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Editorial: Qualified candidates keep coming forward

First, it was Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh announcing he would seek the Minnesota District 22 Senate seat as a DFL candidate.

Next, within days of each other, two more Democrats formally threw their proverbial hats in the ring. District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, a Mountain Lake Republican who is completing his fourth term in the Minnesota House, will face challenger Cheryl Avenel-Navara of Worthington. Meanwhile, in District 22A, Republican Joe Schomacker of Luverne will look to win his second term and defeat Gene Short of Currie.

Both Short and Avenel-Navara have resumes that qualify them as serious candidates for state office.

Short served 16 years as a county commissioner in Redwood County; he retired to the Lake Shetek area in 2009. He was elected president of the Association of Minnesota Counties in 2003, and served on the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. He was also chair of the Southwest Regional Development Commission from 2003-2007.

Avenel-Navara, for her part, is a retired Minnesota West Community and Technical College faculty member who most recently has been involved in the effort for smoke-free housing and the Freedom to Breathe Act. She also worked on the Redesigning MN projects, among other endeavors.

We are pleased to see such qualified individuals step forward and express interest in serving at the state level. We look forward to hearing all candidates discuss how they plan to make Minnesota, and this region, a better place.