I think young people deserve the promise of a top notch education, even if they live in a small town. I want our rural communities to be places of opportunity where folks can earn dignified wages, and be able to live affordably, with healthcare close to home. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will support funding for public schools, especially in rural communities. Identifying ways to more fairly fund rural public schools facility and operational needs is a priority for me. Working with local groups, there are ways to increase affordable housing supplies for those ready to buy homes, and with adapted zoning and building codes, allow older residents to generate income from accessory dwellings or other innovative options for lower cost rentals. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a practical problem solver. I am uninterested in placing blame. I am interested in ideas and potential solutions. I have no interest in taking credit or self aggrandizement. I have interest in learning and listening. I take responsibility for what I say and while it may not be popular, I am honest and integrous.

House District 6A

Krista Knudsen Party: Republican. Employment: Mother of four and owner of Cowboy’s in Lake Shore. Public office experience: 2012-2020 City Council of Lake Shore; 2020-Current Mayor of Lake Shore. Knudsen What do you want to accomplish if elected? I have been blessed to meet great people as I’ve traveled throughout House District 5A. During these conversations, I hear similar concerns: inflation-specifically the rising cost of utilities, groceries and gasoline/diesel; government over-taxation; government over-regulation; public safety concerns and the need for more transparency, accountability and parent involvement in schools. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Minnesota has an unprecedented budget surplus. We must return this money to the hardworking people that earned it by passing historic tax cuts, including the elimination of tax on Social Security benefits and lowering all income tax rates. I will proudly support legislation to give Minnesotans the largest tax cut in history. When it comes to government, I am a firm believer that less is more. Less regulations and unfunded mandates for our main street businesses, farmers and local governments. I will advocate for more parent involvement in schools at all decision-making levels. And I will always Back the Blue! What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am guided by life experience! I am the best candidate for House District 5a because as a mother and business owner, I know firsthand the issues affecting our district’s families and main street businesses. As the mayor of Lake Shore, I understand how government functions. I will use these life experiences and the experiences of the great people of our district to fight for and to advocate for our way of life in St. Paul!

House District 5B Gregg Hendrickson Party: Independence-Alliance. Employment: U.S. Army veteran, business degree, decades in Management, Finance and sales/marketing. Public office experience: None. Hendrickson What do you want to accomplish if elected? Property taxes and infrastructure fixes. We are losing business and young families, which are our labor pool because of high taxes and lack of infrastructure like broadband. Simple fixes that our elected reps didn’t want to get done because they vote for the party over the people. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would form a coalition with the nine counties that are affected by rising taxes and lowering population, to change the tax code for these areas. This would be bipartisan. By being a swing voter, both Republican and Democrats will want me to vote on a bill, this is how I will get something in the bill that will benefit House 5B. A simple bonding bill is all that is needed to get broadband here. Again, party politics got in the way of this. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’m an Independent. My years in business gives me the experience. I will be a swing voter; I don’t have to vote party lines. I do have the ability to think, my opponent will not. He must vote, talk and think the party way. Do you want a representative that’s by the people for the people or do you want a representative that’s by the people for the party?

Rick Blake Party: DFL. Employment: Retired. Public office experience: I serve on the Grand Rapids City Council, representing the City on the Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority, Grand Rapids Public Utilities ComBlake mission, Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC), a non-partisan coalition. I recently received an award from CGMC for legislative advocacy for our rural communities. What do you want to accomplish if elected? Preservation of our constitutional right to manage our own health care in Minnesota. Fully funding our public schools and supporting our dedicated teachers. Funding District 6A economic development and infrastructure at levels that enable our cities, towns, and communities to thrive with good jobs and a good quality of life. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will bring my experience successfully working with others to solve problems, in a bipartisan manner, to state government. I will take time to listen and learn from my constituents and fellow legislators. I will carefully evaluate alternatives before making decisions while always defending our fundamental freedoms as guaranteed in our State and Federal Constitutions. I will fight for funding to fix and maintain our crumbling infrastructure. I will take the initiative to reach across the aisle, as I have always done, to ensure rural Minnesota concerns are at the forefront of decision-making. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have over 30 years experience leading and working with people in the paper, mining, and construction industries, plus leadership in many public service and volunteer positions, resulting in successful projects in both the private and public sectors. As a small business owner, I know business concerns. My experience in city government and legislative advocacy enables me to get to work immediately. I know how to get things done, how to make tough decisions and how to stand up for the needs of our families and communities. I have a proven ability to get things done on a bipartisan basis.

House District 6B

Mike Wiener Party: Republican. Employment: Business Owner. Public office experience: 15 years Planning Zoning Board. What do you want to accomplish if elected? When Wiener elected my goal is to work for the people. Too often politicians are focused on their political careers and catering to special interests. The people need to be first. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? Two ways to put the people first is to not seek endorsements, and term limits. When special interests, lobbyists, and political action committees endorse a candidate, it has strings attached. Politicians end up working for the special interests and not the people. Secondly, I strongly support term limits. Politicians should focus on the people, not their next election. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Owning a business is great preparation for this office. Balancing budgets, finding solutions for problems, working with all types of people and personalities are all qualities that I will bring to this position. We are facing challenges in our country and state, but our best days are before us, not behind us. Thank you, and I look forward to serving the people of District 5B.

Sally Boos Party: DFL. Employment: Retired teacher. Thirty-four years teaching special education in ISD 181. Public Office Experience: None. What do you want to Boos accomplish if elected? Although the right of women to choose whether they start a family is guaranteed in the Minnesotan constitution, I will fight to ensure that right is not challenged. Another goal is to see public schools fully funded and programs we have seen cut, due to lack of funding, are restored. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would fight with all my might against any legislation introduced to limit a woman’s right to privacy. Reproductive decisions are between a woman and her doctor. There is no place for the government in those decisions. Second, I will author, coauthor and support legislation that seeks to fully fund education from preschool through two years of college or a training program. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? During my teaching career, I learned to listen to understand not just to respond. Listening to others’ concerns is the only way to understand how the Legislature’s actions affect individuals, businesses, farmers, students and all levels of society. Working on committees taught me that compromise is not a bad thing and is generally the way that things get done.

House District 7A Spencer Igo Party: Republican. Employment: Legislator. Public office experience: One term as Minnesota State Representative for House District 5B. What do you want to Igo accomplish if elected? I want to bring our best days to reality and that applies to all the issues we face as a state and a region. As your state representative, I will find ways that we can give all Minnesotans a “hand-up” to live their best lives versus a short term “hand-out.” Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? The best way to succeed at anything is by working as a team around you. Whether we are working on a long-term tax cut or finding ways to cut red tape that is handcuffing our small business, my task is to not only work with our community but other leaders around the state to find the solution that lifts up everyone. There is more that brings us together than divides us. I have been working to create inroads in public policy so that it works for all. Grassroots advocacy and passion are how we deliver. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you

the best candidate for the job? I went to college to pursue a degree in public administration to lift up and make communities stronger. I have spent my entire life working towards that goal. I have a proven record and relationships with communities and leaders across our Northland that are invaluable to the legislative process. My passion to serve is what fuels me to live my life by thinking twice and acting once to do the most for our communities. My energy to get things done along with my resolve to see it through is why I am asking for your vote of support. Julie Sandstede Party: DFL. Employment: Teacher (29 years). Public office experience: Minnesota State Representative 2016 to present. What do you want Sandstede to accomplish if elected? My main priority would be to deliver investments for our communities including a bonding bill that funds critical local infrastructure projects, establishing a legacy mine pit account to provide for ongoing flood hazard mitigation, child care, affordable housing, expanding regional mental health and addiction treatment services, and supporting

Ben Davis Party: Republican. Employment: I am the Lead Pastor at Remnant Ministry Center in Brainerd, MN. Public office experience: I have never held a publicly elected office, but I have been very engaged with the community in Davis my role as a pastor. What do you want to accomplish if elected? My primary goal is reminding the citizens of District 6A that We The People are the real decision makers in our society, and that, if elected, I will act in accordance with that knowledge and understanding of the relationship between voter and elected official. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I promise to engage with constituents at the level that actually requires their participation in the decision-making process. It’s often said that we get the government we deserve. I believe we can always do better and that will require an effort by citizens and representatives alike. I can accomplish this by connecting with constituents by every means possible. We need to remind folks of our Constitutional authorities as we the people, to return to an understanding of God’s natural law and our own common sense. The solutions are not always easy, but they are simple. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Ben Davis is the candidate who understands We the people are the governing authority. We are a constitutional republic with God-given rights. I believe in civil service as an engaged citizen. Government has become too large, too powerful in our daily lives, and way too expensive. It’s time for permanent tax cuts and it’s time to get back to law and order. I will be the candidate that responds to difficult situations and decisions with common sense and a Constitutional foundation. The preamble of the Minnesota Constitution clearly sets our course. See it for yourself.

our students. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I will accomplish these goals the same way I always have — by working hard, staying focused, listening, and collaborating. I have a proven track record of fighting for the best interests of my constituents and doing what it takes to get results, including working across party lines and standing up to my own party or state agencies when necessary. I work closely with constituents and local elected officials when they reach out with concerns or needs and always take the time to dive in and learn more so that we find the best possible solution. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I’ve always had a heart for others. That’s what ultimately led me to run for office, not political aspirations or a desire to make a name for myself. I’m not here because of my allegiance to a political party, but because of my commitment to our people.I know that results are more important than rhetoric. With three terms under my belt, I understand the process and have developed the working relationships necessary to get a bill across the finish line. I have a proven track record of getting results for my constituents.

Josh Heintzeman Party: Republican. Employment: Self employed, Timber/Builder. Public office experience: Four terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I look Heintzeman forward to continuing to support my community’s job creators and laborers through lower taxes, smaller more efficient government, with a focus on the reduction of waste and redundant bureaucracy. My political lens is faith-based, pro-2nd amendment, and I will always defend life from conception to natural death. Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I have in the past and will continue to roll up my sleeves embracing every opportunity to serve my constituents. For example, while in the minority I’ve taken on elective committee assignments: The Lessard/Sams Council, LCCMR, Subcommittee on Water, and the Clean Water Council. I do this on top of my assigned committees, on which I’m also currently the lead in Environment Natural Resources, to build relationships and even bring home some great projects. For example, the Brainerd riverfront pavilion, currently being built, and Cross Lake Loon Center dock system, all funded with lottery proceeds, not tax dollars. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My small business private sector experience, as well as a proven conservative track record in public service, stands in stark contrast to my Democrat opponent. My wife, Keri, and I have a large family, six children, and we’re experiencing greater Minnesota life along with my constituents facing many of the same jo’s and challenges. We love living, working, and representing the traditional conservative values of my district without woke political drama. My family has grown up in the Brainerd lakes area, and I firmly support the Judeo-Christian values that guided the creation of our Constitutional Republic in state government.

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

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Area Cities Aitkin City Council (Elect 2)

Chris Dotzler Did not respond. Mike Hills Did not respond. Julie Miller Employment: Aitkin Public Schools teacher. Public office experience: Former Aitkin City Council Member, 2007-2014 and 2016. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Miller your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have nine years of experience as a former city council member. I have served on a multitude of committees within the city of Aitkin, which includes finance, personnel and parks. Participation in the council and these committees provides me with a wealth of knowledge that other candidates don’t have. I am not afraid to tackle tough issues. I am nonpartisan, honest, approachable and will work hard to do what is best for the city, its employees and its residents. LeeAnn Moriarty Employment: Eyecare Center of Aitkin. Public office experience: Aitkin City Council Member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for Moriarty the job? I am currently a member of the City Council, committed to making Aitkin a place where families, young people, retirees and seniors want to live and tourists enjoy visiting. We take pride in our hospital, law enforcement, library, parks, schools, churches and the arts. The culture of our community and the neighborhoods allow people to form strong bonds. Tourists? I have served on the Aitkin Chamber and am currently the president of the Aitkin County Fair Board. I am aware of our city’s needs and will continue to work diligently on your behalf. I welcome your input.

Breezy Point City Council (Elect 2)

Gary A. Bakken Employment: No answer. Public office experience: No answer. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Simply. 25 years of service to the city of Breezy Point. 5 Comprehensive plans to date. 3 Planning Commissions, 3 Councils. Tom Lillehei Employment: Retired electrical engineer for Xcel Energy at Prairie Island Nuclear Plant. Public office experience: Four years on Planning and Zoning (two as chairman), four years on City Council, Lillehei six years as mayor, and 1½ years again on City Council. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have a personal passion to serve the city and am clearly the most qualified candidate on the slate. As mayor, I facilitated the approval and building of the Cuyuna Regional Medical Clinic in Breezy Point. Worked with Planning and Zoning and Land Services to reduce the number of tax-forfeit lots within the city. Reduction in debt load by establishing a pay-as-you-go policy to reserve money ahead of major projects such that Breezy Point is currently debt free. Also as mayor, I had an open-door policy with regular office hours to listen to anyone on any subject. Michael Moroni Employment: CTC implementation specialist. Public office experience: I joined the Planning and Zoning Commission in August 2008. In January of 2014, I was appointed to serve on the City Council and have been Moroni serving since. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I set out on my journey to be involved with the city to offer a different perspective. I have been involved with the city since 2008 with the comprehensive plan committee, Planning and Zoning and nine years on the City Council. My agenda is simple: listen to the facts and make the best decision for the majority of the community.

with people from all walks of life and from all around the world, enabling me to understand and empathize with the issues and concerns of others. In advocating for my students and my program, I learned how to successfully collaborate with community organizations, local businesses, school boards and city councils. Using that experience, I will devote myself to helping Crosslake strategically and thoughtfully, and with true accountability, reach its full potential while maintaining its unique charm and appeal. Stephen Hanning Did not respond Jayme Knapp Did not respond Jackson Purfeerst Employment: Lakes Area Rental/student. Public office experience: Crow Wing Power Board of Trustees and lake association Crosby City Council (Elect 2) board. Christopher Austin What abilities or qualificaDid not respond tions separate you from your Purfeerst Vern Lewis competition? Why are you Employment: Associ- the best candidate for the job? I am the best ate broker with Cold Bank- candidate for the position because I’m here to er Crown Realtors; Red Rider work for the people with a fresh set of eyes! From Resort owner; and Trailside being around in the community and hearing Tavern & Patio co-owner. what people have to say, I feel I can help my comPublic office experience: munity out! I would also be adding some youth Crosby Planning and Zoning to the council! I believe that it is my duty to help Commissioner. Lewis guide Crosslake in an economically-sound way What abilities or qualifi- while being fiscal and strategic in planning our cations separate you from your competition? course for the future. I’m always open to a good Why are you the best candidate for the job? conversation! I’m here to work for you! I moved here in 1984. I started my real estate career in 1997. I think I have the business experi- Crosslake mayor ence that Crosby needs to keep the town moving Carla Bainbridge forward. I understand as a local what small town Employment: Business means but understand we need to keep the town owner, PredictiveTalent.com. growing and bring more people and opportuniPublic office experience: ties to the area. I will bring a business attitude My experience as it relates to to the position and do my best to control tax this position is 21 years of startspending. ing and owning a business and Jim Traylor many years of running the local Employment: Retired prop- Bainbridge Entrepreneurs Organization as erty manager. president, and then also sitting Public office experience: on both the regional and global board of EO. Crosby City council memWhat abilities or qualifications separate you ber, Cuyuna Range Economic from your competition? Why are you the best Development Inc. board mem- candidate for the job? I have a proven track record ber, Serpent Lake Sanitary of running businesses and organizations to reach Sewer District board member their goals and objectives. Also, my family has lived Traylor and former Crosby Chamber in this community for three generations. of Commerce board member. Donald Andre Chouinard What abilities or qualifications separate you Employment: Business from your competition? Why are you the best owner. candidate for the job? As a Crosby homeowner Public office experience: and taxpayer for over 31 years, I have a vested None. interest in our community. My city council What abilities or qualifiexperience and my knowledge of our city’s infracations separate you from structure is an advantage to all Crosby citizens. your competition? Why are As your council member, I will keep an open Chouinard you the best candidate for the mind, I will listen to all options and I will make job? I am a business owner and sound decisions to benefit the majority of Crosfamily man that is experienced by taxpayers. in making hard decisions. I am a very direct and Jennifer Wodarz honest person and love the challenge of comDid not respond munity building. I am the best candidate for the job because I am honest and business minded Crosby mayor to keep costs down for taxpayers and help local Diane Cash businesses thrive. Employment: Retired busiDavid Nevin ness manager/accountant, Employment: Self-emworked in construction and ployed in construction. property management for 40 Public office experience: years and owned a restaurant Mayor. for nine years. What abilities or qualificaPublic office experience: tions separate you from your Elected to Crosby City CounCash competition? Why are you cil in 2018, appointed mayor the best candidate for the job? Nevin in August. I have lived, worked and raised What abilities or qualifications separate you a family in Crosslake for 32 from your competition? Why are you the best years. I have been on the Planning and Zoning candidate for the job? In the last 3-1/2 years, I have Commission and the Public Works Commisresearched and learned so much about how our sion. I was on the City Council for two years city functions. … My original goal in running was and have been mayor the past four years. I have to help protect the city from future lawsuits and to experience. I listen to the business owners and keep our property taxes as low as possible. The city residents of Crosslake. I strive to make the best has no current lawsuits and our budget increases decisions for Crosslake and ensure our taxpayer have been under 3% for two years and were at 0% dollars are being properly used. I am committed increase for 2021. My previous experience in busi- to doing the best job possible to represent the ness and the council experience I have obtained citizens of Crosslake and keep this an enjoyable will help me continue to work toward making and affordable place to live. Crosby the best it can be for everyone. Sierra McLean Deerwood mayor Did not respond Joshua Crain Did not respond Crosslake City Council John Taylor Employment: Retired cab(Elect 2) inet maker, worked at CabSandra “Sandy” L. Farder inets Plus in Deerwood for Employment: Retired edu37 years. cator. Public office experience: Public office experience: Deerwood firefighter for 41 None. years, of which 24 of those What abilities or qualifiyears as fire chief; council cations separate you from Taylor member for seven years. your competition? Why are What abilities or qualifications separate you the best candidate for Farder the job? As the director of you from your competition? Why are you an adult basic education program, I’ve worked the best candidate for the job? I feel I have a Brad Scott Employment: Minnesota Department of Transportation resource manager. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Scott you the best candidate for the job? I understand the nature of public service through my years of military service and as a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Public service is about the people you represent — no exceptions. I can bring fresh ideas and change to how representation at the local level should be handled. I work well with people regardless of differences in opinion. My commitment is to keep government functioning with minimal interference and as cost-effectively as possible.

good understanding of how the city operates and is governed. This experience as fire chief gave me knowledge on how to put together a budget and find alternate funding sources to operate the fire department. I can use this valuable experience if I’m elected mayor. I would like to be the mayor and keep the city moving forward. I’ll need to find alternate funding sources to help offset the cost of Infrastructure replacement and repair within the city of Deerwood. It is a challenge I’m looking forward to taking on as mayor.

Emily City Council (Elect 2)

Bryce Butcher Did not respond. Andrea Donnelly Did not respond. Andrew D. Hemphill Did not respond. Dave Johnson Employment: Technical manager at Silvercote, a metal building insulation supplier. Public office experience: Emily Planning Commission member for about 12 years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Johnson your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My experience on the Planning Commission gives me good insight into the function of city government. My work experience primarily revolves around communication and problem-solving. This requires the ability to independently look at all aspects of a situation, listen to discussions and arguments on all sides of an issue and come to a fair and unbiased conclusion. I have lived in Emily since 2006. I have seen the challenges to businesses struggling to survive the slower winter months, as well as the stresses which come with the swelling summer population. I will try to represent our citizens equally. Gregory Koch Retired Employment: financial and IT professional. Public office experience: Emily Planning and Zoning Commission chair. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Koch you the best candidate for the job? I am a hard-working small-town Minnesota native who graduated college with a degree in accounting and then earned my MBA while working full time. During my professional career, I held senior management positions in finance and in IT, including heading up the cash management departments for Rosemount Aerospace. I believe in treating people with courtesy and respect. This enables us to build effective relationships while creating a productive environment. Council members are representatives of the people and stewards of their tax dollars, and I am a forthright individual who is open-minded, but also knows when to stand firm. Bill Spiess Employment: Manufacturer of Adirondack furniture and machine quilting. Public office experience: Land use inspector for the city of Emily; Planning and Zoning Commission member; and former city council Spiess member for four years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am a candidate who will work for you and your interests to make sure that the city is going in the right direction. As a council member, I will work for you.

Emily mayor

Tracy Jones Employment: Business owner. Public office experience: Incumbent mayor. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have a proven track record of running businesses and organizations to reach their goals and objectives. Also, my family has lived in this community for three generations. What separates me from my competition is that I am not a politician. I have a vested interest in seeing Emily flourish for myself, my family and every single person in our town. I am a year-round resident and know the people that live in our community. … I believe we have to get the manganese mine operating safely in Emily to improve the infrastructure of our town. Roger “Buddy” Lund Did not respond PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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Area Cities Ironton City Council (Elect 2)

Debra L. Bergsnev Employment: Program director, Master’s in healthcare administration; ECPI University. Public office experience: Community initiatives with Thriving Community Programs and Leading Age IniBergsnev tiative Cuyuna Area Connections. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have a passion to see our town grow along with maintaining our heritage. There are many opportunities for expansion as we have seen over the last three years. There has been growth and vision in our current council and I would be honored to be part of the growth! Matthew V. Bugnacki Employment: Bethany Good Samaritan Society environmental services director. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you Bugnacki the best candidate for the job? I think that I am the best candidate for the job because I really have no desire for politics or to be involved in politics. I have eight kids and we have raised our family in Ironton for just about 20 years. While I have no desire for politics, I do have a desire to see the place we call home flourish, adapt and grow. I am the right candidate because I will approach the seat with a fresh look and an open mind. Dean French Employment: No answer Public office experience: City council member and mayor. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the French job? I believe in that time I did what was best for the city and the taxpayers. Your job is not to do what you want but what is best for the city. I have taken a few stands that have not been popular with some but I felt were best for the city. Allan J. Reed Did not respond. Rose Stromberg Employment: No answer. Public office experience: Ironton City Council member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Change is good but it needs to Stromberg be the right kind. As a lifelong resident of the area, I am dedicated to the economic and social well-being of the community I serve. I have been a member on Ironton’s council for six years and I’ve had input on issues that can make or break a small community. During this time, my main focus has been “What is going to be the best for those who reside in Ironton?” I am confident I can continue to make a difference, which will benefit the residents and therefore am the best person to do so.

Ironton mayor Louis Dirkes Did not respond.

Josh Jacobson Employment: Riverwood Healthcare Center nurse practitioner. Public office experience: Ironton Zoning and Planning Commission. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Jacobson competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am first and foremost dedicated to serving the people of Ironton. I want to make it a better place for all of us. My education and background allow me to fully assess a situation, do good research to help formulate a plan and adjust that plan along the way to make sure that we end up where we want to be. I’m a lifetime learner who is willing to work hard and look at multiple sources. I listen, and I look out for the good of everyone both today and in the future. Jeff Midthun Employment: Essentia Health employee. Public office experience: Ironton City Council member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Midthun As the only person running for mayor that has any experience in the city of Ironton public office and has attended every meeting in the last two years, I feel I bring the best qualifications. I put the full-time residents and businesses of Ironton first, my track record for the last 1.5 years on the council proves that statement. I took this position to serve the residents and look out for their best interests. Unlike my running mates, I have no alternative motives or political agendas.

Jenkins City Council (Elect 2)

Bill Ellis Did not respond. Jerimey Flategraff Did not respond. Andrew J. Rudlang Did not respond. Roman Siltman Employment: Owner of Watt Computer Solutions. Public office experience: Jenkins Planning and Zoning Committee member for a year. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Siltman your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am willing to work worth, and for, the community, as well as spend time outside of meetings researching topics and problems, answering questions from, and working with, citizens in the community.

Jenkins Mayor Charles Hoffman Did not respond. Debbie Siltman Did not respond.

Little Falls City Council At Large

Nisswa City Council (Elect 2)

Cameron Dorion Did not respond. Mark Froehle Employment: Retired. Public office experience: Nisswa City Council member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have two years of local Froehle council experience, 10 years of military management experience and many years of private sector management experience. I’ve worked with multi-million dollar budgets which helped with maneuvering the intricacies of the public budget process. In 2021, the current Nisswa council started working with the departments on long-range planning goals, Capital campaigns and I have been working with the Parks and Recreation Commission, as the council liaison, on the future needs for Nisswa. I hope to be elected for a four-year term to continue working with the City staff on all that we started in 2021.

Jesse Zahn Employment: Co-owner of Zahn Energy Group; National Conductor & Conductor Power. Public office experience: Nisswa City Council member. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Zahn competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? My comprehensive business experience, broad understanding of micro/macro-economic circumstances and practical personnel skills have proven to be valuable during my time on the Nisswa City Council since being appointed in March of 2022. I retain a deep understanding of our community, our values and engagement within. I pride myself on prioritizing obtaining input from others prior to making a final decision. Relating to local business owners, I’m conscious of the effects of change and am very diligent about it. I bring a commonsense approach to problems old and new, with respect to the traditions of Nisswa and modern trends.

Mille Lacs County Board

David Glaze Employment: Retired business owner. Public office experience: Chamber of Commerce past president, Arts & Crafts Fair Timothy Wilhelm chairman, United Way board Did not respond. member, initiated the City of Dan Whitcomb Lights in Little Falls. Employment: Owner and Glaze What abilities or qualifiOperator of: JQ Fruit Farm cations separate you from your competition? and Orchard. Engineer, retired. Why are you the best candidate for the job? Public office experience: I want to be approachable, effective and fair Mille Lacs County Commiswhen it comes to the needs of our community. sioner (2 years); 2010-2012 Moving our community forward is one thing Princeton School Board (10 I am committed to as long as we balance the Whitcomb years); Mayor City of Zimmertaxpayer’s ability to fund those needs and proman (2 years). vide long-term results. Chuck Justin Employment: Old Dutch foods route salesman. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from Roger Tellinghuisen your competition? Why are Did not respond. you the best candidate for Justin Richard Savitski the job? I have been serving Employment: Retired. on the Planning and Zoning Commission Public office experience: No experience. since February, which I thoroughly enjoy and What abilities or qualifications separate you sparked my interest in running for the city from your competition? Why are you the best council seat. I have worked in the retail sector in some capacity for the last 33 years, which has taught me how important it is to listen to people’s concerns. If elected, I would be the youngest member of the council, which may bring a new perspective to look at issues.

Commissioner District 2 What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have over 14 years of public service as a mayor, school board chair/ director and county commissioner, my record shows that I am always engaged, conservative with taxpayer dollars, and a long term planner. I have worked as a farmer, engineer, project manager, Minnesota State Emergency Manager, and Naval Officer U.S. Submarine Service. I have a very knowledgeable education and experience basis in local government and leadership.

Commissioner District 4 candidate for the job? I will make this my job. I will be there every day, not just two days a month, to control spending and the county administrator. … lower taxes and control spending and to replace the county administrator with one that works for the people.

Mille Lacs County Sheriff

Little Falls City Council Ward 3

David C. Meyer Employment: Minnesota Lawn Co. owner. Public office experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for Meyer the job? As a small business owner, a husband, a father of four and a worship leader at my church, I am a good listener and easy to approach. I enjoy sorting out tough issues and finding new ways to address problems. I have volunteered for various community and church committees and led with confidence, especially during hard times. As a lifelong resident of Little Falls, I am deeply aware of the needs and desires of area residents, and I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the council, to address the challenges and opportunities facing our community. James Storlie Employment: Retired. Public office experience: Little Falls City Council. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am the current Storlie council member for the Little Falls, Third Ward. I represent the citizens of Little Falls with a voice that benefits them as a whole. I require answers from others, in a manner that I can answer questions from our residents, that they can understand. I cast my vote with the residents of Little Falls in mind, and will not be pressured by anyone to vote a certain way.

Long Prairie mayor

Jodi Ann Dixon Employment: Long Prairie Senior Center manager and substitute teacher. Public office experience: Long Prairie mayor. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are Dixon you the best candidate for the job? I have a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science, and I am a former business owner. These experiences, along with my current employment, have helped me to understand what the different age groups need in the city. I have worked with others in the city to implement a stronger sense of welcome for all the community members. I have restructured several city boards to better serve the city. I have stressed the need for transparency and have welcomed the city’s new financial team. I have been to numerous conferences and training to better myself for the city. Daiv Freeman Did not respond.

Kyle A. Burton Employment: Chief Deputy Sheriff, Mille Lacs County Sheriff ’s Office. Public Office Experience: I currently serve as the second in command to the elected sheriff. The chief deputy sheriff is appointed Burton by the elected sheriff. I perform all of the same duties as the elected sheriff and serve as the elected sheriff in his absence. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have training, experience and direct knowledge of what is needed to serve as sheriff. I’m in my 22nd year of law enforcement. I’ve served as a jailer, patrol deputy, K-9 handler, SWAT Member, SWAT Team Leader, SWAT Commander, training officer, firearms instructor, sergeant and chief deputy. I’ve also completed extensive leadership training through both the MN Sheriff ’s Association and the BCA. I’m ready to step in on day one and assume the role of sheriff without any need for on the job training. My extensive background and experience make me the best candidate to serve as your next sheriff.

Travis “TJ” Johnson Employment: Mille Lacs County Deputy Sheriff. Public office experience: Deputy Sheriff with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff ’s Office since 2016 de-escalation instructor, former use of force / defenJohnson sive tactics instructor, former SWAT Team Member, former union steward, former Milaca Police Department Officer, former Mille Lacs County Sheriff ’s Office Reserve Deputy, completed the ICLD (Institute for Credible Leadership) training through the MN Sheriff ’s Association What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I bring a unique and diverse background and experiences to the position. With my law enforcement, business ownership (20+ years) and professional (former MN Twin) experiences, I bring a new perspective to the role of sheriff. My out of the box thinking and life experiences, both inside and outside of law enforcement, allow me to look through many different lenses and bring multiple perspectives when making decisions which best serve the people of Mille Lacs County. The sheriff is elected by the people for the people. The needs and concerns of the people are my top priority.

PAID ADVERTISEMENT RTISEMENT

ELECT

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THOMPSON

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25 YEARS CONTINUOUS CASS COUNTY EXPERIENCE

7 YEARS SUPERVISORY, ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGETARY EXPERIENCE GRADUATE OF MULTIPLE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY “I have been preparing my entire career for this opportunity.” I would greatly appreciate your support.

EXPERIENCED SERVANT LEADER Prepared and paid for by the Committee to elect Chris Thompson Sheriff P.O. Box 362, Walker, MN 56484


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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 | BRAINERD DISPATCH

Todd County Board Commissioner District 2 Gary A. Kneisl Did not respond Tim Denny Employment: Farmer. Public office Experience: None. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Integrity and accountability are two words that have great meaning to

Nikki (Tyrrell) Deyle Employment: Business Consultant & Farmer. Public office experience: I currently serve as the Clerk for Ward Township and have been in that position for nine years. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Deyle competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? Having been born and raised on a crop and dairy farm in District 4, I understand the demographics of the area, and the common goals we are working towards. I have over 20 years of experience working with executives, farmers, and elected officials to accomplish common goals. I take the role of county commissioner seriously. I am passionate about dedicating my time, experience, and energy to ensure Todd County remains a prosperous and sustainable community for generations to come.

Todd County Sheriff Lonnie Marcyes Employment: Chief Deputy, Todd County Sheriff ’s Office Public office experience: What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have been employed at the Todd County Sheriff ’s Office for over 19 years. I have worked my way from the bottom to the top, starting as a road deputy, being promoted to a Sergeant, and currently as the Chief Deputy (2nd in command). I have the knowledge to supervise complex investigations. I have developed relationships with outside agencies throughout Minnesota to help bring these cases to a positive outcome. I make decisions that benefit not only the Sheriff ’s Office, but all citizens of Todd County. I am dedicated to serving and protecting the citizens of Todd County.

House District 10B

Hunter Froelich Party: DFL. Did not respond. my family and me. I believe that if someone takes Isaac Schultz a job/position then you do that to the fullest. Party: Republican. I have excellent people skills and I work hard, Employment: Auctioneer I will not accept mediocrity when it comes to and District Director. being the voice for the people. My goal is to be a Public office experience: I voice for the people, to make every person in my have never held elected office. district feel like they can come to be with their What do you want to questions and leave with an answer. accomplish if elected? My top priorities are to help Schultz lower the cost of living and ensure that our communities are safe. I will be a fierce advocate for the taxpayers, fighting to lower taxes and reduce the heavy burden of government on individuals, families, farmers, Lew Noska and businesses so that our community can Employment: Forester for thrive. Morrison Soil and Water ConSpecifically, how would you accomplish servation District. your goals? Lowering taxes like eliminating Public office experience: the tax on social security income and lowering None. every income tax level would make Minnesota What abilities or qualifi- more affordable. I will oppose radical energy cations separate you from policies that increase energy costs from the gas your competition? Why are pump to your home electric bill and support Noska you the best candidate for the job? I was employed by Todd County for 5 years as a Wetland Specialist. I am familiar with Todd County, its residents and the challenges they face. I want nothing more than to see Todd County and its residents succeed and prosper going forward.

Commissioner District 4

Mike Allen Employment: Sergeant at the Todd County Sheriff ’s Office. Public office experience: Volunteer Firefighter, 3 Term mayor of Burtrum. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your Allen competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? The distinct qualifications that make me the best candidate include a working knowledge of many areas within the department. I started as a Jailer and have worked as a Dispatcher, Bailiff, Road Deputy, and currently as Sergeant. With over 20 years of management experience, I have learned the importance of never asking my staff to do something that I wouldn’t be willing to do. I have a proven record of being fiscally responsible by managing large department budgets and have served my community by being a member of our local volunteer fire department and three term Mayor of Burtrum.

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American Energy Independence. In regards to public safety, I will oppose every attempt to defund the police. Instead, I will support increased penalties to stop repeat offenses from violent criminals and actually hold them accountable unlike the actions of our judicial system today. I will stand with our law enforcement and ensure they have the resources they need. What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am deeply rooted in this district as five generations of my family have lived, worked, and raised our families here. God-willing, my fiancé, Julia and I look forward to raising a sixth generation in this district. My passion for our small town rural way of life is strong. I grew up picking rocks and baling hay on my family’s century farm and like so many, my auction business was directly impacted by the Walz shutdown. I am a proud conservative and I am eager to listen, learn, and fight for the needs of our district as our State Representative.