Filing closes for local, state elections

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A handful of candidates threw their hat in the ring on Tuesday on what was the last day of the filing period. 

The following are a list of candidates who have filed for office:

Albert Lea

Ward 2

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Larry Baker, who was first elected to the council in 2006, is seeking re-election to his fourth term in office. He is the only Albert Lea councilor running unopposed.

Baker, who works at Freeborn Lumber, said he decided to seek another term because he thinks there are still some things he wants to get accomplished before he lets someone else take the reins.

He said his role as a city councilor is to help constituents with any issues they may have and to help the community move forward.

Ward 4

Incumbent 4th Ward Albert Lea Councilor Reid Olson filed for re-election to his fourth term in office.

Olson, who was born and raised in Albert Lea, is self-employed through his business, Reid Olson Exteriors.

He said he wanted to serve another term to continue making progress in the city. He noted he is also excited about the new steps the Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority will be looking at when it adds its new director.

Olson will face off against Gary Hagen, who has been a familiar face at council meetings in recent years.

Hagen, who owns a small truck business, said instead of sitting in on the meetings from the audience, he thinks it is time to sit on the council and make a difference.

He said he supports getting taxpayers the whole truth about issues happening in the city.

Ward 6

Incumbent Al “Minnow” Brooks will face off against resident Nick Ronnenberg.

Brooks, who owns Brooks Safety Equipment, was first elected to the council in 1998. If re-elected, this would be his sixth term.

Ronnenberg, a detention deputy at the Freeborn County jail, said he filed for office because he thinks he could do a good job helping the city grow, bringing in more jobs and improved housing, among other things.

He said he thinks he can be a more effective councilman in finding out what constituents want and in representing their needs.


The mayoral race is the only race in Albert Lea that will have a primary election after former 3rd Ward Councilor George Marin and former 5th Ward Councilor John Severtson filed for the mayoral seat against incumbent Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.

Marin, who served on the City Council from 2000 through 2008 and again from 2013 through 2016, is the pastor of Grace Christian Church.

Severtson, who served on the council from 1985 to 1989 and from 2005 to 2009, is retired from Enderes Tools.

Rasmussen, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System at Health Reach, has been 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 term as mayor. He served two two-year terms as mayor before being elected to a four-year term in 2014.

Freeborn County


Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag will run unopposed — the first time that has happened for the sheriff’s race since former Sheriff Don Nolander was in office.

Freitag was first elected sheriff in 2014 against incumbent Bob Kindler. He has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 1995.

Commissioner races

• County commissioner District 2: Dan Belshan of rural Glenville, who is seeking his sixth term on the board, will face off against Ken Osmonson.

Belshan was first elected in 1998.

• County commissioner District 4: Chris Shoff of Albert Lea will seek his fourth term on the board. He was first elected in 2006.

He will run unopposed.

Other races

Freeborn County auditor-treasurer: Pat Martinson started with the county in an accounting specialist senior position in 2004 and worked her way up to chief deputy auditor-treasurer and then auditor-treasurer.

Freeborn County attorney: David Walker was first appointed county attorney after former County Attorney Craig Nelson retired in 2016. Prior to being appointed county attorney, Walker was a longtime prosecutor for the county.

Freeborn County recorder: Kelly Callahan, who has served as recorder for more than 15 years, will face off against former Freeborn County Human Resources Director Sue Tasker.

District 27A representative

Longtime Manchester farmer and Waseca teacher Terry Gjersvik, a Democrat, will face off against incumbent  District 27A Rep Peggy Bennett, a Republican from Albert Lea.

Bennett, a former first-grade teacher, was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2016.

The district includes all of Freeborn County and smaller sections of Steele, Dodge, Mower and Faribault counties.

Both Gjersvik and Bennett won their party’s endorsement.

Governor and lieutenant governor

Running in the August primary to become the Republican candidate are the following:

• Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom

• Matthew Kruse and Theresa Loeffler

• Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Fischbach

Johnson and Bergstrom have the party endorsement.

Running as DFL candidates are the following:

• Tim Holden and James Mellin II

• Erin Murphy and Erin Maye-Quade

• Ole Savior and Chris Edman

• Lori Swanson and Rick Nolan

• Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan

Murphy and Maye-Quade won the DFL endorsement.

Secretary of state

A former state senator, John Howe, a Republican, will face off against incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon, a DFLer.

State auditor

Former lawmaker Pam Myhra, a Republican, will face off against Julie Blaha, a former middle school math teacher and DFLer.

Attorney general

Running for attorney general are the following:

• Sharon Anderson, Republican

• Doug Wardlow, Republican

• Robert Lessard, Republican

• Mike Hatch, DFL

• Matt Pelikan, DFL

• Keith Ellison, DFL

• Tom Foley, DFL

• Debra Hilstrom, DFL

• Mike Rothman, DFL

District 1 U.S. representative

Running as Republicans are Andrew Candler, Jim Hagedorn, Carla Nelson and Steve Williams.

Hagedorn won the party endorsement.

Running as DFLers are Dan Feehan and Colin Minehart.

Feehan won the DFL endorsement.

U.S. Senate, special election

Running as Republicans are Bob Anderson, Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey and Karin Housley.

Housley was endorsed by the GOP Party.

Running for the DFL Party are Ali Chehem Ali, Gregg Iverson, Nick Leonard, Richard Painter, Christopher Seymore Sr. and Tina Smith.

Smith has the DFL endorsement.

U.S. Senate

Running as Republicans are Merrill Anderson, Rae Hart Anderson, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Jim Newberger.

Newberger has the GOP endorsement.

Running for the DFL Party are Steve Carlson, Stephen Emery, David Groves, Amy Klobuchar and Leonard Richards.

Klobuchar, the incumbent, has the DFL endorsement.