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Minn. governor announces special election to fill late senator's seat

Sens. Gary Kubly of Granite Falls, left, Tom Saxhaug of Grand Rapids converse in this undated photo. The governor has announced a specail election will be held April 10 to fill the Senate District 20 seat following Kubly's death last week. Tribune photo by Don Davis

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that a special election to fill the Senate District 20 seat of Gary Kubly will be held April 10.

Kubly died Friday. His funeral was held Wednesday in Granite Falls.

Because Kubly died while the Senate was in session, an election must be held to fill the vacancy.

If multiple individuals file to run for the seat, which includes Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties, a special primary election will be March 27.

Candidates will have to decide quickly if they want to run.

Filing for office begins today and ends on Tuesday. The candidate withdrawal period ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Candidates can file with the Secretary of State's office or in the county auditor's office where they live.

The term of the office ends at the end of the year.

At that time, Senate District 20 will no longer exist. Because of redistricting, Kubly would have resided in the new District 17. The new district includes all of Kandiyohi and Swift counties, the majority of Renville County and the majority of Chippewa County.

Three candidates have already indicated interest in running in this fall's election for the District 17 Senate seat.

Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, intends to run again, and he will now be in the new district.

Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, has said he will seek the DFL endorsement for a Senate bid from the new district instead of seeking re-election to the House.

And Larry Rice, a Willmar Democrat, also intends to seek the DFL endorsement for District 17.