Vickerman going for it again
Jim Vickerman, a District 22 DFLer from Tracy, officially announced Wednesday that he will seek a seventh term in the Legislature. He was first elected in 1986. He was re-elected in 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2002. He will turn 75 in May. Specula...
Jim Vickerman, a District 22 DFLer from Tracy, officially announced Wednesday that he will seek a seventh term in the Legislature.
He was first elected in 1986. He was re-elected in 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2002. He will turn 75 in May.
Speculation regarding Mr. Vickerman's future began soon after he began his sixth term, but there was never a question whether the Tracy farmer and father of six influenced major decisions. Currently chair of the Agriculture, Veterans and Gaming Committee, Vickerman is also able to focus on other topics important to his constituents. He has been a bulldog on getting funding for an Alzheimer's Unit at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, and he has constantly fought for the completion of a Minnesota 60 upgrade that should have been finished years ago.
On the 60 issue, Vickerman has often spoken in colorful language -- sometimes using words that would cause others to chuckle -- to express his displeasure at the highway's ever-present neglect. It no doubt rankles him that his experience and influence cannot seem to break the apathy that so permeates St. Paul. Perhaps this is why he wondered aloud on Wednesday that he might want to chair the Transportation Committee should he win re-election.
In any case, with Vickerman's experience, he will be difficult to defeat in November. From his comments to the Daily Globe this week, Vickerman did not sound like a man in his mid-70s looking forward to retirement. Instead, he sounded like a man anxious to see things through, and ready to use his accumulated reputation and influence to fight on.
Vickerman's comments on Minnesota 60 were pointed. It was when he spoke on veterans' issues that he sounded positively touched. The senator said he prides himself on helping vets, though he is not a veteran himself.
"For the simple reason that I'm able to sit here and I'm able to be talking to you because of our veterans," he said. "I wouldn't be here if the veterans weren't protecting this country. We owe so much to our veterans."