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W’bago to host DFL convention

By Staff | Apr 29, 2012

Democrats are looking for a few good people – to run for the Legislature in District 23.

And, it hasn’t been an easy task.

Karla Beck of St. James was chairperson for District 21 until redistricting created new legislative districts in February.

Now in District 23, Beck is in charge of organizing the party’s endorsement convention set for Saturday at the Municipal Center in Winnebago.

That in itself has proven to be a challenge.

“This is a complete 180 for me. I’ve been in District 21 all these years, now I’m trying to contact people I don’t know,” she says.

The new district includes the counties of Blue Earth, Faribault, Martin, LeSueur, Jackson, Waseca and Watonwan.

Beck says Winnebago was picked to hold the convention because of its location.

“We could have held the convention in a bigger city like Fairmont. But, Winnebago is centrally located in the district,” she says.

During the convention, new district officers will be elected and a 10-member executive committee appointed.

The focus, however, will be to find candidates to run against state Sen. Julie Rosen of Fairmont, Rep. Bob Gunther of Fairmont and Rep. Tony Cornish of Good Thunder.

“Right now I have no names, nobody. I’ve e-mailed party activists and the state DFL Party,” says Beck. “I’m still searching and not giving up.”

John Huisman of Blue Earth is a longtime member of the Faribault County Democratic Party.

He says while no one has publicly announced they are a candidate, there has been some talk.

“I know of two people who are considering. But, I’m not going to give any names,” he says.

Huisman and Beck admit the three Republican incumbents are strong candidates and will be hard to beat.

“They are all formidable, but anyone can be beaten. The right person with name identity, who goes out and talks about issues can win,” Beck says.

The filing period opens May 22 and closes at 5 p.m. on June 5 and there is a fee of $100 for legislative seats.

Persons may file with the Secretary of State Office or with the auditor’s office in the county they reside.

To be a candidate, a person must meet the following qualifications:

eligible to vote in Minnesota;

at least 21 years old by Jan. 3, 2013;

resident of Minnesota for at least one year;

have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election;

resident of the legislative district for at least six months before Nov. 6, 2012.

Saturday’s convention is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., with registration at 9 a.m.