New year, new optimismPublished 7:01am Monday, January 6, 2014
6. Elections could feature many hotly-contested races Mower County residents will have big decisions to make toward the end of 2014.
It may have been on an off-year in 2013, but this year Minnesotans will decide a new governor, U.S. representatives and state representatives, among other elected positions.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will seek re-election this year against a growing crowd of potential Republican candidates, which include former Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert of Springfield, Scott Honour of Wayzata, former House Speaker Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove, Rob Farnsworth of Hibbing, state Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson of Plymouth.
U.S. Rep Tim Walz, D-Minnesota, is also up for re-election, and several area Republicans have announced intentions to run against him, including state Rep. Mike Benson of Rochester, Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth, and Aaron Miller, of Byron.
Locally, state Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, is up for re-election for a sixth term since taking office in 2004. She has pledge to run once again to serve District 27B, which includes most of Mower County.
Mower County Commissioners Mike Ankeny, Tony Bennett and Jeff Reinartz will likely run for re-election, as well. Mower County Attorney Kristin Nelsen, Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh, Recorder Jill Cordes and Sheriff Terese Amazi all have terms that will expire this year, too.
Austin City Council members Roger Boughton, Jeff Austin and Judy Enright, and Council Member-At-Large Janet Anderson all have terms that expire this year. The member-at-large seat was changed from a two-year to four-year term in 2012.
Austin Public School Board members Greg Larson, Angie Goetz, Kathy Green and Don Fox all face expiring terms in 2014, as well.