A new challenger for Sparks: Hayfield carpenter running for state Senate

For Republican Gene Dornink, his goals if elected to the Minnesota Senate are as simple as ABC: be accountable, go back to the basics, and respect the Constitution.

Dornink, 53, filed last week to run against incumbent Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, for his District 27 state Senate seat.

Dornink

Dornink

“The state continues to go in the wrong direction,” he said. “They lose touch with what we do out here.”

Dornink is a resident of Hayfield and owns Gene Dornink Carpentry LLC. In 2010, he decided to get active again in politics after being laid off from a union job.

He served as chairman of the Dodge County Republicans and also went to Tampa, Florida, as a delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For the upcoming election, he has three major issues: the bonding bill, accountability, and problems with MNsure.

The divided Legislature was unable to pass a bonding bill during its session that ended last week, and it was unable to pass a transportation bill.

The bonding bill would have funded construction projects and transportation projects across the state. This left many area roads and bridges unfunded, and it left Dornink unhappy.

“They sacrificed [the bill] and I didn’t think that was wise,” he said. “We have a lot of problems and that was a big price to pay.”

When he’s not involved in politics or working, Dornink spends most of his free time his wife, Vicky, and their 12 children and their grandchildren. They enjoy playing volleyball and partaking in various family events together.

“I’m either working or spending time with my family,” he said.

Business

Expanding Opportunity: Austin Ford Chrysler breaks ground on addition, renovation

Mower County

Volunteers are needed for the statewide bumble bee survey

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions June 3-10

Mower County

MnDOT asks motorists, riders to safely share the road during motorcycle convention in Rochester

Mower County

City of Austin to spray for mosquitoes

Mower County

Ikes to host steak cookout

Education

Education: Accolades

Blooming Prairie

Education: Blooming Prairie Honor Roll

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

News

Family of bystander killed during Minneapolis police pursuit files lawsuit against the city

News

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

Agriculture

New influenza testing rule for dairy cows going to Minnesota fairs

Mower County

Warrant issued for Jeffer Lorenzo after he fails to show for sentencing

News

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

News

Audit finds Minnesota agency’s lax oversight fostered theft of $250M from federal food aid program

Adams

Partnerships celebrated during community event for Mower, Fillmore solar installations

Mower County

Mayo Ambulance training program hopes to increase EMT numbers

Business

Workforce Development one of nine organizations to receive funding to train underrepresented workers for clean energy careers

News

Minneapolis police officer killed while responding to a shooting call is remembered as a hero

Mower County

Documentary follows AHS class across 50 years

Mower County

2024 Friendship Wagon Train coming to the area

Agriculture

New funding available for continuous living cover grants

Mower County

MDH inviting well users to seminar on nitrates