GRANITE FALLS - Ted Suss was officially endorsed as a Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate for the newly-formed Senate District 16, while a farmer from the Franklin area was encouraged to run for House District 16B at the DFL Senate District 16 convention Saturday.
"I didn't come here to be endorsed," said James Kanne, the House District 16B DFL candidate. "I came here to endorse someone."
DFL delegates gathered at Prairie's Edge Casino in Granite Falls to elect party officers, approve a constitution and bylaws for the new district and to endorse Senate and House candidates. It also included guest speaker House Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, who was recently endorsed for District 17A.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Jim Stone makes a point during the DFL Senate District 16 convention Saturday at Prairie’s Edge Casino near Granite Falls.
Jim Stone was elected the party chairman, Lou Anne Kling was named associate chairwoman, Sue Morton was named secretary, John Nuytten was named treasurer, and Paul Sobocinski was named Affirmative Action officer.
Tim Buysse, the Lyon County DFL chairman, said the party is working hard against the constitutional amendments - marriage and voter ID.
"The No. 1 DFL priority is jobs, jobs jobs," he said.
Morton said her personal priority is to get people to vote no on the marriage amendment, but it's also important to get people registered to vote and get out and vote.
Another DFL priority, Morton said, is getting the younger generation involved and active.
Before Suss was endorsed, delegates outlined his traits.
Tim Velde said that Suss has a passion for what he does and gets out in the community
"And he listens," Velde said. "He learns about farm issues, working people's issues."
"I think he'll be a very strong candidate, we're very lucky to have him," Velde added. Velde said she has no doubt Suss will be the senator for the new district.
Paul Sobocinski of Wabasso said that Suss has turned the Wabasso School District around while serving as the district's superintendent, making it a fiscally-run school.
"He knows how to manage a ship financially," Sobocinski said. Sobocinski said Suss also knows about getting young people involved with agriculture.
Evonne Seivert said Suss is a fair man.
"I know that he's a scrapper and will stay in there for the issues," she said.
Suss thanked the delegates for the unanimous endorsement and spoke about his priorities.
"We need jobs and we need a state government creating policy that creates jobs," Suss said. "We need economic development in rural Minnesota. That means roads, schools, vibrant communities and successful small businesses."
For a Minnesota that works, we need a Minnesota state government that works, Suss said.
Suss said he likes to campaign, going to church dinners and pancake breakfasts, shaking hands and meeting people. He plans on going to every community festival and county fair in the district.
"I'll be there early, I'll be there late, but I need your help," he said.
Before the convention, no one was named a candidate for House District 16A or 16B. The delegates from each district broke into two groups to discuss the situation.
Earlier in the convention, Stone said he was a little disappointed that the district DFL didn't have all its candidates lined up.
"Keep looking, keep working, this is a great district," he said.
Stone said it needed to be realized that "we're throwing away everything that's good for our state," such as roads and education. Stone himself had run for a House seat 20 years ago.
"I would love to run again, but I'm no spring chicken," Stone said.
Stone said there has to be somebody out there to step forward.
"We'll help you," he said. "Don't be afraid to lose." He said that he ran three times and lost.
The delegates from District 16A decided to form a special search committee to find a candidate for the House, while the ones in 16B decided to endorse Kanne. Kanne said the only way to be elected was activism on a grass roots level.
"We can find people who are interested in our issues," he said. "I feel this election is about our future."