WILLMAR -- Willmar businessman Larry Rice received the unanimous endorsement of the Senate District 13 DFL Party at its convention in Belgrade on Sunday. The district includes Kandiyohi and Pope counties, and the southwestern part of Stearns County.
Rice, a lifelong Willmar resident and small-business owner, will focus on creating jobs, supporting businesses, making health care accessible for all, and improving education from pre-K to college.
Rice was nominated by Kim Larson, local corn and soybean farmer, who said there is a need for leadership with a broad vision and cited Rice as "someone who is willing to turn their ear in the direction of the constituents."
In seconding Larson's nomination, former U.S. representative, Minnesota state senator and lieutenant governor Alec Olson of Spicer said he "wants to see this young man elected because I think he will make a good senator" and that "rather than having someone driving us apart, I'm convinced he'll try to bring us together."
In his acceptance speech Rice said, "I, like you, am fed up with the partisan bickering, finger-pointing, and game-playing. ...You want a senator who is ready to work together and start bringing more of our west central Minnesota common sense to St. Paul."
A businessman for 35 years, Rice owns Lakeland Landscape and Design.
Rice will be challenging incumbent Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar.