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Byberg announces 2012 bid for Congress

WILLMAR -- Lee Byberg of Willmar has announced his plans to launch a second campaign for Congress.

Byberg, the endorsed Republican, ran against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Detroit Lakes last year. The long-time Democratic incumbent won the race with 55.2 percent of the vote. Byberg received 37.6 percent.

Byberg is vice president of operations for Life Science Innovations Inc. in Willmar. He is married and has three sons.

In a statement released over the weekend, Byberg said, "As a lifelong member of the business community, I am committed to restoring America's economic strength and sense of individual responsibility."

He said he would do that by following the U.S. Constitution and working for limited government and seeking responsible budgeting and local solutions for local problems.

"It has become increasingly evident that a number of incumbents in Washington for decades have failed to safeguard the economic strength of our nation," he said. "Their failed economic policies must be replaced with free-market solutions to spur sustainable growth and job creation."

During his last campaign, Byberg traveled more than 40,000 miles around the district, according to his statement. "It was truly an honor to meet with citizens, hear their concerns, and share my hopes for the future of our country," he said. "Since the election, Minnesotans from all across the district have continued to offer me words of encouragement to run for America's future again."

Byberg said in his statement that he believes the 2012 election will bring the district new leadership in Washington for the first time in 22 years, the length of time Peterson will have served at the end of his current term.

However, district lines will be redrawn later this year, using 2010 census numbers. The Willmar area has been in Peterson's district for the past 10 years, but it may not be after the new district lines are drawn. Byberg could have a different opponent in 2012.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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