The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 7, 2013

Former St.. Peter councilman to run for House seat

By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer

ST PETER — A former St. Peter city councilor has announced he will run for the Minnesota House District 19A seat being vacated by Terry Morrow.

Joel Brinker, 56, becomes the third Republican to seek party endorsement for the position that also is being sought by three Democrats.

Brinker said his 1998-2005 stint on the City Council taught him a valuable lesson in collaborative governing that would serve him well in the House of Representatives.

“I don’t have a lot of big ideas. I think big ideas come from communication and brainstorming. I think Terry has done an excellent job of keeping communication open and I want to continue that aspect.”

Brinker sought the 19A seat six years ago but lost out to Morrow in the party endorsement process.

If elected, Brinker said his priorities would include working toward completion of improvements to Highway 14 and making state transportation roadways safer in general.

He also said Minnesota must create — and keep — a better atmosphere for business. His emphasis: “It’s not job creation; it’s job retention.”

Brinker’s family has been in the St. Peter area for 100 years and still is affiliated with operation of the St. Peter Woolen Mill. He also works for a Le Center trucking firm and operates a business making frames for rug weaving.

In addition to Brinker, Republicans seeking Morrow’s seat are Jim Golgart and Allen Quist.

Democrats vying for the post are Karl Johnson, Clark Johnson and Robin Courrier.