The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 6, 2014

Two candidates withdraw, County Board filing reopens

DFL state House primary election avoided

The candidate filing period isn't over after all, at least in one part of Blue Earth County, following the withdrawal of one of two contenders in the race. And a state House seat that includes much of Le Sueur County won't have a Democratic primary because one of two DFLers who filed for the seat has dropped from the race.

In Blue Earth County, candidates can still file for County Commissioner District 1 because the filing deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday — one week after the original deadline arrived. That's because commissioner candidate Dreama Peterson withdrew her candidacy, leaving only first-term Commissioner Drew Campbell on the ballot.

Under Minnesota law, in nonpartisan races, the filing period is extended if a candidate withdraws after the filing deadline and if the withdrawal leaves voters with fewer than two candidates to choose from, according to county Elections Director Patty O'Connor. The district includes downtown Mankato and stretches to neighborhoods north of Stadium Road and even into parts of west Mankato.

In state House District 20A, Democrats had no candidates prior to June 10. But Tom Rees and Thomas Lofgren, both of Lakeville, filed as Democrats on the final day. That would have forced a primary election between the two on Aug. 12 to determine whether Rees or Lofgren would advance to the Nov. 4 general election against Republican Bob Vogel of Elko New Market.

Rees won three terms in the state House as an Independent Republican in the 1970s and 1980s. His decision to withdraw means Lofgren will be the DFL's candidate in the general election in the district, which extends from rural Lakeville to Cleveland, Le Sueur, Le Center and other parts of the western two-thirds of Le Sueur County. It's an open seat because of the retirement of two-term Rep. Kelby Woodard of Belle Plaine.

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