House District 17B

The House District 17B race has incumbent Dave Baker, R-Willmar, being challenged by Logan Kortgard, DFL-Willmar.

The 2020 race is the first time Kortgard is seeking public office. Kortgard is a Willmar Senior High School graduate and a fourth-year student at the University of Minnesota majoring in health services management. Health care is a priority of his campaign and he supports broadband as “a necessity in the modern economy.”

He is a political novice and has not made the case for replacing an accomplished state representative.

Rep. David Baker
Rep. David Baker
Baker is a longtime resident of Kandiyohi County and a local owner and manager of various businesses in the hospitality sector. He is an experienced community and political leader who knows how to get things done. And he listens to concerns from both sides of Minnesota politics.

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During his three terms, Baker has played a significant role in securing funding for state Highway 23 improvements, completion of a new Children’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Services facility in Willmar, and state funding for a new state poultry lab in Willmar. He voted in favor of the latest state bonding bill last week, which included CABHS' space, Prairie Lakes Youth Project space and Montevideo flood hazard mitigation.

Baker listens to all voters in his district and they should return him as their state representative in 2021.

House District 17A

The House District 17B race has incumbent Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, being challenged by Ben Dolan, DFL-Appleton, and Ed Engelman of the Legal Marijuana Now Party.

Miller claims he works across the aisle, yet he cannot even get along with his Republican Party. After losing a bid to be the Republican House leader in December, he was one of the four Republicans to leave the House Republican Caucus and form the New House Republican Caucus of 4.

Benjamin Dolan, DFL Candidate, District 17A, MinnesotaHouse
Benjamin Dolan, DFL Candidate, District 17A, MinnesotaHouse
Most recently, when Minnesotans needed the long-delayed 2020 bonding bill, which included Montevideo flood hazard mitigation, Miller voted simply no. Other local legislators supported the bipartisan bonding bill.

Engelman will have minimal support and no chance of election in this contest.

Dolan is a graduate of Lac qui Parle Valley High School and attended Southwest Minnesota State University, where he was student body president. Then he earned a Juris Doctorate at the University of South Dakota School of Law, while also serving as a class president. He is currently a judicial law clerk in the Minnesota court system.

Dolan seeks to build positive change in his district, supports broadband investment and understands the importance of health care, daycare, housing and mental health in rural Minnesota. He believes you need teamwork within your party and across the aisle.

It is time for District 17A to choose a fresh face for its future. Ben Dolan is the right choice to represent District 17A in 2021 in the Minnesota House.

Senate District 17

The Senate District 17 race pits Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, against Fernando Alvarado, DFL-Willmar.

Alvarado is a first-term member of the Willmar City Council seeking election in 2020 to the Minnesota Senate. He is a U.S. Navy

State Senator Andrew Lang
State Senator Andrew Lang
veteran, serving on the attack submarine U.S.S. Groton. A native of New York, he has worked in the insurance business in Willmar for nearly three decades. He has not made a strong case for replacing the incumbent.

Lang is a first-term incumbent state Senator. He is a helicopter pilot of the Minnesota National Guard, as well as employed as a helicopter pilot for North Memorial Health Air Care. A native of the town of Kandiyohi, he worked in his first term for the CABHS Hospital in Willmar, funding flood protection in Montevideo and for the Montevideo veterans home project. And he voted for the latest bonding bill.

Senate District 17 voters should return Lang to the Minnesota Senate in 2021.

House District 18A

Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City
Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City
Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, is running unopposed in District 18A in 2020. First elected in 2003, he has served his district and Minnesota well.

Urdahl should be re-elected to continue as the District 18A voters’ state representative for the next two years.

This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune Editorial Board, consisting of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan. Readers may respond to this editorial by sending a letter to: letters@wctrib.com.