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Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, speaks to delegates during last Saturday's Senate 2 endorsing convention at Mahnomen. She was endorsed for a fourth term to her House 2B seat. Submitted Photo

State legislative candidate fields solidify for 2010

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Republicans in two Minnesota Senate districts will gather over the next few days to issue endorsements for the fall election.

A contest is assured in at least one race, as Bemidji Mayor Richard Lehmann and the Rev. David Myers will battle for the House 4A Republican endorsement, which includes the city of Bemidji.

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The Senate 4 endorsing convention is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Northern Lights Casino south of Walker.

Aside from the 4A race, Bemidji insurance agency owner John Carlson is seeking the GOP endorsement to run against Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, who is in her first term.

Carlson ran for the open House 4A seat in 2008, losing to John Persell, DFL-Bemidji. Persell, the DFL endorsee, faces an Aug. 10 primary challenge from Nicole Beaulieu, a student and Leech Lake Tribal College instructor.

Either Lehmann or Myers will face the winner of that primary in November. Both Repubicans have said they will abide by Saturday's endorsement.

Olson also faces an Aug. 10 primary challenge from Greg Paquin of Bemidji, a labor organizer.

At Saturday's GOP endorsing convention, Republicans are expected to endorse House 4B Rep. Larry Howes of Walker for a seventh term. He will face his 2008 opponent again, DFL-endorsed Meg Bye of Pequot Lakes.

Senate 2 Republicans gather at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bagley American Legion to issue endorsements for the Senate seat and two House seats. The candidate field there is basically open.

Seeking endorsement for the Senate post is Clearbrook truck driver Dennis Moser, in his first political campaign. He will face Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, who will be seeking his third Senate term after serving two terms in the Minnesota House.

The only announced candidate for the House 2B GOP endorsement is Darrell Auginash of rural Bemidji, a Red Lake tribal member and community organizer. While he told the Pioneer a week ago he will seek the GOP endorsement, he filed his campaign committee in January with the state as an Independence Party candidate.

Auginash said he would compete in the Aug. 10 Republican primary if not endorsed Monday.

The holder of the seat. Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, is seeking her fourth term, having defeated Rep. Doug Lindgren, R-Bagley, in 2004 and again in 2006 and 2008.

The House 2A Republican endorsement is open. An eventual candidate will face Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, who will be seeking a fifth term.

Senate 2 DFL endorses

Senate 2's three incumbent lawmakers were all endorsed for re-election at an endorsing convention last Saturday at Mahnomen.

Skoe, Sailer and Eken all won endorsement for re-election to the Legislature.

"The three of us will continue to work as a team in the Legislature and we will work to elect the DFL-endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher as the next governor of Minnesota," Skoe said in his acceptance speech.

Skoe serves as vice chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee and chairman of its property tax division.

"With the promise of new leadership in the governor's office, this will be a very exciting election year and I look forward to meeting with people throughout the district this summer and fall to discuss the issues of concern to them and to hear their thoughts on Minnesota's future direction," Sailer said.

Sailer added her priority is to "bring us back to fiscal responsibility."

She serves as vice chairwoman of the House Game, Fish and Forestry Division.

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

Republicans in two Minnesota Senate districts will gather over the next few days to issue endorsements for the fall election.

A contest is assured in at least one race, as Bemidji Mayor Richard Lehmann and the Rev. David Myers will battle for the House 4A Republican endorsement, which includes the city of Bemidji.

The Senate 4 endorsing convention is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Northern Lights Casino south of Walker.

Aside from the 4A race, Bemidji insurance agency owner John Carlson is seeking the GOP endorsement to run against Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, who is in her first term.

Carlson ran for the open House 4A seat in 2008, losing to John Persell, DFL-Bemidji. Persell, the DFL endorsee, faces an Aug. 10 primary challenge from Nicole Beaulieu, a student and Leech Lake Tribal College instructor.

Either Lehmann or Myers will face the winner of that primary in November. Both Repubicans have said they will abide by Saturday's endorsement.

Olson also faces an Aug. 10 primary challenge from Greg Paquin of Bemidji, a labor organizer.

At Saturday's GOP endorsing convention, Republicans are expected to endorse House 4B Rep. Larry Howes of Walker for a seventh term. He will face his 2008 opponent again, DFL-endorsed Meg Bye of Pequot Lakes.

Senate 2 Republicans gather at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bagley American Legion to issue endorsements for the Senate seat and two House seats. The candidate field there is basically open.

Seeking endorsement for the Senate post is Clearbrook truck driver Dennis Moser, in his first political campaign. He will face Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, who will be seeking his third Senate term after serving two terms in the Minnesota House.

The only announced candidate for the House 2B GOP endorsement is Darrell Auginash of rural Bemidji, a Red Lake tribal member and community organizer. While he told the Pioneer a week ago he will seek the GOP endorsement, he filed his campaign committee in January with the state as an Independence Party candidate.

Auginash said he would compete in the Aug. 10 Republican primary if not endorsed Monday.

The holder of the seat. Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, is seeking her fourth term, having defeated Rep. Doug Lindgren, R-Bagley, in 2004 and again in 2006 and 2008.

The House 2A Republican endorsement is open. An eventual candidate will face Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, who will be seeking a fifth term.

Senate 2 DFL endorses

Senate 2's three incumbent lawmakers were all endorsed for re-election at an endorsing convention last Saturday at Mahnomen.

Skoe, Sailer and Eken all won endorsement for re-election to the Legislature.

"The three of us will continue to work as a team in the Legislature and we will work to elect the DFL-endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher as the next governor of Minnesota," Skoe said in his acceptance speech.

Skoe serves as vice chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee and chairman of its property tax division.

"With the promise of new leadership in the governor's office, this will be a very exciting election year and I look forward to meeting with people throughout the district this summer and fall to discuss the issues of concern to them and to hear their thoughts on Minnesota's future direction," Sailer said.

Sailer added her priority is to "bring us back to fiscal responsibility."

She serves as vice chairwoman of the House Game, Fish and Forestry Division.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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