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Second candidate announces plan to seek GOP nod for District 17B race

WILLMAR ––  A Willmar woman said Monday she will seek the GOP endorsement for the House District 17B seat.

Linda Kacher is the second Republican to announce their candidacy for the House of Representatives office.

On Friday, Dave Baker, a businessman from Willmar, said he would ask for the blessing of the district’s GOP delegates at the March 8 endorsing convention in Willmar.

Kacher said that she would honor by the wishes of the GOP delegates and wouldn’t challenge Baker in a primary election if she was not the endorsed candidate.

When reached Monday afternoon, Baker said he was “undecided” whether he would abide by the endorsement process.

District 17B includes all of Kandiyohi County, except four townships in the southwest part of the county.

Whoever gets the final GOP nod will run against Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar, who was elected in 2012.

Like Baker, Kacher has not run for public office before.

But Kacher said she’s been an active, behind-the-scenes player in the Kandiyohi County Republican Party and has spent time in parades and at the county fair alongside many of the same people who will be the voting delegates at the convention.

“A lot of them already know who I am,” said Kacher, adding that she will spend the next month on “grassroots” politics and talk to delegates ahead of the convention.

Kacher said she was encouraged by others to run for office and made the decision over the holidays to become a candidate and give voters “a choice at the polls” in November. “I would consider it a privilege to be able to offer my strengths and my desire to serve in this way.”

Kacher maintains she would be a better candidate to face Sawatzky to win the seat back for the GOP.

Kacher calls herself a “very fiscally conserve candidate” and although she was invited to speak at a local Tea Party Alliance rally, she said she is not a member of a Tea Party organization.

Kacher said she “didn’t know if Dave Baker would refer to himself as a conservative.”

In an interview last week, Baker called himself a political “moderate.”

In a written statement Kacher said, if elected, she would adhere to the “Republican principles in which I believe,” including fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.

She criticized Sawatzky for advocating “unbridled public spending at the expense of increasing taxes and the other quick fixes that have become the legacy of New Deal liberalism and is not beneficial to the state of Minnesota.”

Kacher said she opposes “increasing the size of government which puts more pressure on the backs of hard working citizens to provide for an ever-increasing appetite to spend.”

She said it’s “time that we learn to make the most of the revenue streams in place, and I pledge to do just that.”

Kacher said her experience working with local projects, including the Hawk Creek animal shelter, has honed her skills at community collaboration.

Kacher and her husband, Dr. Richard Kacher M.D., moved to Willmar 10 years ago from Wisconsin.

She has 25 years of business experience, most recently as a Senior Business Consultant at Kraft Foods in Wisconsin, where was a project manager of large distribution system.

Carolyn Lange

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

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