Republicans back Benda for House

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2006

By Joseph Marks, staff writer

Delegates at the Republican’s District 27A nominating convention voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to endorse local lawyer Matt Benda as their nominee for the Minnesota House seat vacated by retiring Rep. Dan Dorman, R-Albert Lea.

District 27A includes all of Freeborn County and parts of Mower County. About 60 people were at the endorsing convention, which was moderated by Jeff Anderson, the Republican nominee for District 27B. The district comprises most of Mower County.

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Benda won the endorsement on the first ballot with 93 percent of delegates’ votes. Benda’s only challenger for the position, Tom Price, received 7 percent of votes.

In his speech after being nominated for the endorsement, Benda vowed to fight for greater Minnesota issues and principles outlined in the Republican party platform including limited government, free enterprise, the rights of unborn children and a definition of marriage that excludes gay marriage.

Benda was introduced at the convention by his wife, Heather, and Dorman. He said he hoped to continue the work begun by Dorman and past Republican representatives for the district.

Benda, 36, said it was a difficult decision to run because he has two young children at home. He said he prayed about the decision with his wife and consulted family and friends before he decided to run.

&8220;I was taught if you live in a community you have to give back to that community,&8221; Benda said.

Price’s speech after being nominated focused on his family history growing up the son of a Hormel employee in Austin and his education in social work, child care, engineering and real estate.

He criticized President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act and the local and state handling of cuts in human resources as well as recent property tax increases.