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John Carlson gives his nomination speech to Senate 4 Republican delegates Saturday. He was unopposed for endorsement. Wayne Tieman, background, nominated Carlson while Yvonne Eckholm seconded it. Pioneer Photo/Brad Swenson

Carlson wins GOP nod for Senate 4 seat

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WALKER - Bemidji businessman John Carlson was unopposed in his bid for Republican endorsement to the Senate 4 seat now held by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

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Forty-one delegates unanimously gave their endorsement to Carlson, who ran against Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, in 2008.

Carlson spent most of his time detailing how he plans to raise money for his campaign -- only from within the district and nothing from political action committees or special interest groups.

"We can show the state and the nation that it is possible that the people can get government back one voter at a time," said Carlson, a Bemidji insurance agency owner.

Wayne Tieman, in nominating Carlson, said the candidate "will collect no special interest money from the PACs or special interest groups. There will be no contributions from people outside of District 4. He will accept no more than $100 from any individual in District 4."

Tieman said he thought such a plan, wouldn't work at first, but "this election truly has to be a grass-roots effort. Our message of less taxation, less regulation and no subsidies will be carried to St. Paul by John Carlson."

Carlson is "the right person, for the right job, at the right time," Tieman said.

Olson, in her first term, faces an Aug. 10 Democratic primary challenge from Greg Paquin of Bemidji. The large district reaches from Bemidji to the Brainerd northern suburbs.

"This grass-roots effort that we're about to embark on is going to be an incredible ride," Carlson said. "20,000 people need to vote for me, and we're going to do that one voter at a time. If only one-fifth of those voters, 4,000, could dig into their pockets and give me $25, that's $100,000.

"We can run a winning campaign on $100,000, and we will do that," Carlson said.

"It's time to give the government back to the people," he said to a loud round of applause. "No more special interests, no more lobbyists, no more PAC money -- we are going to do this, we the people,"

Tieman said Carlson believes in limited government and in keeping taxes down.

"John believes in limited government growth, which applies to having more taxpayers to keep their hard-earned income," he said. "It would allow our citizens to invest in small businesses, farms, and communities. John believes in tax cuts and not tax increases."

Carlson believes that "let the people decide what to do with their hard-earned money and not the bureaucracy or the liberals," Tieman said.

"He knows firsthand how important it is to own a business with integrity and concern for his many customers," Tieman said. "John believes that through experience and training, that people need a hand up and not a handout."

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

WALKER - Bemidji businessman John Carlson was unopposed in his bid for Republican endorsement to the Senate 4 seat now held by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

Forty-one delegates unanimously gave their endorsement to Carlson, who ran against Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, in 2008.

Carlson spent most of his time detailing how he plans to raise money for his campaign -- only from within the district and nothing from political action committees or special interest groups.

"We can show the state and the nation that it is possible that the people can get government back one voter at a time," said Carlson, a Bemidji insurance agency owner.

Wayne Tieman, in nominating Carlson, said the candidate "will collect no special interest money from the PACs or special interest groups. There will be no contributions from people outside of District 4. He will accept no more than $100 from any individual in District 4."

Tieman said he thought such a plan, wouldn't work at first, but "this election truly has to be a grass-roots effort. Our message of less taxation, less regulation and no subsidies will be carried to St. Paul by John Carlson."

Carlson is "the right person, for the right job, at the right time," Tieman said.

Olson, in her first term, faces an Aug. 10 Democratic primary challenge from Greg Paquin of Bemidji. The large district reaches from Bemidji to the Brainerd northern suburbs.

"This grass-roots effort that we're about to embark on is going to be an incredible ride," Carlson said. "20,000 people need to vote for me, and we're going to do that one voter at a time. If only one-fifth of those voters, 4,000, could dig into their pockets and give me $25, that's $100,000.

"We can run a winning campaign on $100,000, and we will do that," Carlson said.

"It's time to give the government back to the people," he said to a loud round of applause. "No more special interests, no more lobbyists, no more PAC money -- we are going to do this, we the people,"

Tieman said Carlson believes in limited government and in keeping taxes down.

"John believes in limited government growth, which applies to having more taxpayers to keep their hard-earned income," he said. "It would allow our citizens to invest in small businesses, farms, and communities. John believes in tax cuts and not tax increases."

Carlson believes that "let the people decide what to do with their hard-earned money and not the bureaucracy or the liberals," Tieman said.

"He knows firsthand how important it is to own a business with integrity and concern for his many customers," Tieman said. "John believes that through experience and training, that people need a hand up and not a handout."

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pioneer staff reports
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