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Hamilton, Schomacker cruise to House victories

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Southwest Minnesota lawmakers Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) and Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) were both re-elected Tuesday to their respective seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
District 22B

Hamilton, 50, a pork producer, was first elected to the Minnesota House in November 2004 and appeared poised to easily win his eighth two-year term on Tuesday. He had received 66.9 percent of the vote (6,656 votes) with 56 of 88 precincts reporting. That compared to 32.93 percent and 3,273 votes for his DFL opponent, Cheniqua Johnson.

Among the committees on which Hamilton has served during his House tenure are Education, Transportation, Health & Human Services, Commerce, Environment, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Ways & Means, Hamilton noted in a candidates’ profile for The Globe last month. He also has been the Majority Whip and a member of the House’s executive committee.

“I have always said that I can either complain about what is wrong with politics or get involved,” Hamilton wrote in his profile “I choose to be involved and, more importantly, being part of the solutions.”

Johnson, of Worthington, is a legislative correspondent for the 5th Congressional District who has previously worked for the Washington, DC Office of Sen. Richard Durbin and in the Policy Department of the Office of Gov. Mark Dayton. She graduated from the University of Minnesota this past May.

District 22A

Schomacker, 32, of Luverne, was elected to his fifth two-year term. He operates Schomacker Cleaning and Schomacker Flooring & Appliance with his parents and brother when not serving in the legislature.

Schomacker had received 66.73 percent of the vote (10,811 votes) with all 110 precincts reporting. That compared to 33.19 percent and 5,377 votes for Kaufman.

Schomacker noted in a submitted candidates’ profile for The Globe that he has “worked for the district to raise the wages of nursing home workers, stabilize funding for those receiving disability services and secure funding for projects.” He also has made efforts to make additional Lewis & Clark Regional Water System connections, incentivize tru Shrimp to operate in Minnesota connecting to Lewis and Clark Water and construct a dental clinic in Pipestone, he noted.

“I want to be able to build on the work many of us put into get these things done,” Schomacker added.

Kaufman, of Fulda, is a development planner at the Southwest Regional Development Commission. He wrote in his candidates’ profile that he was seeking the District 22A seat “because we cannot wait any longer to make real progress at the Capitol.” He cited the cost of health, education funding, transportation infrastructure and the daycare shortage as key campaign issues.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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