My Point of View: Republican Party is building a stronger southern Minnesota

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day holiday weekend. Albert Lea looked amazing, the weather cooperated and the events throughout the community were put together well and a great showcase of a community’s efforts. A very special thanks to The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce for a fantastic Third of July Parade and fireworks and to the Convention and Visitors Bureau for helping lining up amazing food vendors, performers and activities an entire community could enjoy together.

Robert Hoffman

My name is Robert Hoffman and I am the Freeborn County Republican’s chairman. I grew up in Albert Lea and have lived here for most of my adult life now. I’ll be 45 this summer. My wife and I own a small business and each of our families are from Albert Lea. From her grandparents to our niece and nephews and all our parents, we are generations of Albert Leans. Our simple story is very similar to many others in southern Minnesota.

We work in the housing industry owning a real estate brokerage and many rentals in town. This month we helped two families from Ukraine move to Albert Lea. After the parade, I got a text from a friend who watched the parade with her mom and whose family is from Turkey, and she said our Albert Lea Third of July Parade was the first parade she’s gone to. I’ve seen 40 of the last 45 parades in Albert Lea but can appreciate my story is not exactly like everyone’s in southern Minnesota. One thing we do have in common is pride, a great pride for a beautiful community.

It was impossible to miss the Republicans in this year’s Third of July Parade. We had over 100 people participating and stretched for two blocks. Dozens more that said they wanted to walk with us but that they were in the parade with their businesses, helping sheriff candidates, walking with city and county candidates or helping their church or service organizations. I was very proud to show off our community to some of the statewide candidates that may have not seen Albert Lea like they did from our parade.

Dr. Scott Jensen for governor led our parade, along with Jim Schultz for attorney general and Brad Finstad for Congress. Each of them stayed in Albert Lea for hours afterward, if for no other reason than because we were a welcoming and beautiful community to hang out in for a while on a gorgeous evening. I was full of pride for the community we could show off to these candidates and proud of who we were introducing to a community that means so much to me.

Our state Sen. Gene Dornink, state Rep. Peggy Bennett and state Rep. Patty Muller were the very familiar faces with us in the parade. It was our honor as a local party to have all of them walk together with us as one group. Clearly with the overwhelming participation we have by all the Republican candidates and volunteers, we are stronger together. This is just the kickoff to showing off that strength now.

Save these dates. The Freeborn County Fair is the first week in August and the Freeborn County Republicans will be there all week in our same location we have been for many years, under the Grandstand. Whether you’ve attended four decades of fairs, or this is your first, come visit us Aug. 2 through the 7. On Monday, Aug. 8, is our Freeborn County Republicans picnic at the Edgewater Bay Pavilion. Visit us at the fair for invites to the picnic, email us or find us on Facebook. On Tuesday, Aug. 9,  vote! Show Sen. Gene Dornink and others we want to vote for them again on the November ballot, along with Dr. Scott Jensen for governor. Last, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, the same day as downtown Albert Lea’s Wind Down Wednesday, visit the Freeborn County Republicans’ headquarters kickoff at the same location we’ve been for years in the heart of downtown Albert Lea on Broadway Ave.

I look forward to seeing everyone I’ve known for years or meeting new people who want to have as much pride in Albert Lea as I do. We have become a very strong group, and it shows in our participation and success. By always building our bench and being better than we were before we will be an even stronger southern Minnesota together. I personally invite you to come participate with us. We’d be honored to stand with you.

Robert Hoffman is chairman of the Freeborn County Republicans.