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Willmar businessman Dave Baker will seek Republican nod to challenge Sawatzky in House race

WILLMAR –– Willmar businessman Dave Baker announced this afternoon that he will seek the Republican nomination for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 17B seat that’s currently held by Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar.

“I want to change the tone in St. Paul and use my experience in building teams, coalitions and communicating a sensible plan and start turning heads instead of turning backs of lawmakers,” said Baker, in a statement issued to the press.

Recently Baker led the Willmar iCardinal campaign which raised more than $400,000 to bring the community and school district together to purchase an iPad for every student in ninth through 12th grade. He has volunteered for many years in many organizations, including the Minnesota Chamber, Willmar Municipal Utilities, Spicer Commercial Club, Willmar Lakes Area Chamber and co-founded the Dan Baker Foundation helping individuals and families fighting addiction.

 “I have worked hard from an arms’ reach on issues that affect business, fiscal responsibility, smarter government, communities etc. by being involved striving to do what’s best for Kandiyohi County and Minnesota,” he said. “It’s all about community and leading by example. I can do that and have done that.”

Baker is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and has lived in Willmar for 20 years. He and his wife Mary created Baker Hospitalities Inc. in 1999 which includes the Oaks at Eagle Creek restaurant, Green Lake Cruises and Willmar Super 8. In 2011 they sold Melvin’s on the Lake in Spicer after 10 years of operation.

They are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and have two adult children, Olivia and Alex.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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