A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
WILLMAR -- The tread on the stairs that go between the Kandiyohi County Family Services office and the County Administrator's office is getting worn thin these days. Larry Kleindl goes up and down the stairs an untold number of times each day as he makes the transition from one job to another. Kleindl is currently the director of the Family Services Department, managing 100 employees and a $13 million budget.
GRANITE FALLS -- Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, would have liked to have been named chairman of a full committee but said he is pleased he will be assigned chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Subdivision. The Senate DFL leadership ann-ounced their list of recommended committees and chairman. The assignments are expected to be finalized on Monday by the caucus. Kubly was hoping to be named chairman of a full committee. However, said the top positions are given based on seniority and he missed the cut off.
ST. PAUL -- When the House Republicans meet Saturday to select their caucus leader, it will be the first time that local legislators Dean Urdahl and Bud Heidgerken will be in the minority party. "It'll certainly be different," said Rep. Urdahl, a retired teacher from Grove City who was re-elected last week to his third term in office from District 18B. "I've been in the majority for four years." Rep. Heidgerken, a retired teacher from Freeport representing District 13A, said if the Republicans had retained majority status in the House, he may have been given a chairmanship of a committee.
ST. PAUL -- Sen.-elect Joe Gimse got his first taste of the post-election politics on Friday. The Willmar Republican, who narrowly defeated long-time incumbent Sen. Dean Johnson on Tuesday, participated in his first party caucus in St. Paul on Friday. "It was a good day of getting to know people in the caucus," said Gimse. "I was there to listen and get up to speed and get to know my colleagues." Republicans hold 23 seats in the Senate.
ST. PAUL -- Although Minnesota Speaker of the House Margaret Kelliher is from Minneapolis, Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, said the new House leader has deep rural routes and will do a "good job of leading the caucus." Kelliher was selected by DFL House members Thursday night. The caucus picked up 19 seats in Tuesday's election to take control of the House.
ST. PAUL -- Sen. Gary Kubly said he is disappointed that only one of the top four DFL leadership positions in the Senate will be held by a rural legislator. The Granite Falls DFL'er said the four positions should have been equally shared by rural and metro senators. On Thursday afternoon the DFL Caucus selected Sen. Larry Pogemiller of Minneapolis as the new majority leader. Pogemiller will replace Sen.
WILLMAR -- Bittersweet is how some are describing the mix of wins and losses by Democrats and Republicans in Tuesday's general election. Massive wins by Minnesota DFL candidates in legislative races and constitutional offices were offset by the defeat of the party's most powerful player: Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson of Willmar. Likewise, the loss of Republican seats was offset by the victory of Gov. Tim Pawlenty "It was a bittersweet evening for everybody," said Rollie Nissen, co-chair of the Kandiyohi County Republican Party.
WILLMAR -- Joe Gimse needed a nap by 1:30 p.m.
WILLMAR - Minnesota Democrats and Republicans are both reeling from Tuesday's election results. Despite massive wins by DFL candidates in legislative races and constitutional offices, DFL'ers are in shock Wednesday due to the defeat of the Sen. Majority Leader Dean Johnson of Willmar. Republican excitement from the narrow re-election victory of Gov.
WILLMAR -- The 28-year political career of Sen. Dean Johnson has come to an abrupt halt. With all precincts reporting as of 2 a.m., Johnson had 15,669 votes -- 553 votes shy of his Republican challenger Joe Gimse, who had 16,222 votes.