Tuttle defeats Lee for commissioner

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Former Freeborn County Recorder Linda Tuttle edged out challenger Mike Lee for the Freeborn County Commissioner District 5 seat Tuesday with a win of 1,752 votes to Lee’s 1,548 votes.

Tuttle, a former Freeborn County employee, owns the Albert Lea Abstract Company on Washington Avenue. From 1974 to 1988, she served as the deputy county recorder for the county, and from 1995 to 2000 she served as the recorder for the county.

“I look forward to the next four years,” said Tuttle, who will be filling the seat being vacated by Mark Behrends. “It’s something I’m really going to enjoy.”

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Though it will be a challenge, she said, she is up to that challenge.

“I’ve said all along it’s a victory whether I won or lost because we had two good candidates,” she said. “I feel great. It’s a great victory.”

She thanked her voters and every voter who exercised their right to vote.

Tuttle will be the only woman on the board when she is sworn into office in January.

Lee congratulated Tuttle for the win and thanked his voters who came out to the polls as well.

“She ran a great campaign and will be a great commissioner,” Lee said.

He noted that though he lost the election that won’t keep him come from attending the county board meetings in the future. They’re something he enjoys now, and people can still expect to see him there.

Lee worked for Farmland Foods just three weeks shy of 25 years before the plant burned down in 2001. After that he was classified as a displaced worker and spent some time helping other Farmland displaced workers find jobs through the unemployment office.

He now works with Elm Homes as an advocate for people with disabilities.

“If you had told me eight years ago I’d run for county commissioner, I’d say you have to be kidding me,” he said.

He will use his “packinghouse mentality,” he said, to move forward from the loss.

Lee and his wife have four kids, three of which are grown and out of the house and one who is still in high school. He has three grandchildren.