Election season is right around the corner. Before the votes are cast, candidates must register to be on the ballot.
The filing period for those seeking seats in Minnesota State House Representatives, on Hennepin County Board, Three Rivers Park District and seats for U.S. Congressional Districts 3 and 5 opens Tuesday, May 20, and closes 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 3.
There are no elections this year for the cities of Minnetonka and Hopkins nor Hopkins and Minnetonka school boards.
In Hopkins, one Minnesota House of Representatives seat is up for grabs. In Minnetonka, there are three open House seats.
To be eligible for House of Representative candidacy, one must be eligible to vote in Minnesota, have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election, be at least 21 years old on Jan. 3, 2015, a resident of Minnesota for at least one year and of the legislative district for at least six months before Nov. 4, 2014.
Candidates for state and judicial offices may file with either the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State or with the county auditor of the county where they live. Candidates for county offices must file with the county auditor.
Candidates must pay a filing fee or submit a petition in place of the filing fee when filling their affidavits of candidacy, which can be obtained at Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Filing fee amounts are $100 for a State Representative and $50 for County commissioner.
District 44B (Minnetonka)
Late in 2013, longtime State Rep. John Benson announced this term would be his last.
Benson (DFL-Minnetonka), officially announced in December that he will not seek re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Benson was first elected in 2006 and is completing his fourth term in the Legislature.
In the wake of his retirement announcement, three Minnetonka residents – Jon Applebaum, Jon Tollefson and Tony Wagner – announced their bids to succeed Benson in Minnesota House District 44B.
The district encompasses northern Minnetonka, southwest of Plymouth and Woodland.
Applebaum attended Hopkins Public Schools and is a Hopkins High School graduate.
He is a DFL Party activist, and he volunteers with the Senate District 44 Central Committee, currently serving as its financing chair. He has served as the Arrangements Chair at the 2013 Senate District 44 Convention.
Tollefson is also a product of Hopkins Public Schools and later served in the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer in Nigeria and Washington, D.C. Most recently, he served in Mexico City.
Following the Foreign Service, he returned to his hometown of Minnetonka and is employed by the Minnesota High Tech Association as a technology advocate.
Wagner is a 10-year, three-term Minnetonka City Council member, previously serving on the city’s Planning Commission 2002-03, acting as Chair for his last year on the Commission.
Wagner has been an Economic Development Authority & Advisory Commission member since 2004 and has served on the Southwest Light Rail Policy & Community Works Committees since 2005. Wagner has worked for Minnetonka-based Carlson Wagonlit Travel for 18 years.
On the GOP side, Ryan Rutzick was endorsed by the party at the District 44B Republican March convention.
Rutzick is an owner of ALL Inc., a St. Paul appliance and cabinet distributor.
He has volunteered with many Jewish and community organizations, including the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, MN Multi-Housing Association, Minneapolis Federation, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Kollel Minneapolis, Make-a-Wish Minnesota and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.
District 46B (Hopkins)
In House of Representatives District 46B, incumbent Rep. Steve Simon (DFL – St. Louis Park) has announced he is running for Minnesota Secretary of State. Mark Richie, elected Secretary of State in 2006, announced last year that he would not seek re-election.
Simon faces endorsement competition from District 40B Rep. Debra Helstrom (DFL – Brooklyn Center). If endorsed by his party, Simon’s 46B seat, which serves the entirety of Hopkins and part of St. Louis Park, will be open.
Hopkins City council member Cheryl Youakim announced her candidacy for House District 46B in December.
Youakim, a council member since 2005, is a Committee Administrator for the Senate Judiciary Committee and also serves on the Southwest Light Rail Transit Corridor Management Committee.
Hopkins resident Eric Margolis also announced his candidacy for District 46B last December.
Margolis, a Minnesota DFL state outreach officer, has worked with various underrepresented communities in Hopkins and St. Louis Park to encourage and increase participation in the political process.
As of press time, no District 46B GOP candidate had announced. District 46 GOP representative Mike Held said a few were considering it, but he would not reveal their names.
District 48A (Minnetonka)
The House District 48A seat is also up for grabs, and incumbent Yvonne Selcer (DFL-Minnetonka) is running to retain her seat. District 48A covers southern Minnetonka and northern Eden Prairie.
Selcer defeated incumbent Kirk Stensrud of Eden Prairie in the 2012 election. Selcer previously worked as a teacher and in the private sector for various businesses.
She was elected to the Hopkins School Board in January 2004 and served through December 2011, the last three years as Chair of the Board.
In March, former Rep. Kirk Stensrud announced his intention to seek the Republican endorsement to challenge Selcer in District 48A.
Stensrud was elected in 2010, and represented what is now District 48A for one term. He is a small business owner.
District 49B (Minnetonka)
In District 49B, incumbent Rep. Paul Rosenthal (DFL-Edina) is running for his third term. He was first elected in 2008, but lost to Republican Pat Mazoral in 2010. Rosenthal regained his seat in 2012.
Republican challenger Barbara Sutter of Bloomington ceded her position as Senate District 49 Republicans Co-Chair to run against Rosenthal.
Both Rosenthal and Sutter were endorsed at their respective party caucuses.
U.S Congress, District 3 (Minnetonka)
U.S. Congressional District 3 Rep. Erik Paulsen (GOP-Eden Prairie) has announced he will run again to defend his seat, which he has held since 2009.
Paulsen previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives 1995-2009 and as Majority Leader from 2003-2007. U.S. Congressional District 3 includes Minnetonka, Wayzata, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Maple Grove.
Former Hennepin County DFL chair and longtime Plymouth community advocate Sharon Sund will challenge Paulsen in this year’s election. Sund began her career at the Minnesota Department of National Resources developing a state watershed map before leading a renewable energy research team at a Fortune 500 company in Bloomington and eventually working as a technical communications expert for Target, SuperValu and St. Jude.
More recently, Sund has worked as a community advocate in Plymouth, serving as vice chair of People Responding in Social Ministry and cofounding a mentoring program for the families of children with disabilities.
U.S Congress, District 5 (Hopkins)
Filing for the U.S. Congressional District 5 seat is also open May 20 through June 3.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison has announced he will run for re-election. He unanimously won DFL endorsement at the party’s convention.
Sales executive Doug Daggett has won the Republican Party’s endorsement for the congressional seat.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Primaries, if necessary, will take place Tuesday, Aug. 12.
For information on polling places, visit the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website at sos.state.mn.us and click on “Vote: Elections & Voting.”
Contact Matthew Hankey at [email protected]