An image from southern Minnesota (
by Dan Burns
Sep 22, 2022, 12:00 PM

MN lege: 2022 races of particular interest, Districts 15-28

This covers about the southern 40% of the state, including a few metro exurbs. Part 1, which includes hyperlinks to the resources that I’m using, here.

SD23: The DFL candidate is Brandon Lawhead. His website notes pro-choice and pro-public schools positions, among plenty of other specifics that plenty of other candidates, notably Republicans, avoid.

Sen. Gene Dornink (R-Brownsdale) has only been in the lege since early 2021. There was a dispute regarding his residency in the new district, though he does get to stay on the ballot.

HD23A: I happen to know from social media that DFL candidate Mary Hinnenkamp is an awe-inspiring canvassing machine, apparently intent on doorknocking the entire district and she might well get there. Gotta love that! And she’s a retired teacher.

I remember noting Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea) when she was a candidate in 2020. That’s the only reason I’d know the name, because she’s done nothing of significance in the House.

SD24: Aleta Borrud is a medical doctor. And an all-around great candidate who would be an all-around great state senator.

Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) has unfortunately been in office since 2011. My superlative blogging colleague here aptly describes her as “a vicious ideologue in an Aunt Bea suit.”

HD25A: Our candidate is Kim Hicks. From her website:

I have been working with people and children with disabilities since 1999 as a direct support worker, teacher, nonprofit, and (in) policy.

Wendy Phillips’s website has a picture of her proudly holding a “NO VAX MANDATE” sign. Enough said.

SD26: This, from Dan Wilson’s website, particularly caught my attention:

Starting in 2015 I worked for area farmers, took farming classes, and had an internship on a farm in Wisconsin. By 2017 my spouse, Rachel, and I had a farm business that direct-marketed grass-fed beef and hogs. Like a lot of young farm families, we soon found that we were up against the high costs of land and inputs. A close look at our finances caused us to scale back; I am currently custom-grazing dairy heifers for farmers who produce grass-fed milk.

The current system isn’t working for farmers, and that has a ripple effect throughout our local economy. Farmers want to farm differently: they want to get off the hamster wheel of high expenditures and constant debt. They want to protect the health of their soil and the quality of their water. There is so much interest in this kind of farming, I feel we are at a tipping point. If we invested a little bit of money in the right places, we could make a huge change in southeastern Minnesota.

Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) is currently the majority leader. Perhaps you recall how we didn’t get a bonding bill, more money for public schools, etc., because of course he demanded that most of the surplus go to rich people, one way or another.

There’s also a marijuana party candidate in this one. Hopefully very few voters will get conned.

HD28A: Our candidate is Erik Johnson. Gotta like his priorities.

Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) has been in the House since 2013. Way past time for a change.

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