New races in Jackson due to redistrictingJACKSON — Voters in the eastern portion of Jackson County will be casting ballots in a pair of new races this year, thanks to redistricting.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
JACKSON — Voters in the eastern portion of Jackson County will be casting ballots in a pair of new races this year, thanks to redistricting.
Instead of resting solely within the boundaries of Minnesota State Senate District 22, eastern county residents will now have the opportunity to cast votes for Senate District 23 and House District 23A candidates.
The change means a pair of Fairmont Republican who have served in District 24 for several years will now seek a new office.
Julie Rosen, who ran unopposed in the 2010 Senate District 22 election and has served as the district's senator for 10 years, now seeks the District 23 senate seat. Rosen, a principal player in moving a new Minnesota Vikings stadium forward this past year, will be up against DFLer Paul Marquardt, a rural Eagle Lake resident who spent 21 years working as a plumber and the last 11 as a union organizer.
In the House District 23A race, Republican Bob Gunther, who has served in the Minnesota House since 1995 and was Assistant Majority Leader during 2005-2006, will seek to return to St. Paul. His DFL challenger is Kevin Labenz, who grew up in rural Welcome and now once again resides in Martin County, working in the pork production industry.
An Iowa rematch
In Osceola County, Republican Sheriff Doug Weber will face a familiar foe in Tuesday's elections.
Weber, who defeated Matt Block in the GOP primary earlier this year, will again face Block, who is running as an independent this time around. While Weber seeks re-election, Block — currently a police officer in Spencer, Iowa — is hopeful voters will choose him this time around.
In Lyon County, among the most-watched races are those for county superintendent, sheriff and auditor. The sheriff's race is likely the most intriguing of the bunch, as it features another election sequel of sorts.
With the pending retirement of Blythe Bloemendaal, a pair of Republicans waged a tight battle in the Republican primary, and Deputy Rick Bos defeated Chief Deputy Stewart VanderStoep by a mere nine-vote margin. VanderStoep's name will appear on the ballot as "nominated by petition."
The two rematches will certainly hold some interest in northwest Iowa, but there's no question the biggest race will be for U.S. House. Rep. Steve King, who was first elected to his post in 2002, will face Democrat Christie Vilsack, the wife of Iowa's former governor.