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Let the campaigning begin; filings open

By Staff | May 27, 2012

District 1 Commissioner John Roper signs his name to paperwork required to file for the upcoming election in November for another four-year term.

An hour after the Faribault County Auditor’s Office opened for business on Tuesday, two commissioners filed for re-election.

Commissioners Tom Warmka of District 5 and John Roper of District 1 filled out the required paperwork and paid their $50 fee.

On Wednesday, District 3 Commissioner Bill Groskreutz filed for a third term.

Roper is seeking his second four-year term, while Warmka has been on the board for 12 years.

“It means so much to me to be a commissioner. It’s not about me, the title or the money,” he says. “I don’t want anybody to call me Commissioner Warmka, just by my name Tom.”

Warmka says he’s never given any thought at a chance of attaining 30 years in public service.

Until a friend brought it to his attention.

In addition to being on the county board, Warmka served 12 years on the Farm Service Agency board and two years in the U.S. Marine Corps that included a tour of duty in Vietnam.

“I’m proud of it. I feel it’s almost a patriotic duty,” he says. “It’s all about the people. I just want to help them anyway I can.”

Roper says he’s seeking another term because the board has a lot of issues to address, especially those pertaining to roads, ditches and drainage. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. But, I love my job and working with the people,” he says.

Requirements to be a candidate include:

being eligible to vote in Minnesota;

having not filed for the same or any other office at the upcoming primary or general election;

being at least 21 years of age or more;

having maintained residence in this district for at least 30 days before the general election.

On the legislative side, Bill Hurd of Elmore has told District 23 Democrat Party officials he will not run against incumbent Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont.

Hurd, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2010, has hinted he may run again.

“We’ve gotten some things done here and we’ve got a chance to do more. I live here and I’m going to concentrate on working to make it better here,” he says, referring to the city’s new library and infrastructure improvements.

Gunther, who has served five two-year terms in the House in District 24A, now represents the newly created District 23A that includes cities and townships in Faribault, Jackson, Martin and Watonwan counties.

The deadline to file for county and state offices is 5 p.m. June 5.