Wilhelm endorsed by GOP to run for 13B seat
WILLMAR -- Republican Bonnie Wilhelm will run for the District 13B House of Representatives seat in this fall's election.
Wilhelm was unanimously endorsed Thursday night by the Kandiyohi County Republicans, according to Rollie Nissen, county co-chairman.
On Friday, Wilhelm said she was excited and looking forward to the campaign.
"Every election cycle is different," she said. "I think this is going to be a good year."
This year's election marks Wilhelm's third attempt to win the seat.
She has run twice before against incumbent DFL Rep. Al Juhnke, who has served six terms in the district, which includes all of Kandiyohi County except Norway Lake, Colfax, Burbank, Roseville, Irving, Arctander and Lake Andrew townships.
"This could be the year that there could be a change," Wilhelm said, adding that both of the last two elections have been close.
Key issues Wilhelm wants to address include transportation and rising fuel prices, which are greatly impacting family budgets.
"Where is it going to stop," she asked. "This is going to affect people in so many ways."
The candidate wants to focus on the family budget, as the foundation of funding for all tax-financed programs.
"What is the Legislature doing to help the family budget," she asked. "We have to start working for your (family) budget, not the government's budget."
If the government got out of many areas of the economy, it would be stronger, she said. "Government doesn't need to get into every aspect of our lives."
Juhnke said Friday afternoon that he was confident that the people of District 13B were "more than happy with the job I've done."
The chair of the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division Committee said he hasn't decided if he's going to run again, adding that the decision is not made during the legislative session so that he doesn't mix policy with politics.
Now that the session is completed, Juhnke said the decision will be made in the next week or so. "I'm confident that the voters have selected me over her (Wilhelm) twice, and that they will do that again."