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Madsen re-elected to District 5 seat

WILLMAR -- Incumbent Kandiyohi County Commissioner Harlan Madsen was re-elected to his fourth term in office from District 5.

The 57-year-old rural Lake Lillian dairy farmer defeated political newcomer Andrew Lindquist, 31, of rural Willmar.

Madsen garnered 2,265 votes and Lindquist received 1,437, according to unofficial results from Kandiyohi County.

The district encompasses the southern half of Kandiyohi County, including 11 townships and six towns -- Atwater, Blomkest, Kandiyohi, Lake Lillian, Raymond and Prinsburg.

During his campaign, Lindquist, a construction manager for Marcus Construction, said it was time for a change in local leadership.

By contrast, Madsen's campaign message focused on the value of his long years of experience serving the county. Madsen has been on the Kandiyohi County Board for 12 years. Prior to that, he had been on the county's Planning and Zoning Commission and last year he served as president of the Association of Minnesota Counties.

During an interview late Tuesday night, Madsen said he was "very pleased with the results" and that he was "revitalized and energized to move ahead."

Madsen said that he was "humbled" to have the support and trust of his constituents. He said he was thrilled to be part of local government and was looking forward to an "exciting four years" of moving Kandiyohi County ahead.

After Madsen underwent prostate surgery in August, the long recovery made it difficult for him to campaign this fall.

"It was a very significant challenge," said Madsen, who said he was able to visit only about 10 percent of the homes in his district. Family and friends helped him with the campaign. "I am thankful for their assistance," he said.

Lindquist said he knew his inexperience in politics and young age was going to make it "tough" to run against Madsen. But Lindquist said he enjoyed the process. "I learned a lot. It was a good experience."

Lindquist said he will likely consider another stab at politics in the future.

Madsen thanked Lindquist for running an "upbeat, positive" campaign and for "throwing his hat into the ring" and providing an opportunity for dialogue.

In a pre-election interview, Madsen had identified his top issues as: state and federal funding cuts; water quality; chemical dependency/mental health issues; economic development; protecting children, families, senior citizens and vulnerable adults; and transportation.

Madsen has also conducted public presentations on the dangers of methamphetamine usage.

In a pre-election interview, Lindquist said the issues that are important to him are crime; creating a balance in how land is developed; providing mandated family services despite federal and state budget cuts; keeping the county affordable; and the economy of the county.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750