VOTER’S GUIDE 2022 echo press | Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Be an informed voter in Nov. 8 election Candidates running for office answer questions By Al Edenloff email@example.com Big decisions await voters in Douglas County. In addition to the statewide races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general and a U.S. representative race in the 7th District, Douglas County voters will select office holders for school boards, city councils, Douglas County Board, Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House. In an effort to help voters make a more informed decision, the Echo Press sent questionnaires to 21 candidates in key contested races and their responses are included in this Voter’s Guide. To bring local voters up to speed, here’s a recap of those 21 candidates: Alexandria School Board, Position 2 – Vern Engstrom vs. Alan Zeithamer. Alexandria School Board, Position 3 – Lynne Lommen vs. Shawn Reilly. Alexandria School Board, Position 4 – Laura Knudsen vs. Sandy Susag. Douglas County Board, District 2 – Tim Kalina vs. Jim Stratton. Douglas County Board, District 5 – Heather Larson vs. Shane Schmidt. Alexandria City Council, Ward 4 – Nicole Mace vs. Ronald Sik. Minnesota Senate District 12 – Torrey Westrom vs. Kari Dorry vs. Ashley Klingbeil. Minnesota Senate District 9 – Jordan Rasmusson vs. Cornel Walker. Minnesota House District 12B – Mary Franson vs. Jeremy Vinar. Minnesota House District 9B – Tom Murphy vs. Jason Satter. In addition to those races, voters throughout Douglas County will have other decisions to make at the city, school and township level. The filing period for cities, school boards and townships that do not have primary elections opened Aug. 2 and closed on Aug. 16. It resulted in 13 contested races: City of Brandon – three can-
didates filed for two council positions, Jesse Beaumia, Jordyn Bossert and Kevin Wade Challes. City of Carlos – three candidates are running for mayor. They are Todd Burgess, Kelly Kees and Lyle Yochim. Also three people are running for two spots in a special council election.
They are Ronna Berghoff, Diane Rounds and Ashley Wildman. City of Evansville – Michael Hudson and Emmitt Messer are vying for a special election seat on the council. City of Kensington – Brock Green, Jared Johnson and Joe Miles filed for two positions on the city council. City of Miltona – Alan Bettermann and Brian Carpenter both filed for mayor. Also, five candidates are vying for two council seats, Kevin Lee, Joseph Leesch, Mickey Lint, David Ward and Pam Ward. City of Osakis – Three candidates, Randy Anderson, Laura Backes and Stephanie Finnegan, filed for two city council seats that are up for election. Osakis School Board – five candidates filed for three spots on the board. They are Fran Breiter, Greg Faber, Corey Goodwin, Jeffrey Kalpin and Jonathan Ries. Minnewaska School Board – six people filed for three positions on the board and include
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Miriah Cassidy, Will Harvey, Zachery Lagred, Amanda Ogdahl, Ted Reichmann and Randall Sander. Also, two candidates filed for another position on the school board, Lisa Martin and Justin Zavadil. West Central Area School Board – six candidates filed for three positions. They are Persephone England, Anthony Green, Michelle Nessman, Jared Olson, Dale Rau, Sara Strunk. Parkers Prairie School Board – five people filed for four positions. They are Christy Hart, Shawn Hoemberg, Steven Inwards, Judith Moeller and Brad Ost. Depending on where you live, there may also be questions on your ballot. Voters in Carlos Township, for example, will decide whether to allow the Carlos Township Board to charge property owners who violate state law for removing snow and ice left on or in the right-of-way of a township road if it’s deemed to be a maintenance or safety hazard. As has been the case in past elections, some local positions will be decided by write-in votes because no one filed. This includes Forada city clerk/treasurer; Garfield mayor; Millerville mayor; and Brandon-Evansville School Board members at large, which drew two candidates, Jana Anderson and Stacy Beaumia, for three positions. Candidates for several other local positions that are up for election are running unopposed on the ballot. This includes four incumbent elected officials for Douglas County – Auditor/Treasurer Vicki Doehling, Sheriff Troy Wolbersen, Attorney Chad Larson and Recorder Mary Skillings. Remember, changes were made in the boundaries of the jurisdictions because of redistricting, which is done every 10 years to reflect changes in population. Some voters will be seeing names on their ballots that they’ve never seen before.
HHHHH Who is on your ballot? Here’s a quick way to find out who is on your ballot. Go to the Echo Press website, www.echopress.com. Click on ELECTION 2022 at the top of the page. Or on your smartphone, click on the “hamburger” (the three short lines at the top left of the page) and then click on ELECTION 2022. From there, you can type in your address to find out who will be on your ballot or browse through stories about the election and the candidates. You can also get answers to common questions such as, “What are the different ways I can vote?” “Who is eligible to vote?” “Can I register to vote on Election Day?” “Where do I vote?” “How do I report voter fraud?” “How can I check if I am already registered?” “What should I bring to the polls?” or “Who do I ask if I have a question about voting?” Our ELECTION 22 link also includes archived stories about candidates and the election. The important thing: Get involved in the process and make informed decisions this election. It’s an important one. Listen to the wise words of Abraham Lincoln: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
HONORED TO BE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE • Proud advocate at Biden/Walz the Capitol inflation •Tax cutsPro-Life to help families with • Protector the 2nd andcriminals NRA member •Support ourofpolice andAmendment crack down on • Championing tax r elief for Minnesotans •Back to basics in the classroom & stopping CRT • Exposing •Fight for thefraudulent unborn spending of your tax dollars NOV. 8TH
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Minnesota House of Representatives Minnesota House of Representatives District 8B District 8B Now Serving 12B
Voter’s Guide 2022
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | echo press
MN SENATE DISTRICT 12 Kari Dorry, DFL
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I’m a mom and a teacher from Ortonville where my husband, Chris, and I are raising our three teenage sons, Owen, Eliot and Archer. My Big Stone County roots span five generations. I am currently in my 21st year of teaching Early Childhood Special Education. I’m also president of my teachers’ union, active in my church, and generously volunteer throughout my community. Having the trust and respect of one’s community is the most important qualification for anyone seeking elected office. I believe I’ve earned that respect by being a good listener, a bridge builder, and problem solver with a reputation for getting things done. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? I’m not campaigning around any special interest, grievance, or divisive issue. There are many concerns and opportunities that require the full attention of your senator. Putting our people first, my priorities start here: To honorably and truthfully serve the peo-
ple of my district as your senator. To wisely advocate for the broad interests of my constituents including funding for rural schools and childcare, support for rural hospitals and clinics, and necessary investments in transportation and rural infrastructure. To make sure those citizens most affected by rising costs have a safety net to weather the storm. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidates? In our democracy voters deserve to have clear choices when choosing their elected leaders and they have a clear choice this year with me and two other candidates on the ballot. Once again, my campaign isn’t built on furthering division or stoking fear and distrust. I’m a community builder. I believe we’re all capable of finding common ground, using our common sense, and actually focusing on what matters. I believe that good government thrives on fresh ideas and fresh approaches and that none of us should seek elected office as a long-term career move. I don’t intend to out-stay my welcome as your senator. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. Partisan wranglings can undermine any process. Political differ-
Ashley Klingbeil, We the People ences divide families, churches, friendships, and workplaces. Overcoming division starts with practicing tolerance and respect with a firm commitment to not let anyone inject so much political division into a process that it derails the desired outcome. My commitment to my community has always focused on tolerance and respect knowing that we have much more in common than not. By focusing on what really matters we can come together with common purpose, forge lasting relationships, and build thriving communities. I face and succeed at this challenge everyday. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? The best way to address rising inflation is to support a diverse and vibrant local economy while making certain that the people most harmed by rising prices are protected from the worst consequences. There isn’t much that we can do as rural legislators to impact global inflation but we can take steps to support local businesses, workers, and communities. State budget surpluses should in part flow back to every Minnesotan. Other resources should benefit those most at risk, especially the poor and elderly. And by wisely investing in the future of our rural communities, we can weather economic swings.
Torrey Westrom, R
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I grew up on a dairy farm. I worked my way through college earning degrees from Bemidji State University and William Mitchell College of Law. My wife and I are blessed with three children. We live in rural Alexandria, MN, where we also attend New Life Church. With my experience in agriculture, and a small business owner, I am deeply rooted in rural traditional values-which I’ll fight for in St. Paul. In 1987 I lost my eyesight in a farm-related accident. I have worked hard to find a way to get things done with a “can-do” attitude. As the first blind Minnesotan elected, I serve as the Senate Ag Committee Chair. I serve on three other committees. Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen and I serve as two of five senators on the Lottery Commission, funding dozens of natural resource projects like the local ALASD project currently in front of our commission. If elected, what would be your top three prior-
ities next session? Give the state surplus back to you – the taxpayers! Pass significant tax relief for all Minnesotans, the elimination of the social security tax on our seniors – the gift that keeps on giving! Ensure election integrity reforms – including Voter ID and Provisional Ballots, like 47 other states do. We have last-minute unregistered voters – we need provisional ballots! Prioritize funding one-time infrastructure, such as local and state roads and finish building out rural broadband. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate(s)? There is a lot at stake on what direction our state and country go. The abusive use of emergency powers under Governor Walz, and now executive powers by President Biden. I will be the strongest conservative voice at the Capitol to stand up for our values and constitutional rights! Walz excluded so many voters and property owners voices from being heard. This DFL style of government is dangerous. It’s led to high inflation, high crime and lawlessness. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. I was one of only two senators this past ses-
sion that was able to pass my committees’ supplemental finance bill – agriculture and rural broadband funding. And when we got to the hard parts, I ordered pizza for everyone in the room to stay late into the evening and find common ground on multiple issues with the Agriculture Commissioner and the House DFL chairman, rather than walking away. We hammered out our differences and passed the strongest rural broadband bill in our state’s history. I have a style of talking to others with differing viewpoints, such as my DFL committee members. This helps me better understand their concerns and differing opinions. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? Give the surplus money back through tax cuts to Minnesota taxpayers, to deal with President Bidens’ inflation. Keep revitalizing our rural communities, by finishing rural broadband. Get “Line 3 built” to open up more domestic energy sources to become energy independent again and bring down gas/diesel prices at the pump like we experienced under President Trump. Push for Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment so they start living within their means and quit running up so much national debt.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. My name is Ashley Klingbeil and I am a mother, real estate agent and patriot. I grew up in Senate District 12, spending the first portion of my childhood in Swift County, moving to Alexandria as a teen. I am employed with Century 21 as a licensed real estate agent and work primarily in the Central Minnesota marketplace. I became more politically active prior to the 2020 Presidential election, working as a field organizer for the Minnesota GOP. Door knocking, participating in local events and handing out signs gave me many opportunities to talk with community members and hear their dissatisfaction with the direction our state is heading. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? If elected, my top legislative priority would be eliminating state income taxes, it’s evident by the nearly $3 billion surplus last fis-
cal year and over $100 million excess revenue for the first part of FY23 that Minnesotans are being overtaxed. This must end. Parental rights is another very important issue facing constituents. Long before the pandemic, there were activist groups and individuals working to erode our rights to choose what is best for our families in terms of medical procedures and education. Finally, reducing the role of government in Minnesotan’s everyday life is a top priority for me. At every opportunity, I will work to eliminate wasteful, unnecessary government positions and agencies. You can learn more about my legislative priorities by visiting my website www.klingbeilforsenate. com Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate(s)? District 12 has been a conservative stronghold for decades. It’s evident that constituents value fiscal responsibility, small government and our constitutional rights. For the past 10 years, we’ve had the same Republican senator, yet I hear continuously how dissatisfied constituents are with the direction our state is heading. My DFL opponent is endorsed by several progressive activist groups including
Planned Parenthood and Education Minnesota, making it clear that she does not represent our district’s values. On the campaign trail this summer, I have frequently heard that Minnesotans are ready for a change. I am an independent candidate, running to represent We the People. If you believe in term limits and freedom, I’m your candidate. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? My first legislative priority is eliminating income tax in Minnesota. This will have a significant impact on the budgets of families across our state. In addition, I will work to eliminate government involvement in everyday commerce, reducing expenses for businesses operating and selling in Minnesota. This will foster a competitive market that will ultimately reduce prices at the register. Finally, I will work with other legislators to improve the business climate, encouraging companies to base their headquarters in Minnesota, leading to job and wage growth.
Common sense and compassion for the issues that matter to you: - Protect Social Security and Medicare - Increase affordable housing opportunities - Make our economy work for working Minnesotans - Defend women's rights - Improve funding for public education from childcare through higher education - Lower prescription drug costs - Invest in local infrastructure - Fortify family farming for future generations - Prioritize people over politics
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echo press | Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Voter’s Guide 2022
MN SENATE DISTRICT 9
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. My wife, Emma, and I live in Fergus Falls. Our families have lived in the area for 6 generations. We are active members of Grace Lutheran Church in Erhard. I currently serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives and am honored to be the Republican endorsed candidate for Senate District 9. Outside of the Legislature, I work with businesses to analyze potential investments, create strategic plans, and improve operations. My clients have included seed companies, dairy co-ops, and many other types of businesses. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? Minnesotans are overtaxed, and I support returning the state budget surplus to taxpayers. I authored the bill to eliminate the state tax on social security income (House File 3752) and also authored a bill that would reduce the income tax on all Minnesotans (House File 4777). My top priority is to deliver permanent tax relief to you. We need government to live within its means and stop adding costly
Jordan Rasmusson, R
Cornel Walker, DFL
regulations onto Minnesota businesses and consumers. I was awarded the “Guardian of Small Business Award” by the NFIB and am endorsed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Farm Bureau for working to reduce costly mandates that drive inflation. Public safety is a key role of government, and I will continue to back law enforcement and first responders. I am honored to be endorsed by the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association for my work on public safety. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? I am a proven conservative leader who gets things done. In my two years in the Minnesota House, I have a record of getting results. I have authored and passed bipartisan bills to increase mental healthcare access, extend high-speed internet to unserved areas, and support rural economic development in our communities. I also understand and live our community values – my family has lived in this area for 6 generations. I have a proven track record of standing-up for policies and principles that reflect our community, such as fiscal responsibility and respect for law enforcement. I am endorsed by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce,
our Legislature. It was suggested that, as a candidate, I contact lobbyists for fundraising. If I won, that would cause me to place a higher priority on a particular cause or industry over voters. In my opinion, the most important issue that should be dealt with is Pay to Play. Too often party designations limit how legislators view their constituents. I propose a different path – one that engages voters in my district to participate in the legislative side of democracy. A second priority is following through on what is agreed upon. How our state handled a surplus is a concern. A working agreement on how to spend $4 billion of the surplus had been reached by the 2022 session deadline and the parties walked away from that agreement. As a result, federal monies designated for specific uses are not currently available for our use – money that would have reduced or supplemented our state taxpayer contribution to public education, healthcare institutions, and infrastructure. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? I believe I am uniquely qualified to work in the Senate. As a trained mediator and trial attorney, the most important thing is to listen and hear what the other side
and the Minnesota Farm Bureau among other endorsements. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. The best thing we can do to improve the legislative process is electing legislators who have a track record of breaking through the gridlock on behalf of our communities. As stated in both the Wheaton Gazette and the Pelican Rapids Press, “Even his political opponents admit that Jordan Rasmusson had a successful first term in the Minnesota House… He was the chief sponsor of 40 bills during his first term, several of which made it into law. This success means working with those across the political aisle.” In the Minnesota Senate, I will continue to listen to constituents and get things done on their behalf. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? Minnesota has some of the highest taxes in the nation. With our record surplus, I support returning the state budget surplus to taxpayers in permanent tax relief. I authored the largest tax cut in Minnesota’s history, including eliminating taxes on social security (House File 3752) and reducing income taxes for all Minnesotans (House File 4777). My top priority is tax relief.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I was born and raised in Texas. I worked on my family’s small ranch herding cattle, bailing hay, and extracting honey. I was introduced to hard work and developed a strong work ethic. I graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and attended St. Mary’s University School of Law. Following graduation from law school, I spent three years in the Army JAG Corp. I am a 40-plus-year trial attorney trying approximately 200 jury trials. During my career, I became convinced that mediation was a better way to resolve cases and I, therefore, became a trained mediator. My reputation as an attorney was built on the fact that my handshake was my bond. As a mediator, I listen to all parties and attempt to understand their points of view. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? My top priority is to reimagine the role of politics and influence in
is saying, build trust by always doing what you say you will do, and try to forge small compromises which can lead to larger compromises. Bi-partisanship should be our goal. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. I have mediated numerous cases in which the parties did not want to compromise or agree to anything that the other side would suggest. I had to listen carefully not only to intellectual arguments but also to the emotional arguments of each side. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota and to address rising inflation? Minnesota is enjoying a very low unemployment rate. Unfortunately, not all people in Minnesota have the same opportunities as their neighbors. We should invest in the people of Minnesota through education, training for jobs, and extensive support for technical schools. We must support the family farmer by increasing the estate tax exemption and having legislators come to our area and listen to the needs of our rural communities instead of dictating what we are to do without asking the people who are impacted by the legislation.
MN HOUSE DISTRICT 12B Jeremy Vinar, DFL
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I’m a 37-year-old father of two and have lived in the lakes area for the last 14 years. I’ve spent much of my adult life working in service, but public service has always been my passion. I’ve volunteered my time for countless charitable organizations, such as The Relay for Life, Polar Plunge, and Habitat for Humanity. I’ve also worked on campaigns from mayoral through presidential, holding positions such as PAC treasurer, campaign manager, and outreach officer. Currently, I sit on the Alexandria Parks Board and the ATCC Diversity Committee. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? Affordable housing is desperately in need in this region of the state. I would work to increase supply and reduce hurdles to ownership for hard working families, as well as support measures to increase wages and benefits. Education is an investment that pays dividends. I believe a well-funded system,
from child care through college, is essential to building tomorrow’s workforce and staying competitive. Nobody should go broke paying for daycare or tuition, and educators, support staff, and care providers deserve to be well compensated. Healthcare is a human right. 50% of Americans carry medical debt and it’s the number one cause of filing bankruptcy. Prescription drug costs are often double or more than that of other countries. People should be able to get whatever care they need, including reproductive healthcare, at a price they can afford. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? People should vote for me because I’m focused on solutions to real problems, not manufactured crises, conspiracy theories and finger pointing. I believe the concerns of everybody that lives here matter, not just those who agree with me. And while we may not agree on every issue, I’ll respect you enough to listen to what matters to you, and make an effort to find common ground. Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. The largely two party system worsens polarization, exacerbated by more partisan legislators who view issues
Mary Franson, R as only having one of two answers. I reject this notion completely. Most recently, at the Douglas County Fair, I spoke with a number of self identified conservatives and what I did first, was listen. In every instance, we found common ground, because I believe that a legislator’s job includes continuously learning from those who challenge their preconceptions. Gaining perspective is crucial to good leadership What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? I believe in Minnesota’s ability to innovate. Many amazing companies were started and/ or are headquartered here, like 3M, Target, General Mills and Mayo Clinic. I think the future of our state’s economy depends on making sure the largest players pay their fair share in taxes, and to provide growth incentives for small businesses to level the playing field. Inflation has a lot to do with supply and demand. Right now, many industries are throttled by a lack of available workers. I believe we should look at examples like the pandemic CNA program the state invested in, resulting in an influx of people to fill the void in a high demand area, and consider how we can incentivize growth in other areas. Find out more at www. jvfor12b.com.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. It has been an honor to represent the best for the past 12 years. As a former childcare provider, I was the Republican Lead on the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee this past session. I also served on the Preventive Health Policy Division and the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee to tackle some of the most important issues that face our community. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? The three priorities can be brined down into I.C.E. – Inflation. Crime. Economy. Minnesotans pay some of the highest taxes in the country. We need to make our state economically friendly so that people can invest in their family or business instead of paying more taxes. We also need to address the rising cost
of living that is a result of the disastrous policies of the Biden/Walz agenda. When Minnesotans can’t afford to buy groceries or fill up their gas tanks, government has to enact permanent, meaningful tax relief. Crime is rising across our state. We must hold criminals accountable and ensure judges and prosecutors enforce our laws. Next session I will reintroduce my bill, the BANE Act, which will stop non-profits, like the Minnesota Freedom Fund, from providing criminals with get out of jail free cards by paying their bail. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? I have always stood up for our way of life. I will champion common sense approaches to the challenges facing our state. We need to put more money back in the hands of our families, not raise taxes on the middle class. We need to recruit and retain law enforcement officers and hold criminals accountable, not defund the police. We need to make sure parents’ voices are heard when it comes to their children’s education. I hope to continue being your voice in St. Paul to stand up for the values we hold dear.
Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. In recent years, I worked with Democrats to pass legislation that established Minnesota’s industrial hemp program. Last session, we worked together to forgive PPP loans and stop a massive multiyear tax hike for businesses by replenishing and repaying the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. We also managed to pass the sales tax exemption for the Alexandria area businesses that had been affected by the 2020 fire. Remember, most of our bills are passed with bipartisan support but the media isn’t interested in reporting on that detail. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? Minnesotans need permanent, meaningful tax relief to put more money back in their pockets so they can invest in their families and businesses. I will push for tax relief so all Minnesotans can thrive amidst the rising cost of living brought on by the failed policies of the Biden/Walz agenda.
Voter’s Guide 2022
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | echo press
MN HOUSE DISTRICT 9B Jason Satter, DFL
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. Education: MSUM B.S Physical Education I’ve been a leader at every step in my life and I have used these tools as a squad leader in the Army, captain of the MSUM Dragon football team, a volunteer coach for Pelican Rapids youth athletics, volunteer for MDHA and the Franklin Lake Association president for the last four years. I believe in never asking someone to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. I’ve lived and worked in Minnesota Senate District 9 almost my entire life. This has instilled in me a strong work ethic. I’ve shoveled manure, baled hay, fished, hunted, served honorably in the Army, delivered mail, planted corn and beans, helped build roads, cut trees with my dad and painted more red barns than I care to count. If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? Tax cuts: I will fully support a tax cut for all working families and eliminate the Social
Security tax. The current rural House Representatives did not support the Tax Reduction Bill that would have lowered your income taxes, eliminated Social Security taxes and increased child tax credits. Transportation: Infrastructure and other projects in rural Minnesota are vital to keeping our communities vibrant and functional with money from the state. I have talked with many community members and businesses that were counting on LGA receiving money to support their projects and every current MN rural house member walked away from the table. This will be a huge setback for rural communities all across the state. Education: The current area House Representatives voted against the Education Bill that would have been a huge boost to hiring more teachers, counselors, substitute teachers and much needed funding for our rural schools. Rural Minnesota schools have been underfunded for 20 years and the end result is higher local taxes in special levies and bonds. Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? For the last 20 years our rural representation has not done much to improve the daily life of rural Minnesotans. The sad reality is that we have higher local taxes, shrinking communities, rough roads and city streets and fewer jobs.
Tom Murphy, R Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. I’ve worked in jobs all my life where a compromise is needed everyday to accomplish a goal or make a sale and this idea has been lost on the current representatives. This last session they did not support the agriculture bill, a tax cut bill, a price gouging bill, and most importantly, the House didn’t support the education bill. Who are our current representatives actually working for? They sure did not stand up and vote for working families, those on Social Security, farmers, students or teachers. What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? Minnesota has recovered from stifling deficits just a few years ago and was looking at a $2 billion deficit as recently as 2018. Surpluses for a state, company or any entity are a positive for everyone involved and should be used to improve the quality of life for all citizens. We’ve weathered the storms and with the newly obtained federal tax dollars, we’re in a great position to strengthen our public schools and give our teachers a boost in pay. I want all front-line workers to receive compensation from the surplus for their hard work during the pandemic.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I grew up on a dairy farm in Scott County Mn in a family of 10. I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Mankato State University and spent eight years as a sales representative for an agriculture products company in southwest Minnesota. In 1992, my wife, Betty, and I moved to Otter Tail County to start a dairy supply sales business. I have worked 38 years in agriculture and 30 years as a small business owner. Currently, we own and operate MinStart Ag Products, focused on bringing new technologies and products to area retailers and growers. I am a township supervisor for Maine Township and sit on the Board of Directors for Park Region Telephone Company. We are active members in St. James Catholic Church in Maine. Betty and I have lived at our same
rural residence in Maine Township since moving to the area and enjoy all the amenities that this area has to offer. We have five grown children and have been happily married for 33 years! If elected, what would be your top three priorities next session? Reduce and eliminate taxes! Diminish the size and scope of government! Fight for agriculture and small businesses! Why should people in your district vote for you instead of the other candidate? I want to bring conserevative values to St. Paul. I am extremely concerned about our children being left to deal with the consequences of high taxes and runaway government spending. I want to be a voice of accountability and a voice that stops overreaching government policies in their tracks. Elected Minnesota Democrats and Gov. Walz have walked hand in hand with President Biden to attack our small businesses, separate us from our churches, violate our medical freedoms, increase crime in our communities, and create an economy with higher prices for goods and services. Democrats have had control of our Legislature and their
policies have failed MInnesota. We need to bring back conservative values to the Minnesota House of Representatives! Legislative sessions sometimes get bogged down in partisan politics. Give examples of how you’ve worked with others who do not share your viewpoints. My 38 years working in agriculture, 30 years as a small business owner and 33 years of marriage have taught me a few things about working through shared and unshared viewpoints. I believe success in business and marriage is achieved through effective communication. I will learn what interests drive other viewpoints. Sometimes what others truly want is hidden and some differences can be met and still meet our goals. I will always treat others with respect! What will you do to support a vibrant economy across Minnesota, and to address rising inflation? Fight for energy independence! Fight for small businesses! Small businesses are the core of our economy and create prosperity that builds thriving communities. Protect Minnesota Agriculture from huge increases in costs that weaken producers and drive up food costs.
FOR SCHOOL BOARD
Sandra Susag • 12 Years Experience • Committed to Students • Community Minded
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NOVEMBER 8TH GENERAL PO Box 549 • 225 7th Ave. E. Alexandria, MN 56308 • 320-763-3133
Prepared and paid for by the committee to re-elect Sandra Susag, 623 Kenwood St, Alexandria, MN 56308
Kari Dorry is Focused on what Matters Most:
+ More Money In Your Pocket + Affordable Prescriptions & Care + World-Class Schools + Safe & Secure Communities + Expand Childcare Options
Common Ground + Common Sense Prepared and paid for by Kari For MN SenatE, PO Box 72, Ortonville, MN 56278
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Voter’s Guide 2022
ALEXANDRIA SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 3 Lynne Lommen
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. Lynne Lommen has had many different opportunities to lead and create change, both in a professional sense and a personal sense. From creating, launching and running very successful businesses such as “Blind Factory Florida Keys” (1987 sold 1998), “ Blind Factory Minnesota” (1994 sold 2005) and still running, “Drapes on the Lakes” (founded in 2012) to teaching 5th grade church “Release Time Program” to graduating from Moorhead State College (after graduating from Jefferson Senior High School), Lynne is a well-rounded Patriot, Christian and founder and president of Non-Profit Women’s Organization. What are two of the biggest issues facing the school board? I believe that one of the biggest issues currently facing our School Board is safety, which encompasses improved measures that need
to be put in place to protect from outside threats. Another issue is accountability for violent behavior and bullying, expanding mental health staff and assuring youth at risk get the help they need and safety from gender confusion ideologies. Another big issue is academics. Why did our high school state ranking drop from 28 in 2014 to 180 currently? The board needs to work on restoring the community and parental confidence. Transparency builds trust. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and administration? The best way to address differences of opinion in any situation is open and honest conversation! Differences of opinion is a good thing. It is there where new ideas arise. I believe a good committee is made up of people who will speak their mind and not go the way the wind is blowing. We need respect and humor present as well and taking things personally is unproductive. We do need to bridge the divide that seems present so we can do a better job educating our children. What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic programs and offerings? What changes would you recommend?
Shawn Reilly I am so impressed with all our school facilities and the magnitude of what is offered. I know we have some of the best educators in our schools. The many generous citizens of our city who gave so much time and money with a vision of this high school speaks volumes of this community. I am, however, very concerned by the literacy statistics. Fifty-percent of our students are meeting state requirements. The disparity in learning is a concern. And I would like to know how we are helping homeless students get the education they deserve. How well do you work with others? Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. I am a communicator. I want to bring out the best in people. I focus on the task. I respect other people’s opinions and encourage them to articulate them. I would define a difficult person as someone who doesn’t want to listen to others and wants to be right more than they care about accomplishing a task. I think that personality type is in the minority. I know how to communicate with that personality type without alienating them! Humor. Because I appreciate all personality types, relationships come easy.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I grew up and attended public schools in Hopkins before graduating from St. John’s University and the University of Minnesota with a degree in Secondary English and Spanish Education. While teaching, I earned my Master of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas. My 12 years of teaching at Anoka and Brooklyn Center High Schools were the most challenging and rewarding work I have ever done. During my teaching years, I earned a real estate license. As my real estate work expanded, I made the decision to leave teaching, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I came to enjoy the flexible schedule that real estate offered. I have worked in real estate in Alexandria since 2004, initially with IBR Realty and currently with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate. Our three children have had excellent educational experiences and opportunities here. Two have graduated and the youngest is a junior at AAHS this fall.
What are two of the biggest issues facing the school board? A school board must deal with many important issues each year. Two that stand out to me are retaining our excellent teachers, staff and administrators, and filling open positions in each of those areas. Many organizations, businesses, and schools are struggling with human resource concerns. Second, the board needs to continue its focus on the mental, physical, and academic health and safety of all District 206 students. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and administration? Respect. Start with respect when there are differences of opinion. We should invite constructive criticism when it is respectful. All board members and community members should have a chance to speak as long as we set reasonable boundaries. Have integrity and work for the common good. Be dedicated to putting in the time to get the work done. This process aligns with the three pillars of my campaign: Respect. Integrity. Dedication. What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic programs and offerings? What changes would you recommend? The primary role of any school board member is to work on policy decisions that help
guide the operations of the district. Responsibilities include studying budgets, listening to concerns of staff, parents and students, evaluating the superintendent, and attending regular board and committee meetings as assigned. The specific academic programs and offerings of District 206 are developed by experienced administrators, teachers and advisory committees. My children have benefited from what I consider to be an excellent offering of programs and classes. I hope we can continue to offer such a wide variety of choices for our students. How well do you work with others? Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Each year as a real estate agent, I have challenging transactions. For example, new home construction projects are complex. The new owners have to decide on many items in a timely manner. Stress is a normal byproduct of these deals. Emotions often get in the way of rational decision-making. Often I have to negotiate issues that arise between the buyer and the general contractor. Open and timely communication between all parties is my best tool to make sure this process remains positive and productive. Solid communication and negotiation skills are two things I will bring to the District 206 Board when elected.
ALEXANDRIA SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 2 Alan Zeithamer
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I am a lifelong resident of Alexandria. After graduating from Alexandria, I earned a degree in Agriculture from NDSU. I have served on the Alexandria School board as well as regional school boards for many years. My experiences allow me to bring many new ideas to the board which have resulted in new opportunities for students. Some recent examples of my ideas benefiting students are the addition of the greenhouse to AAHS, the planting of the Kernza plot, E-Sports, students helping build Habitat for Humanity houses, and new learning opportunities for students with special needs. What are two of the biggest issues facing the school board?
The biggest challenges are the false, misleading and salacious rumors individuals and groups are circulating about our schools, students, and staff. These rumors have the potential for doing great harm to this district and public education in general. All the negative noise is demoralizing to the students and staff as they feel discouraged and unappreciated for all the hard work they are doing. It could become increasingly difficult to retain and recruit staff members. Not being able to recruit staff would result in larger class sizes and the reduction of programs. Academic performance and student safety can ALWAYS be improved. The improvement will be very slow and difficult in an environment filled with distrust and misinformation. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and administration? Our board, administration and all staff members have been functioning at a very high level for many years. We all put the best interest of the students first. There is a trust and respect for each other. We
Vern Engstrom use fact-based data to guide and influence our decisions. Our policies are a clear guide for making tough decisions. What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic programs and offerings? What changes would you recommend? Our district needs to continue supporting and developing all the elements needed to create the world’s best workforce. The process starts in the earliest grades and continues through high school and beyond for some students. The district has done a great job collaborating with many community partners. Students thrive when the learning experience is authentic and real world. The students create their portfolio demonstrating the knowledge and skills they have mastered. The teachers and administrators evaluate and make changes and improvements each year. How well do you work with others? Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. I was an early champion for collaborative decision making and negoti-
ating. I believe that giving all those impacted by a decision an opportunity to be part of the decision results in greater productivity and improved employee morale. When I work with someone who is difficult to get along with, I always
Vern Engstrom filed for this position but did not send a Voter’s Guide response or a photo to the Echo Press.
strive to find what I have in common with them and then build the relationship from there. Recently, I purchased and made available 50 copies of the book, Love Your Enemy by Arthur C. Brooks, to anyone attending our School Board meetings.
TORREY WESTROM FOR SENATE
A strong, Conservative Voice for West Central Minnesota Protecting Our Freedoms • Protected 2nd Amendment Rights and Fought Extreme gun control efforts • Supported legislation to ensure election security, such as voter I.D., Provisional Ballots and to eliminate “Zuckerbucks”-trying to influence our elections Helping Minnesotans with Rising costs • Supported tax relief to help families struggling with inflation • Voted for legislation to fully eliminate the Social Security tax • Passed legislation that lowers the cost of health insurance for Minnesotans on the individual market Putting Greater Minnesota First • Supported efforts to empower parents in their child’s education, including curriculum transparency and Stopping CRT • Passed Ag. drought relief and emergency funding for high path avian flu response • Supporting law enforcement, including efforts to recruit more good cops for our communities Paid for by the Westrom for Senate Committee PO BOX 155 ALEXANDRIA MN 56308
Conservative Values • Endorsed by Care Providers • Pro LIfe - Endorsed by MCCL State PAC • Endorsed by the Minnesota Police Officers Association • Endorsed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce • Endorsed by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus • Endorsed by NFIB MN PAC • 38 years in Agriculture • 30 years as a small business owner • Married to my wife Betty for 33 years • 5 grown children
Prepared and paid for by Team Tom Murphy for House, 31743 295th Street, Underwood, MN
Voter’s Guide 2022
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | echo press
ALEXANDRIA SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 4 Laura Knudsen
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I have been an active parent in our school district for 15 years. Along the way, I have served as the president of the Early Childhood Education Parent Advisory Committee, worked on referendums and volunteered in the classroom. My proudest achievement was being a part of the parent group that upgraded the Carlos Elementary playground to make it safe. I spent just over a decade working as a paraprofessional in classrooms from preschool to high school. This has given me a unique perspective as both a parent and an employee. Prior to living in the Alexandria area, I worked in the feature film industry as a member of I.A.T.S.E local 600. What are two of the biggest issues facing the school board? The quality of education is the number one issue. Academic achievement in math, reading and science at our high school level plummeted in 2014, after moving into the new build-
ing. This drastic decline needs to be addressed. District leaders tout the number of honor students in the senior class. Honor Society requires a 3.4 GPA and additional attributes that are not academic based. This is not a good indication of how our students are doing in core subjects. Recently, standardized testing reports the majority of our district is hovering around 50% proficiency. We cannot accept only half of our students graduating proficient in foundational education. Secondly, our school board has discounted or ignored parent’s voices and rights. This was most apparent during COVID. They ignored the majority of parents who answered the district survey, saying they wanted their children in school and unmasked. Surrounding districts and schools similar in size did not mitigate COVID to the extreme our district did. Children’s education and mental health suffered due to their choices. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and administration? The board has voted nearly 100% unanimously for some time. If this were to change, simple majority decides the motion. The school board hires the superintendent, who is charged with running the district, based on the school board’s direction.
Sandy Susag What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic programs and offerings? What changes would you recommend? Our district needs to make sure each student is achieving his or her highest potential in core knowledge. A solid foundation in math, reading and science is critical to creating lifelong learners, one of the district’s goals. COVID has put students behind in these areas. I would encourage the district to think outside the box on ways we can engage our larger community to catch our students up. As Chromebooks have become standard in education, our students are losing the ability to write. I would encourage our district to look for ways to put aside screens. How well do you work with others? Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. I enjoy working collaboratively with a wide variety of people. As a motion picture camera assistant, we worked as a team to ensure we completed our projects on time in a safe environment. As a board leader, I have experience guiding groups through conversations and deadlines to achieve goals. As an elected member of the school board, I would take working with all stakeholders seriously.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. My husband, Dick, and I have lived essentially our entire married lives in Alexandria. His family has roots here and we have two married sons who graduated from District 206. I’m retired and spent my last 17 years of employment as the primary intake worker at Douglas County Hospital Mental Health Unit/ Lakeland Mental Health. I’ve served on the District 206 School Board for 12 years. I’m active in the community. I’ve been on the Elder Network Board (president), AAAA Board (president). Currently on Habitat for Humanity Board, participate in Small Mall, Saturday Art Market, Traveling Treehouse. I’m executive director of Central Lakes Symphony. What are two of the biggest issues facing the school board? COVID was a major challenge. We continue to address both the educational challenges and mental health outcomes that it brought. Our staff worked diligently to continue to teach under decidedly less than optimal conditions. Our
students were forced to adjust to difficult educational settings. We need to support teachers and students to bring them back to a semblance of “normal.” Bullying continues to be a challenge. Our community is ever-changing in the makeup of its population. We need to be welcoming and encourage inclusion. All students deserve the best education we can offer. Diversity is a sign of growth; it presents an opportunity for all to learn. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and administration? The School Board is made up of a cross section of this community. Do we always agree initially on the best solution? No. We discuss it. Everyone is encouraged to offer their thoughts, input and solution. We continue to discuss one goal and purpose: What is the best solution to this issue for students? What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic programs and offerings? What changes would you recommend? Focus on Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments are front and center for many people. MCAs play only a small part in academic progress. Parents are able to decline testing for their students – thus skewing the total outcome for the entire district. Students who don’t take the tests are given a “0” which is
added into the final district scores. Five years ago, the 8th-grade class had 20% of their class of 280 opt out of tests. They all were entered as a “0.” That class graduated this year with 170 out of the 300 students graduating with honors. Our Academy Model offers career choice exploration and opportunity to achieve high school and college credit. Is it time for a reassessment of the validity of the MCA process? Growth academically cannot be measured by one tool. How well do you work with others? Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. I consider myself a team player. Someone once told me: “A good leader delegates.” We all have talents – shared responsibility brings about a better solution. Example: In my position as intake worker, I was responsible for input of data indicating patients’ mental status, a state report. A co-worker repeatedly was checking my outcomes, which failed to be correct. The co-worker approached me, wondering about my inaccuracy. What was I doing incorrectly? After a week or so, with the consistent wrong outcome, I invited this co-worker to sit side/side with me as I entered the data. It turns out there was a flaw in the software causing the inaccuracy. It resolved the tension between us.
DOUGLAS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT 2 Jim Stratton
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I was raised on a dairy farm before attending college. I received an associate degree in supervisory and management from Alexandria Tech as well as a BA from the U of M Morris. I’ve been married 52 years. Kristie and I are the proud parents of two sons. We’ve lived in the Alexandria area for 50 years. During this time, I’ve volunteered in leadership roles for the Boy Scouts for 32 years.I have been a member of Seroma and Evening Lions. I’m a long-time member of the Viking Sportsmen, serving on the board of directors as treasurer, president and vice president. I’m currently on the advisory board for REA and on the YMCA board. I have worked at UPS, ITW Heartland in a management role, the Boy Scouts as a district executive and County Commissioner for six years. I volunteer as an archery coach for the Alexandria Area High School and Discovery Middle School teams. Why do you want
to serve as a county commissioner? What prompted you to file for the office? The job involves, most importantly, county issues but there is also a regional responsibility that is important to residents. I would like to see more leadership on the committees assigned to commissioners. While serving the previous terms as commissioner, I was the chair for the senior service committee of the Land of the Dancing Sky District 4, the Pope Douglas Solid Waste Board, the DNR Invasive Species Advisory Board, the Minnesota Rural Caucus board, and the vice chair for the Alomere Health Hospital Board. If elected, I’d encourage more leadership from fellow board members. I’d continue my involvement as well. What are the three biggest challenges facing the county and how would you address them? Controlling spending must be one of the top challenge. There is a difference between essential items and want items. I’ve always asked the question; do you need it or just want it. Employee insurance would be a huge item that needs to be corrected. I’d move to discontinue the current plan in favor of one the employees would help choose. Pay for performance would be an issue I would explore as we
Tim Kalina have many employees performing above and beyond expectations with their wages locked into a scale. If you had to assign a grade (A, B, C, D, F) to the current county board, what would it be and why? C. I feel the board functions as an average board. The citizens deserve an above-average board providing leadership in the county and region. This grade is due to the lack of leadership on joint power boards and committees assigned. It’s an essential part of the job to be on time and prepared. I understand COVID was an issue that needed to be addressed but given those challenges more attention needed to be directed at leadership roles. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts? I’d like to contract out non-essential jobs to free up employees to be more effective at other more important tasks within their department. Close attention to budget requests must be a top priority. I’ve been asked if I’d cut services to save money and if so, which ones. Service is the primary function of a county. This would be a question that needs to be answered by the people of our county. Veterans’ services would never be on my list of cuts as we would be a very different country without their service.
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I have lived in Douglas County all of my life. I am married and have 3 daughters, 2 son in laws, and 5 grand children. I have been farming since 1979 when my wife and I purchased our farm from my parents. I worked for Ferguson Brothers Excavating for 3 years prior to getting hired by the county in September of 1997 in Highway Maintenance. In November of 2018 I was elected commissioner for district 2. Why do you want to serve as a county commissioner? What prompted you to file for the office? I have been commissioner going on 4 years and feel that I am doing
a good job making decisions that affect everyone in Douglas County. The reason I filed the first time for commissioner is I had over 21 years working in Public Works and knew the day to day workings of the county. I feel that while being a commissioner we have made positive decisions for the residents of Douglas County. What are the three biggest challenges facing the county and how would you address them? The 3 biggest challenges that face the county is trying to keep the budget in check. With the uncertainty of the economy and rising costs there are added expenses for the county to keep providing services to our residents. Taxes are another challenge for the county. The state has certain guidelines we have to follow as far as property values ,we have to be in compliance. Workforce is another challenge that we face. It is hard to compete with private companies that can pay higher wages to recruit employees.
If you had to assign a grade (A, B, C, D, F) to the current county board, what would it be and why? I would give the present board an A- for their performance. As a board member, I feel that we all work well together and make good decisions. I feel that this board has benefited the county by listening to the public and its employees on issues and concerns they have. We cannot please everybody all of the time, but we try to do our best with your concerns. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts? As a board member on the budget committee, we are looking hard at cutting costs while providing the services the county needs and wants. With the uncertainty of the present economy it is hard to budget fuel costs for sheriffs and public works not knowing what this winter will be like. The grants that we have gotten for parks and roads have helped with the costs of those projects.
echo press | Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Voter’s Guide 2022
DOUGLAS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT 5 Shane Schmidt
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. Born and raised in Alexandria, graduating from Jefferson Senior High School in 1978. A graduate of Alexandria Technical College in leadership training, sales, marketing and quality control. I married my high school sweetheart, Vickie Whitman, in 1978 and have 2 married sons Shaynen (Angie Hendrickson), Shad (Leslie Ruppert) and 6 wonderful grandchildren. I value hard work, dedication to family, friends and community. I’m the founder and inventor of a manufacturing company of refuse and recycling equipment with a proven operating profit margin. I have a proven track record as a hands-on manager with good intuitive judgment, creative problem-solving skills and skillful in motivating people. Why do you want to serve as a county commissioner? What prompted you to file for the office? With being born and
raised here, my desire to help my community to make sure we leave it in good shape for our children and beyond. What started my interest in running for public office was my dad. He was on the school board and township where we farmed between Carlos and Miltona. My dad always said, “Get involved, don’t just talk about it.” We worked together to get things done, coming from a family of 12 my mom taught us how to get along and help each other. I’ve worked on many different budgets from when I was Alexandria fire chief, leading my businesses, and helping non-profits. Sometimes I think we lose focus and we need to stay the course and use past experiences to improve our future. I think we spend too much time talking about things and not getting to where we need to go. I also think there are too many state mandates that are pushed onto the counties that we don’t always have a say in that we need to push back. Not all things are good for all! What are the three biggest challenges facing the county and how would you address them? One thing about government, nothing moves fast. Would like to get in there and really look at things with an open mind and dive in from
there. We can always hold down property taxes and take a fresh look at what the expenses are to see if there are some things we can cut or reduce. We need to stay on top of our water quality. Look at personnel to make sure we have enough staff, and they’re working together to keep us one of the premier counties in the state. If you had to assign a grade (A, B, C, D, F) to the current county board, what would it be and why? Let’s give them a B. Only reason is there is always room for improvement, but I believe they are doing a great job. It is not always easy to be in public office. Not everyone is going to like you and sometimes they don’t know the real reason the way things progress or why they voted the way they did. They also have constituents to report to and that is who we represent, the people of Douglas County. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts? Where do we cut? How about we ask what is the good use of our money? Maybe we use it in a different way, which in return saves us some money and by doing that, we are in a sense cutting or not raising the budget. We need to look at it this way and work together, we might be amazed!
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. Currently I am employed at 3M. I have served on the Douglas County Board of Commissioners since January of 2019 and serve on the following boards: County Commission on Aging, Land of the Dancing Sky, Viking Library System, Douglas County Library, Prime West, Sharing Hands Nurse Family Partnership, LGCC, Horizon Public Health, Pope Douglas Solid Waste, Alomere Health and the Association of MN Counties Health and Human Services Policy Committee. Why do you want to serve as a county commissioner? What prompted you to file for
the office? I would like to serve another term as county commissioner because I love serving the community I live in and being able to contribute to the success of Douglas County. I offer a different point of view from my peers and ask questions that prompt public conversations regarding our local government and processes within. What are the three biggest challenges facing the county and how would you address them? I think the three biggest challenges facing our county are our long term planning, retaining and maintaining staffing for county entities and county well being. I have addressed conversations regarding our county plan and the need to begin the update process. I am currently working with Tim Kalina on conversations for benefit options and budgeting for employee salaries. I have voted in
favor to welcome Teen Challenge into Douglas County as well as other mental health services. I support services for seniors and veteran services. If you had to assign a grade (A, B, C, D, F) to the current county board, what would it be and why? I would grade the board at a B. I feel that as a board we need to have more work sessions where we discuss openly the issues that arise within the county. Because of the statutes regarding open and closed meetings this is often a difficult task. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts? I would like for budget cuts to come from state regulators. Often as counties we are required to meet requirements as set forward by the state. Frequently, the mandates are appropriate for the metro area and not reasonable, feasible or necessary for rural counties.
LAURA KNUDSEN Passionate about public education. Top Three Issues
-Quality Education -Physical & Mental Health Safety -Preservation of Parents’ Rights
www.knudsenforkids.com Prepared and paid for by Laura Knudsen, 3966 Judicial Ditch Road NE, Alexandria
“PRESERVING OUR DISTRICT’S HERITAGE OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AND REFLECTING COMMUNITY VALUES IN CURRICULUM SELECTION AND THE CODE OF CONDUCT IN OUR SCHOOLS.”
• Safety: Expand efforts to explore researchinformed strategies for addressing security challenges • Safety: Consequences for bullying and violence against teachers, staff and students • Better support for homeless students • Implement a Parental Curriculum Review Mn. Statute 120B.20 • Establish District Advisory CommitteeMn. Statute 120B.11 (comprised of 2/3 parents and community members) • Insure families legal right to privacy: Schools must get parental consent before requiring a child to answer questions or complete a survey about: Political beliefs, mental issues, sexual behaviors, religious practices and family members.
Leadership Change Parental Rights Lommen For Liberty @lommenforliberty
• Stop ideologies, like CRT, that teach children they are defined by race, not individualism • Keep gender identity confusion out of classroom • Taxpayers support Education not Indoctrination. Let educators educate!
VOTE LYNNE LOMMEN
STANDING FOR GOD. COUNTRY. FAMILY
“Lets work together by discussion and healthy debate without demonizing each other. We need to bridge the divide so we can better educate and serve our children”
Paid for by Lommen for Liberty School Board • PO Box 894, Alexandria, MN
Voter’s Guide 2022
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | echo press
ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL, WARD 4 Nicole Mace
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. I am a 38-year-old mother of two boys, Brandon (16) and Bryce (13). I have been a resident of Alexandria since 2017. My history with the area runs far deeper as my extended family have always lived in the area. As a kid, my best memory is riding bike to Le Homme Dieu beach, spending our days in the sun. I have worn many hats in my life, from stay-
at-home mom to dairy farmer. Most recently, I made the transition from retail to healthcare. I am employed with Knute Nelson as a home health aide/CNA in our Home Care/Home Health division. I am a part of the city’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee. Why do you want to serve on the city council? What prompted you to file for the office? When I found out there would be an open seat for Ward 4, I began reaching out to encourage others to run. I had someone ask me, “Why not you?” I thought to myself, “You’re right – why not me?” I have a love for my community and a heart to serve others. I feel I am a great listener and see things from all perspectives, not just my own. I want what’s best
for all, not just some. What better way to take action then run for city council! Do you think Alexandria’s Broadway is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that? I think our Downtown has been bustling this summer! I love seeing so many people taking advantage of our local businesses! It’s been great seeing new additions made like Edge Co. and Ollie Birch. The new marquee on the Andria really updated the look and brought new life to Broadway as well. Seeing our local businesses thrive is so important. Money that is spent here stays here and stimulates our local economy. If you could change one thing in the city’s code, what would it be? At this time I can’t say
there is a specific city code I would change. I feel that Alexandria has a solid foundation with our city codes. As things change or new things come up, city code is revisited and updated as needed. I look forward to learning more about our city codes and asking important questions when the opportunities arise. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? I would love to invest in our youth! I wish we had more for them to do. A safe and healthy place to spend time. A community center? A municipal run arcade and pool hall? Ultimately, I would look to see where there is a need in our community and pursue making it better.
HATS IN THE RING
GENERAL ELECTION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8
SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 2
Alan Zeithamer Incumbent
Paid for by Alan Ziethamer, 3844 Englund Rd SW, Alexandria, MN 56308
SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 3
Lynne Lommen Candidate
Paid for by Lommen for School Board, PO Box 894, Alexandria, MN 56308
Shawn Reilly Candidate
Please provide a brief bio – background, qualifications, occupation, experience, skills, etc. 63-year-old veteran of the Army. Disabled American veteran. 14+ year resident of Alexandria. 3+ years of education after high school. Associate’s degree in drafting and design technology – Ridgewater College.
Diploma in welding – Canby Technical College. Life member of the Disabled American Veterans. Member of local Post #936 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I am anti-abortion. I am in support of the 2nd Amendment. Why do you want to serve on the city council? What prompted you to file for the office? I want to represent the people of Ward 4 to the best of my ability. This includes changes to city ordinances or codes that may affect them. I would also like to curb what I see as “worthless spending” by the people who are in charge. I also would like to see equal protection by law enforcement in this
Paid for by Shawn Reilly Campaign, 109 6th Ave West, Alexandria, MN 56308
community, having been on the receiving end of basically being told your life doesn’t matter. Observing the way things are being done by city officials, both in work and city council meetings. The favoritism towards certain businesses and individuals. The favoritism by law enforcement or none enforcement of the law equally. Do you think Alexandria’s Broadway is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that? Why does everything in this community always revolve around Broadway? Why not the community as a whole? We need to provide some incentives for businesses to come and stay in our
community as a whole. We have empty businesses in our mall and on Broadway. If you could change one thing in the city’s code, what would it be? The city of Alexandria needs a leash ordinance. If your dog is outside and not in a fence, it should be on a leash or contained somehow on your property whether by chain or something similar. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? A splash pad would be great as all folks can use it, both handicapped and non-handicapped. This is one of the items that has come up in my contact with folks in Ward 4.
SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 4
Sandy Susag Incumbent
Paid for by Sandy Susag Committee, 623 Kenwood St, Alexandria, MN 56308
SCHOOL BOARD, POSITION 5
Maureen Eigen Incumbent
Paid for by Maureen Eigen, PO Box 134, Alexandria, MN 56308
DOUGLAS COUNTY BOARD, DISTRICT 2
Tim Kalina Incumbent
Paid for by Tim Kalina, 14098 Co Rd 21 SW, Alexandria, MN 56308
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 9
Jordan Rasmusson Candidate (GOP)
Paid for by Volunteers for Rasmusson, PO Box 383, Fergus Falls MN 56537
Cornel Walker Candidate (DFL)
Paid for by Cornel for MN PO Box 269, Fergus Falls, MN 56537
SENATE DISTRICT 12
Torrey Westrom Candidate (GOP)
Paid for by Westrom for Senate Committee PO Box 155, Alexandria, MN 56308
Kari Dorry Candidate (DFL)
Paid for by Kari Dorry, PO Box 72, Ortonville, MN 56278
HOUSE DISTRICT 12B
Mary Franson Candidate (GOP)
Paid for Team Franson, 2740 Le Homme Dieu Heights NE, Alexandria, MN 56308
Jeremy Vinar Candidate (DFL)
Paid for by Jeremy Vinar for MN House, PO Box 394, Alexandria, MN 56308
HOUSE DISTRICT 9B
Tom Murphy Candidate (GOP)
www.echopress.com PO Box 549 • 225 7th Ave. E. Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-3133
Paid for by Team Tom Murphy for House, 31743 295th St, Underwood, MN 56586
TO BE PART OF “HATS IN THE RING” CONTACT KATE 320-763-1203 NOT ALL CANDIDATES LISTED