3 file for 5th District commissioner’s seat

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Candidate filing for the vacant Freeborn County 5th District commissioner’s seat began today at 8 a.m.

By 11 a.m., the auditor-treasurer’s office already received three candidacy affidavits.

Those who filed this morning include Curtis Smith, 1302 Southview Lane, Albert Lea; Mike Lee, 2141 Kenneth Dr., Albert Lea and Doug Conn, 1500 Seath Dr., Albert Lea.

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Smith and Lee ran for the position in 2008.

A special general election will be held March 15 to fill the seat vacated by Linda Tuttle, who resigned from the position on Aug. 1.

Tuttle is accused of using her company, Albert Lea Abstract Co., to divert money into her own accounts to pursue her alleged gambling addiction. She is scheduled to appear in Freeborn County District Court on Nov. 12, facing 12 counts of felony theft by swindle, along with one count of racketeering in the case.

Tuttle won the seat in the 2008 general election by defeating Lee on a vote of 1,752 to 1,548. Tuttle and Lee had survived the 2008 primary election by beating Smith, Tony Pestorious and Chad Severtson.

The 5th District consists of Pickerel Lake Township plus Albert Lea’s 3rd and 6th Wards.

Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Dennis Distad said the term will begin on March 28, 2011.

According to Distad, the cost of filing is $50.

He said people must meet the following requirements to file for the office: Be eligible to vote in Minnesota, currently not running as a candidate for any other office, be 21 years of age by March 28 and have maintained residence in the 5th District for at least 30 days prior to the general election on March 15.

Anyone filing for the office of 5th District commissioner will receive a packet that includes an affidavit of candidacy and a 2010 campaign manual, along with an outline of the duties and general Q&A from the Association of Minnesota Counties.

Filing will take place in the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at the Freeborn County Courthouse at 411 Broadway Ave. S., Albert Lea. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday through Friday.

The filing period ends at 5 p.m. Nov. 17.

Distad encourages anyone with questions to visit the office or call 507-377-5121.