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Willmar businessman announces bid for Senate 13 seat

WILLMAR -- Willmar business owner Larry Rice announced Wednesday he is running for the Minnesota Senate District 13 seat.

Rice will seek the DFL party endorsement March 14 at the district convention in Belgrade.

He is the only DFL candidate in the race against Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, who is seeking a second term.

District 13 includes Ka-ndiyohi Co-unty and portions of Swift and Stearns counties.

Rice said he considers himself a moderate who "tries to see both sides of the problem and tries to be creative in coming up with solutions."

He said he intends to travel the district, listen to constituents and work on "common sense solutions" to the problems facing the region and state. "Too many in Saint Paul just aren't listening," he said.

He said the state needs long-term solutions to budget issues and needs to make "wise investments that will make a lot of sense down the road."

After being involved in DFL politics on the county level, Rice said he was encouraged by others to run for office. If elected, Rice said he intends to focus on job creation, providing quality education opportunities and ensuring affordable health care is accessible.

"We can get through these tough times, but we need to bring some west central Minnesota common sense to Saint Paul," he said.

Rice grew up in Willmar, graduated from Willmar High School and attended Willmar Community College. He has a bachelor's from Metropolitan State University, a master's from the University of St. Thomas and a degree in law from Hamline University School of Law.

He owns Lakeland Nurseries and has spent the past 35 years working primarily on landscape and home construction.

He is a lifelong member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar and has served on the board and as congregation president. He is also a member of Willmar Rotary Club and a board member of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

He and his wife, Cindy, have three grown children.

Carolyn Lange

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

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