My Point of View: It’s going to be a fun-filled season until 2024 election

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

I am positive. We will have a great 2024 election!

Robert Hoffman

In almost exactly one year we will have just completed the 2024 elections. With a very positive outlook, I’m looking forward to this exciting year to come. The candidates, fundraising, caucuses, conventions, parades, fair booths, headquarters, primaries and elections will be interesting to participate in. We will have a great 2024 election! Here’s a brief preview of the year to come.

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In the next year we will locally see many important elections unfold. Let’s start with one of the very most important, the Albert Lea School Board. Under the direction of administration and Superintendent Ron Wagner the seven-member elected School Board has three of their board positions up for election in 2024. Neal Skaar, Bruce Olson and Angie Hoffman’s terms end in 2024. They have not announced their intentions to run again or not yet. Remaining on the School Board is Kim Nelson, Dave Klatt, Gary Schindler and Davy Villarreal. These are very important positions, and they serve four-year terms. Having a balanced school board is key to a successful and strong school system.

The Albert Lea City Council has been doing a fantastic job with Mayor Rich Murray and City Manager Ian Rigg. The Albert Lea City Council has seven elected members, including Mayor Murray. Three of the City Council positions are up for election in 2024. Ward 1’s Rachel Christensen, Ward 3’s Jason Howland and Ward 5’s Robert Rasmussen are up for election in 2024.

The 4 Council members that are not up for election in 2024 are Mayor Rich Murray, Ward 2’s Larry Baker, Ward 4’s Sherri Rasmussen and Ward 6’s Brian Anderson. An active and bright City Council is a perfect way to build up the community to its potential and to maintain the successful programs already in place. Each of 2024’s City Council elections will be for four-year terms.

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners has been very active these last few years, and many things are falling into place. Also on a county level, the election of Sheriff Ryan Shea has had a very positive impact on the county, but in 2024 the sheriff position is not up for election, allowing the focus to be on the three Board of Commissioners positions up for election.

Freeborn County also currently has County Assessor Ryan Rasmussen serving as the interim county administrator. The county administrator position is not an elected position, but much like the positions of the school superintendent and city manager, it is the position that works closest with the five elected county commissioners and the county’s administration. Three of the five elected County commissioner positions are up for election in 2024: District 1’s Brad Edwin, District 3’s John Forman and District 5’s Nicole Eckstrom. The 2 Commissioners not up for election in 2024 are District 1’s Christopher Shoff and District 2’s Dawn Kaasa. The County Commissioner positions are now up for four-year terms.

We are often asked to find out more information about the judges on the ballots, and this year that will be another focus. We will provide information on Minnesota’s District Court judges, Appeals Court judges and Supreme Court justices.

By far one of the most exciting things that will happen in the 2024 election will be electing a new president of the United States. Our 2024 elections will also have us re-electing our U.S. Congressman, Brad Finstad, and re-electing state Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patty Muller to another two-year term each. State Sen. Gene Dornink is in the middle of his four-year term and is not up for election in 2024. Southern Minnesota is very blessed to have the elected officials serving us that we do.

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with gold. It means to “join with gold” and is a reminder to stay optimistic when things fall apart.

The kintsugi motto is “perfectly imperfect.” Our Election-2024 coffee mug may need to be mended a few times over this upcoming election year, but it will be even more beautiful than when we started.

We have an amazing year of campaigns ahead that we are all about to spend together during the 2024 elections. These last few years we’ve shared have been interesting to say the least, but our community has the gold to mend any breakage. After these next 12 months of campaigns, together the results of our elections will be a work of art to show off that will affect generations to come. I am positive.

Robert Hoffman is the Freeborn County Republicans chairman.