ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Republican challenger in District 20A knows how to pick a fight

MADISON -- Mike Bredeck instilled the competitive spirit in high school wrestlers as head coach for 25 years at the Madison and Lac qui Parle Valley High Schools, and was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame for it.

MADISON -- Mike Bredeck instilled the competitive spirit in high school wrestlers as head coach for 25 years at the Madison and Lac qui Parle Valley High Schools, and was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame for it.

He's bringing that same desire to win to the campaign trail this fall as the Republican challenger for the Minnesota House of Representative seat for District 20A. It puts Bredeck, of Madison, up against two-term in-cumbent Aa-ron Peterson, DFL-Madison.

One of the state's most rural districts, 20A includes all of Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle and Lincoln counties as well as a portion of western Yellow Medicine County. It has favored Republican candidates in recent national elections, but the district's voters gave Peterson margins of 6 percent and 10 percent respectively over his Republican challenger Jeff Moen in both of the last two state legislative elections.

Bredeck comes to the campaign with a jump start in name recognition thanks to his visible roles in coaching and education. Bredeck has been a math and chemistry instructor and high school counselor in the Madison and Lac qui Parle Valley High Schools for 34 years.

His role as a high school coach during most of those years -- mainly in wrestling but also in cross country, track and football -- also provided him with exposure throughout the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

He has been active in the American Legion's Boys State program, National Honor Society, and in creating an active volunteer program for high school students at Lac qui Parle Valley High School.

He is semi-retired from teaching; he will be filling a two-tenths teaching position with the Lac qui Parle Valley Schools this fall. He is also a Catholic Aid Association insurance representative for a large region: from Morris to the Missouri River and from Breckenridge to the Iowa border.

He and his wife of 26 years, Sue, are parents to four daughters.

Since receiving the Republican endorsement and filing as a candidate, Bredeck has been making appearances, giving interviews and lining up future appearances and fundraisers, including one House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon.

Despite the party support, Bredeck wants to portray himself with voters as a candidate who can work with both parties. He caucused with the Democrats in earlier years, he pointed out.

Bredeck said the Legislature is currently in "gridlock'' and that office holders are needed who can work with both parties. He said he can play that role and bridge the gap between the two sides. His other campaign themes focus on education, the rural economy and health care.

He points out that the state provides an average of $11,000 per pupil in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts, while rural schools such as Lac qui Parle or Benson receive less than $8,000 per pupil. Just think what rural districts could do if the state made up for the $3,000 disparity, he said.

He also argues for more rural job creation through the state's Job Opportunities Building Zone tax incentive program and for a better price for agricultural products.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bredeck said the state should work to put both a lid and floor on health care insurance. Rural residents are seeing their health care premiums rise as the services they receive decrease due to ever rising deductibles, he said.

What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.
Volunteers lead lessons on infusing fibers with plant dyes and journaling scientific observations for youth in Crow Wing and Olmsted counties.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.