BE’s Huntley challenging Rep. Gunther
State representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) seeks an 11th term serving District 23A and will be challenged this election season by Zac Huntley, a first-time Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate.
Gunther, who first assumed office in 1995 as the District 26A representative prior to local redistricting, has been the chair of the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy and also served on the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee.
The co-owner of Fairlakes Transportation and previously Gunther’s Foods in Fairmont, he has also been a member of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee as well as the Center for Rural Policy and Development Board.
Gunther, 73, who holds a marketing degree from St. Cloud State University, lists “limiting government and reducing burdensome regulations” as one of his legislative priorities, according to the Minnesota House of Representatives website.
Among his other goals in office are developing local growth “through a strong agricultural economy” and producing “quality education” and life with “permanent tax cuts” things that he says are often showcased by his legislative record.
Credited with securing $1.1 million in state funds for the St. James Multicultural Center library, assisting the Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) program and aiding in the local presence of the AGCO agricultural business, he looks to extend his resume for at least another two years of public service.
Gunther and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter, Elizabeth, and reside in Fairmont.
Huntley, 25, owns and operates Freshly Cut Media, a self-founded business in Blue Earth, and was endorsed by the DFL for his first political campaign.
A dual major in business administration and social work at the University of Sioux Falls, he now serves local school districts and other clients after previously working as an IT support technician with Bank Midwest and managing Zac’s Computer Sales, his own maintenance and repair service, for nearly nine years.
A 2009 graduate of Blue Earth Area High School, Huntley promises to “keep you at the focus of my public service,” highlighting broadband infrastructure, mental health funding and statewide teacher shortages as issues of prominence.
Outlining plans for education, health care, the environment and the political system as a whole, Huntley assures prospective voters on his website that he will block out annual meeting times with district schools, townships and other community groups as requested.
He lives in Blue Earth and, in 2015, married Natalie Green, who is serving a two-year commitment with the Peace Corps in Colombia.
District 23A covers the western two-thirds of Faribault County as well as all of Martin County and parts of Jackson and Watonwan counties.