First day of filing period brings out multiple candidates

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Several candidates filed for election Tuesday on the first day of the filing season for local, state and federal offices.

Albert Lea

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As of Tuesday afternoon, Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen and 2nd Ward Councilor Larry Baker filed for re-election.

Rasmussen, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System at Health Reach, was the first person in the city’s history to serve a four-year mayoral term.

He was first elected to the Albert Lea City Council in 2004 as the 1st Ward Councilor. He served in that capacity until 2010, when he was elected to his first four-year term as mayor. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.

Baker, who has served as mayor pro tem for 2 1/2 years, was first elected to the council in 2006.

Freeborn County

As of Tuesday afternoon, Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Pat Martinson, Freeborn County District 2 Commissioner Dan Belshan, Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag, Freeborn County Attorney David Walker and Freeborn County Recorder Kelly Callahan filed for office.

Martinson started in an accounting specialist senior position in 2004, which turned into chief deputy auditor-treasurer and then auditor-treasurer.

Belshan is seeking his sixth term on the board. He was first elected in 1998.

Freitag is running for his second term as sheriff. He was first elected in 2014, besting incumbent Sheriff Bob Kindler.

Walker, a longtime prosecutor in Freeborn County, was appointed county attorney after former County Attorney Craig Nelson retired in fall 2016. This is Walker’s first election for the position.

Callahan has served as recorder for more than 15 years and served as interim Freeborn County administrator until the county hired Tom Jensen last fall.

District 27A

Longtime Manchester farmer Terry Gjersvik filed for the seat presently held by District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett. Gjersvik recently defeated fellow Democrat Thomas Martinez for the nomination.

He is a teacher in Waseca.

1st Congressional District

GOPer Jim Hagedorn filed for election for 1st District U.S. Representative Tuesday. Hagedorn was recently endorsed by the Republican Party over state Sen. Carla Nelson.

Hagedorn is a businessman and former federal employee from Blue Earth who has unsuccessfully ran for the position against Tim Walz, who is not running for re-election this year as he runs for governor. 

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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