Former county official seeks mayoral seat

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Albert Lea’s mayor and a former Freeborn County official filed for the mayoral seat Tuesday at City Hall.

Former Freeborn County Commissioner Keith A. Porter Sr. and Mayor Vern Rasmussen turned in their paperwork. Typically, Albert Lea has anywhere from three to six candidates seeking the mayor seat going into the primary election, which winnows the field to two. The primary takes place Aug. 14. The general election is Nov. 6.

The Minnesota filing period for candidates seeking city, county, state and federal positions began Tuesday and runs through June 5

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Vern Rasmussen

“It’s an exciting time for Albert Lea, and we’re seeing a lot of change,” Rasmussen said. “I want to help facilitate that for the city of Albert Lea.”

Vern Rasmussen

Rasmussen, who has served on the Albert Lea City Council for six years and is now in his second year as mayor, said he thinks the city has come a long way in recent years, but it still has a long way to go.

He hopes to find ways to be more fiscally sound but still move ahead with the city’s priorities. He also wants to attract business.

He said the biggest project looking forward is the downtown streetscape plan, which he described as a “once-in-a-century” project.

“This is a trademark of ours, and I want to preserve it for the future,” he said.

Rasmussen is a physical therapist through Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. He and his wife, Marilyn have two children.


Keith A. Porter Sr.

Also filing Tuesday was former Freeborn County and Albert Lea Township official Keith A. Porter Sr.

Keith Porter Sr.

Porter said this will be his 10th time running for office. He is a former county commissioner and former Albert Lea Township board member.

“I want to make sure there’s opposition on the ballot so people have a choice,” Porter said.

Porter said he served on the Albert Lea Township Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011 and as a Freeborn County commissioner from 1992-2000. He noted he has also once ran for county auditor and once sought the office of state representative as a member of the Independence Party.

“One person can’t do anything by himself, but I’d like to see if we can get the town cleaned up a little better,” he said.

Porter previously owned Porter Sanitation Co., the Palace Bar in the late 1970s, Albert Lea Fire & Safety Co. and an Albert Lea picnic table company.

His most recent job was at Interstate Motor Trucks as a driver and supervisor. He retired three or four years ago.

He moved to Albert Lea in late August or September and has since been attending some of the City Council meetings.

He served in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s, is married and has four children, six stepchildren, nine grandchildren, 23 stepgrandchildren and five great-grandchildren.