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Candidates in Redwood County weigh in

January 10, 2009
By Deb Gau

Candidates for the vacant District 1 commissioner's seat in Redwood County continued to weigh in on joining the race this week.

Candidates who filed for the position include George Landuyt of rural Walnut Grove, Jim Ourada of rural Vesta, Troy Krause of Milroy, Jeff VanDeWiele of Milroy, and Lon Walling of rural Milroy.

In the days since the filing period closed, Landuyt said he's heard a lot of feedback.

"I've been getting a lot of phone calls," Landuyt said. "We run a pretty tight ship out here on the farm, so maybe people are thinking of that."

Candidate Jim Ourada of Vesta said running for commissioner had gotten him some attention, too, but he's keeping a sense of humor about it.

"A couple people mentioned hearing I was in the mix," Ourada said. "You always get your smart remarks from people."

Landuyt said this week that he doesn't bring a lot of political experience or formal education to the commissioner's race, but he's willing to learn.

"I've got a lot to learn," Landuyt said, but so do all new commissioners.

"I didn't really have any political agenda," Landuyt said of his decision to run for commissioner. However, he said he would like to support community growth and development. "We've got some great things going on in Walnut Grove, and I'd like to see that keep going."

Ourada said he had taken his inspiration to run for commissioner partly from having former District 1 Commissioner Brian Kletscher as a neighbor. However, the number of people who filed for Kletscher's seat was surprising.

"I didn't know I was going to have so much competition," Ourada said.

If elected, Ourada said, "I'm just going to serve the county as best needed."

Both Landuyt and Ourada have farming backgrounds, and they said that experience might prove helpful in dealing with issues like county finance.

"There's only going to be so much money to go around," Ourada said of the current economy's effects on Redwood County. "In my business, we deal with that all the time."

A primary election for the District 1 seat will take place Jan. 27. A special election will be held in February.

Editor's note: Krause and Walling had been interviewed for a story that was recently published. VanDeWeile was unable to be reached for comment Friday.



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