Third man files for vacant 1st Ward seat

Published 10:29 am Friday, January 14, 2011

A former Albert Lea City Council member who filled a vacancy on the council more than 20 years ago has filed for the vacant 1st Ward seat again.

Stuart J. Olson, 86, of 401 E. Richway Drive, on Thursday filed his intent to run for the 1st Ward council seat with City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.

Stuart Olson

He is the third person to file for the seat recently vacated by now Mayor Vern Rasmussen. Also running are Jeffrey McLaughlin, 48, of 210 Fairview Drive, and John Schulte V, 34, of 212 Lee Place.

Olson previously filled a vacant term in 1987 and 1988 when Harlan Nelson was mayor. He has lived in the 1st Ward for 48 years.

Olson said he is retired and is married to his wife, Lavonne. He has four children, a dozen grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

When he was working, Olson said he drove a truck for Wilson and Co. delivering meat. Later, he drove a tour bus for 18 years.

He is a lifetime member of the American Legion Leo Carey Post 56 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 447, a member of the Careyaires men’s vocal group and a member of the First Methodist Church choir. He has also been active in the Elks organization.

Since he’s retired, he said he has plenty of time for the position. He said he is well known around Albert Lea and thinks his past experience on the council could help as well.

“I’m pretty active,” Olson said.

He bowls with a senior bowling league once a week and plays golf twice a week in the summer.

Filing for the 1st Ward seat continues through Wednesday.

To file for the seat, a person must be eligible to vote in Minnesota, be 21 years old at the time he or she would begin in office and have lived in the 1st Ward for at least 30 days before the special general election.

Cost of filing is $5.

Because more than two people have filed for the seat, a special primary election will be March 15. The special general election will be May 3.