2 file for commissioner seats

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Freeborn County residents filed their bids for election Thursday in the race to become the next 1st and 3rd district commissioners.

Filing for the 1st District seat was Neal Gjersvik, a salesman from Manchester, and filing for the 3rd District seat was Ron Steckman, former president and CEO of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services for 25 years.

Gjersvik, who ran for the seat in two previous elections, will face off against incumbent Commissioner Glen Mathiason.

Email newsletter signup

Steckman will face off against incumbent Commissioner Jim Nelson.

Neal Gjersvik

Gjersvik, who has been involved in politics since he was a youth, said he grew up in a farm by Manchester. He moved away for 10 to 15 years before moving back in 1999.

In 2000, he was elected as a township supervisor for Manchester Township and has been a part of the township board ever since, including as chairman and clerk.

Gjersvik said he has also been the chairman for the Freeborn County Township Association for the last six years.

“I know that I can bring more exuberance and more excitement to the board,” he said.

He noted it is his goal to help people stop being apathetic toward local government and to help them think county officials are more approachable.

He also wants to help bring in more economic variety to the community, even bringing in smaller businesses with just one or two employees.

As an avid bicycle rider and kayaker on Freeborn, Albert Lea and Pickerel Lakes, along with Bancroft Bay, he has become passionate about some of the resources in the county. He wants people to know about these resources and figure out how to keep them here.

He is a sales representative for TEC Industrial, a power transmission supplier.

Gjersvik and his wife have been married since 1987 and have three children.

Ron Steckman

Steckman, who lives on the south end of Albert Lea Lake, said he has a strong background in creating new companies, economic development and labor negotiations.

He is interested in seeing the county grow.

Working for Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services from 1975 through 2005, he said he managed the restoration of power for Freeborn and Mower counties during the ice storm of 1991.

“Having extensive board experience, I would appreciate the consideration of District 3 voters,” he wrote in a news release.

He has four grown children.