Anderson wins open 13A seat, keeps district in GOP's hands; Shuck fails in fourth effort
Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, was the apparent winner Tuesday in the 13A House of Representatives race.
With 94 percent of the votes reported, Anderson, 57, was ahead of Bruce Shuck, DFL-Sunburg, by 10,897 to 7,825 votes.
The winner will fill the seat previously held by Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport. Heidgerken, who held the post for the past six years, did not run for re-election this year.
District 13 includes all of Pope County, western Stearns County and the six northern townships of Kandiyohi County.
This was Shuck's fourth attempt to win the 13A House seat. He was defeated in the last three elections by Heidgerken.
This was Anderson's first run for state office.
In a brief interview this morning, Anderson said he had a "pretty nice" lead but was "not going to be confident until everything is in."
Anderson, who is a farmer, said he didn't want to be over-confident. He said "everything is going well, but I don't want to predict anything yet."
Anderson and Shuck ran a relatively quiet campaign with little controversy. Both are farmers and former county commissioners.
Shuck served as a Kandiyohi County commissioner for eight years. Anderson was elected to the Pope County Board two years ago and is currently serving in that position.
He has also been a school board member and township supervisor.
In an earlier interview, Anderson said he would follow in Heidgerken's footsteps and be a legislator who will represent the residents of District 13A and not simply fall in step with the party line.
Anderson said his experience on the County Board, and his frustration with counties being forced to deal with unfunded state mandates, was the trigger to get him to run for the House.
He said he enjoys county government but thought he could do more good for residents by working on their behalf in St. Paul.
Anderson said the state's economy and budget are top priority issues that should be addressed with state spending cuts. He also advocates equitable school funding and "common sense" rules and regulations that will allow farmers to do their business while still protecting the environment.