Nelson, Steckman move forward in commissioner race

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Incumbent Freeborn County Commissioner Jim Nelson and former Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services President Ron Steckman will move ahead to the general election in the race for the District 3 commissioner seat.

Jim Nelson

According to Freeborn County primary election results, Nelson received 172 votes, Steckman received 165 votes and opponent David Shoff received 143.

“I’m somewhat happy with the results,” said Steckman, 71, noting that he came within seven votes of incumbent Nelson. “I think we’ll move ahead and see how it goes.”

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Steckman ran on the platform of increased transparency on the county level and said he thinks most taxpayers do not know what commissioners are doing on their behalf.

“I think the public deserves information and I’m thinking I can offer that,” he said.

Involved with economic development all of his life, he said he also thinks he can offer a strong business and economic development background.

Nelson, 61, a farmer and trucker, did not immediately return calls to the Tribune. He has served eight years on the board and said he thinks his experience sets him apart from the other candidates.

Shoff, who actually won the vote in Albert Lea’s Ward 5, was down votes in both Albert Lea Ward 4 and Albert Lea Township.

Ron Steckman

“I think the voters made their choice,” said Shoff, 38, upon hearing the results. “The candidates will go to the general election and the voters will get to pick between the two.”

Shoff, who has his own hotel marketing business, said he does not like where the county and school district are headed and thinks community leaders need to turn this around or people will begin to leave.

“They’re going to have to turn it around quickly because someone like me with a 1-year-old son, and the lack of jobs and the school system struggling, I would leave Freeborn County for better opportunities for my child,” he said.

“I wish the candidates the best of luck. They’re going to have their hands full.”

David Shoff