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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- With a primary in the offing, the race for the new Minnesota House of Representative District 17B seat already promises a lively campaign.


DFL candidates Mary Sawatzky, of Willmar, and Jessica Rohloff, of Willmar, have filed with the Secretary of State. They will face off in the Aug. 14 primary. Sawatzky was endorsed by the party.

Independence Party candidate Zachary Liebl, Atwater, has also filed for the seat.

Incumbent Bruce Vogel, R-Willmar, has his party's endorsement but has not yet filed.

Filing opened for state and county offices on May 22 and remains open through June 5.

Other filings on record with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office on Wednesday afternoon:

House District 17A

Incumbent Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, has filed. He is expected to face Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, who has his party's endorsement but had not yet filed.

House District 18A

Nancy Larson, DFL-Dassel, has filed.

She is expected to face incumbent Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, who has his party's endorsement but had not yet filed.

Senate District 16

Incumbent Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, has filed. He is expected to face DFL-endorsee Ted Suss, who has not yet filed.

Senate District 17

Incumbent Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, has filed. He is expected to face the winner of a DFL primary race between Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, and Larry Rice of Willmar. Neither DFL'er had filed as of press time.

Chippewa County

Dave Lauritsen of Milan and Douglas Kluver of rural Montevideo have filed for the District 1 seat held by Kenneth Koenen, Maynard. Koenen has served since 1992 but has not re-filed.

Other filings in Chippewa County include incumbents: Jeffrey Lopez of rural Raymond, District 2; Dennis L. Anderson of rural Montevideo, District 3; and Jim Dahlvang of Montevideo, District 4.

Kandiyohi County

The District 4 seat being vacated by incumbent Dennis Peterson of New London has attracted five candidates. Roger Imdieke of New London, John Nething of Belgrade, Michael O'Brien of Spicer, Alan Welle of Willmar, and Donnel C. Williamson of Spicer have all filed.

Douglas Reese of Willlmar and Harlan Madsen of Lake Lillian have filed for the districts 2 and 5 seats, respectively.

Lac qui Parle County

Longtime commissioner Harold Solem of Dawson has not refiled for his District 5 seat. Roy Marihart, Dawson, has filed for it.

Incumbents Todd Patzer of Marietta, DeRon Brehmer of Bellingham, and Graylen Carlson of Madison have filed for their districts 1, 2 and 3 seats, respectively.

Meeker County

Contests are assured in Districts 4 and 5.

Mike Housman of Dassel is challenging incumbent Wally Strand of Kimball in District 4. Mike Lokken of Grove City and Ben Smith of Grove City have filed for the District 5 seat, where incumbent Roney Kutzke has not refiled.

Incumbents David Gabrielson of Litchfield and Tim Benoit of Dassel have filed for their districts 2 and 3 seats, respectively.

Pope County

Incumbents have filed for four seats. Gordon Wagner of Glenwood has filed for District 2; Paul Gerde of Glenwood for District 3; Larry Lindor of Cyrus for District 4; and Cody Rogahn of Glenwood for District 5.

Renville County

Randy Kramer of rural Bird Island has filed for the District 1 seat currently held by Ralph Novotny of rural Buffalo Lake.

Incumbents Paul Setzepfandt of Bird Island and LaMont Jacobson of Sacred Heart have filed for their districts 3 and 5 seats, respectively.

Swift County

Incumbents Gary Hendrickx of Appleton, Gary Klemm of Benson, Pete Peterson of Benson, and Joe Fox of Appleton have filed for their districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 seats.

Yellow Medicine County

Michael Ohliger Sr. of Granite Falls has filed for the District 2 seat to succeed the late Dick Wambeke.

Incumbents Greg Renneke of Echo, Gary Johnson of Montevideo, Ron Antony of Canby, and Louis Sherlin of Canby have filed for their districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 seats.