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Filing for elected offices opens Tuesday

The Legislature's action to move up Minnesota's primary from mid-September to Aug. 10 this year also moves up the date candidates file for office.

Filing opens Tuesday across the state for everything from county offices to that of governor of Minnesota.

The two-week filing period closes on June 1. Offices crossing county lines file in St. Paul, others with county auditors or city clerks.

School district candidates file with their school district offices.

A federal law mandated more time between primary and general elections to allow the handling of absentee ballots from military stationed overseas. That caused the earlier primary in Minnesota.

At the top of the state ticket is the office of governor, an open race since Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said last summer he would not seek a third term.

Republicans have settled on their candidate, Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano, while the Aug. 10 primary will be needed to sort out the Democratic candidates between DFL-endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and former Minnesota House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, all of the Twin Cities area.

The Independence Party will also have a primary, with several candidates testing party-endorsed Tom Horner, chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger.

On the ballot for U.S. House is 7th District DFL Rep. Collin Peterson, challenged by GOP candidate Lee Biberg, and 8th District DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar, challenged by Republican Chip Cravaack.

All legislative seats are up this year, with senators seeking a two-year term because of pending redistricting after the 2010 Census.

Locally, Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, faces a potential primary challenge from Greg Paquin, as does Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, from Nicole Beaulieu. Republican candidates are John Carlson for Senate 4 and Richard Lehmann, Bemidji's mayor, for House 4A.

Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, is opposed by Democrat Meg Bye of Pequot Lakes for a second time.

Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, will face GOP-endorsed Dennis Moser, also of Clearbrook, and Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, is opposed by Republican Dave Hancock of Bemidji.

In non-partisan local elections, Beltrami County has three commissioners up for election. District 2 Commissioner Joe Vene and District 3 Commissioner Jim Heltzer have already said they will seek re-election. Also on the ballot is the District 1 seat held by Commissioner Jack Frost.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp has said he will seek re-election. Also on the ballot are County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack and County Attorney Tim Faver.

The Legislature three years ago allowed Beltrami to appint its county recorder, and the County Board earlier this month renewed a four-year term for County Recorder Charlene Sturk, effective Jan. 1.

Three seats are up on the Bemidji School Board, seats held by Carol Johnson, Steven Johnson and Bill Faver.

Mayor Lehmann's decision to seek the House 4A seat should create some movement in Bemidji City Council seats. Lehmann's mayoral term is up, as well as council terms for Barb Meuers, Roger Hellquist and Jerry Downs. Meuers, the at-large member, has said she will not seek re-election.

Hellquist represents Ward 2 and Downs Ward 4.

Other cities in the county will also have posts open for election, as well as several seats on the Beltrami Soil and Water Conservation District.

Also on the ballot will be judicial posts, from Minnesota Supreme Court to district courts.

The Beltrami County ballot will see all judges in the 9th Judicial District which are up for election, including Paul Benshoof of Bemidji and Paul Rasmussen of Bagley.