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Hubbard County DFL convention focuses on new candidates, resolutions

Forty-five Hubbard County DFL delegates registered for the county convention, held Sunday, March 27 in Laporte.

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A. John Peters speaks to Hubbard County DFL county convention delegates on Sunday, March 27. He seeks the nomination for Senate District 5.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise

Forty-five Hubbard County DFL delegates registered for Sunday’s county convention: 13 from House District 2B and 32 from House District 5A.

The event was held at Laporte School. Al Judson was nominated as convention chair.

Meeting candidates

Leonard “Alan” Roy from rural Ogema is seeking the DFL endorsement in the newly redrawn Senate District 2, which incorporates parts or all of several counties that include Bemidji, Mahnomen, Walker, Baudette and three reservations.

He is a White Earth Tribal leader and Iraq war veteran, with almost 15 years of service in the U.S. Army. Using the G.I. Bill, he completed his master’s degree at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2018.

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Alan Roy, a candidate for Senate District 2, was joined on the stage by his daughter, Ashley.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise

Roy ran for the Senate in 2020, during the pandemic. This time, he will campaign door to door. “We feel this is probably the year to flip a seat,” he said.

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His top campaign issues are accessibility to health care in rural Minnesota and the economy, including attracting and retaining employees and expanding broadband.

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Jeremiah Liend from Turtle River is a candidate for House District 2B.<br/>
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise

Jeremiah Liend from Turtle River is a candidate for District 2B.

He began by thanking the 8,395 people who voted for him in the 2020 election. He’s concerned about Roe v. Wade being overturned in Texas, along with the 19 states that passed laws restricting voter access.

“There is only one political party forwarding these vile, abusive, unconstitutional laws. That is why I’m here with you today seeking this endorsement and this seat,” Liend said.

Erica Bailey-Johnson is seeking to represent House 2B. Bailey-Johnson is beginning her seventh year as the first-ever sustainability director at Bemidji State University (BSU).

She was unable to appear in person because she was coaching a volleyball team in Moorhead. Kevin Krantz, a BSU student, spoke on her behalf, describing her as a good listener who is open and collaborative. Sustainability and equity are close to her heart, but so is education, he said. Originally from the Lake of the Woods area, she is an outdoorswoman.

She advocates for funding transportation in rural school districts per pupil/mile instead of per pupil because bus routes are much longer in northern Minnesota.

A. John Peters of Browerville is running for Senate District 5. “We want to put people first,” he said of the DFL. “We drive for education. We drive for public safety. We drive for jobs and the economy.”

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His focus is on funding and training police, mental health programs, education, clean-energy jobs and direct markets for farmers.

Resolutions

Convention participants were presented with 42 resolutions arising from the Feb. 1 precinct caucuses.

Through ballot voting, they selected 19 resolutions to forward to the state DFL party platform committee.

Topics included supporting automatic voter registration; expanding resources for a range of affordable housing; reducing or eliminating the use of unsafe pesticides; supporting a woman’s right to control her own body and decide whether to terminate a pregnancy; increased state funding for early childhood education; supporting the Green New Deal; implementing statewide broadband; banning copper-nickel sulfide mining in watersheds; upgrading failing public water infrastructure; calculating climate impacts for all new infrastructure projects; and extending the requirement for background checks before the purchase of firearms to unlicensed sellers at gun shows, internet sales and sales among unrelated individuals

New officers

Delegates also elected Hubbard County DFL officers: Brian Hobson, chair; Denise Ristinen, vice chair/outreach officer; Annamae Holzworth, secretary; and Fred Luckeroth, treasurer.

Flowers were presented to Carolyn Spangler, the former chair, and LuAnn Hurd-Lof, the former secretary, as thanks for their many years of service.

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Carolyn Spangler, the former DFL chair, receives flowers for her contributions.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise

Spangler urged DFLers to talk to constituents, finding out their needs and major issues, then share that with candidates. “Listen, listen, and then tell your story,” she said.

Seven directors – Beth Baker-Knuttila, Maurice Spangler, Jan Kehring, David Engles, Florence Hedeen, Larry Smith, Peg VanBuren, Dan Wilde, Carolyn Spangler, Linda Uscola and Kent Reeve – will serve on the DFL board as well.

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Three delegates and three alternates were elected to attend the Minnesota DFL convention, slated for May 20-22 in Rochester.

The Senate District 5 DFL endorsing convention will be held April 24 at the Wadena-Deer Creek High School. The Senate District 2 convention will be held April 30 at the Cedar Lakes Casino in Cass Lake.

The DFL CD8 convention is May 7 in Eveleth, and the CD7 convention follows on May 14 in Willmar.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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