Two more people file for 1st Ward seat (updated)

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two more people filed for the vacant 1st Ward Albert Lea City Council seat Wednesday on what was the last day for filing.

This brings the total number of people who have filed for the seat to six.

New to file Wednesday were Harold Kamrath, 63, of 326 Glenn Road, and Dave Klatt, 50, of 1309 Oriole Drive.

They join candidates George Gillespie, 55, of 327 Lloyd Place, Jeffrey McLaughlin, 48, of 210 Fairview Drive, Stuart Olson, 86, of 401 E. Richway Drive, and John Schulte V, 34, of 212 Lee Place.

The position opened up after former 1st Ward Councilor Vern Rasmussen accepted an immediate appointment as mayor following the Nov. 3 election.

Because six people have filed for the seat, a special primary election will be March 15 to narrow the field down to two. The special general election will be May 3.

The candidates come from varied backgrounds and have different levels of experience.

Harold Kamrath

Harold Kamrath

Kamrath, who has lived in Albert Lea for 40 years, taught English in seventh through 12th grades before retiring in 2004.

Since retirement, he’s classified himself as an entrepreneur and has also been busy taking care of a rental property.

Kamrath is also known for his videotaping around town during community events. He has also been vocal at several City Council meetings in the past.

He is married to his wife, Ledene, and has three children and one grandson.

“I have a lot of time on my hands, and I see a lot of things happening that I don’t like,” Kamrath said. “I thought maybe I could give them some advice.”

Dave Klatt

Klatt, who has lived in Albert Lea for 15 years, is an insurance agent and financial services adviser for Dave Klatt State Farm Insurance.

Dave Klatt

He is married to his wife, Shari, and has three children — his youngest who is a senior at Albert Lea High School.

Klatt has been involved with numerous organizations, including the boards for the Albert Lea Family Y and Good Samaritan Society, and is working to start an early-morning Rotary Club called Freeborn Sunrise.

He is also Blandin graduate, a past Albert Lea Township firefighter, a member of the United Way allocations committee and a 4-H leader. He is currently serving on the city’s appeals board and the Community Technologies Services board.

He has been involved with youth sports for more than 25 years, has served as a Boy Scout leader for a Clarks Grove troop and is the chairman of the Parent Communication Network, which plans the afterprom and graduation parties for the high school.

Klatt said he has looked at filing for different political offices for several years, and now that his schedule has freed up some, he has the time to dedicate to the position.

Coming from a family who has been involved in public office, he said he also thought it was his time to help the city like he has the youth for many years.