Tim Penny revisits his Freeborn County roots

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 9, 2002

MANSFIELD &045; Tim Penny’s brief visit to Mansfield Tuesday was more like a homecoming than an election campaign.

About 40 supporters welcomed the Independent Party gubernatorial candidate at Mansfield Store, where Penny worked at his first part-time job in his school years.

&uot;This is home,&uot; Penny said. &uot;I won’t forget where I came from.&uot;

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Penny spent most of his life in a farmhouse near the Freeborn-Faribault county border until he graduated from high school in Kiester, in Faribault County.

His school life began in a one-room country school in Mansfield where he walked a mile to school each day. Penny spent his summers and Saturdays working at Mansfield Store for four years between ninth and 12th grade.

&uot;I mowed this lawn, that lawn. I washed trucks, cleaned the sheds. And when they used to have groceries, I used to help bag them, stack shelves, do inventory,&uot; Penny said with some excitement and nostalgia. &uot;It was my first job. There was a long list of things that needed to be done in that day. I got to do a lot of odd jobs, but they are the kind of stuff you should learn how to do.&uot;

Penny said that this election is a chance for Minnesota to make a different choice, following the last gubernatorial election four years ago.

He also stressed his difference from Gov. Jesse Ventura. &uot;This time around, if you elect another independent, it’s not about celebrity. It’s about a style of leadership Minnesota prefers,&uot; Penny said. &uot;It’s about endorsing a kind of politics, a kind of campaign, that’s better for Minnesota.&uot;

Penny is running for governor along with Democrat Roger Moe, Republican Tim Pawlenty and Green Party candidate Ken Pentel.