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Swedzinski holds lead in House 16A

WILLMAR -- Rep. Chris Swedzinski held the lead over challenger Al Kruse in the contest for who will represent District 16A in the Minnesota House.

With 79 percent of 86 precincts reporting by 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, results showed Swedzinski ahead by a vote of 9,494 to 6,912.

Swedzinski, a Republican from Ghent, is seeking his second term in the Legislature.

Kruse, his DFL opponent and a longtime Marshall resident, is running for the third time after two unsuccessful previous bids for the House and Senate in the former District 21.

The newly redrawn District 16A includes Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties and portions of Lyon and Redwood counties.

The two candidates have emphasized basic issues in their campaigns: jobs, the economy, taxes and government spending.

Swedzinski, 34, is a family farmer and owner of a small welding business who started his political career as a congressional staffer. He has advocated for reining in government spending and making government more innovative and less cumbersome.

Kruse, 62, has a background that includes supervising a jobs training program and working in insurance and ag machinery sales. He supports adequate funding for education and has expressed a willingness to increase taxes in order to continue providing public services.