CURRIE - While one candidate was endorsed for the House 22A seat Saturday during the DFL Senate District 22 convention in Currie, a current DFL House representative from Brooklyn Center made a plea for more strong candidates to step up.
District 46B Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, came to the convention Saturday from the Governor's Fishing Opener in Waconia. She said she's been going around the state to ensure DFL candidates are coming forward.
"We need to make sure we have great candidates all across the state," Hilstrom said.
She reminded the more than 50 DFL delegates at the convention about last year's state shutdown.
"That is just not acceptable for our state," Hilstrom said.
Hilstrom outlined what it could look like with a DFL majority in the House and Senate - that there would be a fair tax system and it would be made certain we would stop taking money from the schools. While Gene Short of Currie was the declared candidate for the 22A House seat, Hilstrom said she hoped to have someone running in 22B.
Deb Hogenson, one of the delegates from 22B, said there was only one candidate recommended for endorsement at Saturday's convention - Short. She said that they're actively pursuing other candidates for the Senate seat and the 22B House seat.
"We are still following up on possibilities," Hogenson said. Filings close June 5.
Short, who is a former Redwood County commissioner, said he wants to "reach out and make a difference," getting things back the way they were when retired Sen. Jim Vickerman was serving. Vickerman was in attendance at Saturday's convention.
Short said he's currently listening to the audiobook "Swim With The Sharks."
"It's almost like running for the House of Representatives," Short said.
Short said he has a couple of issues he wants to tackle.
"I'm gonna fight like the dickens to stay away from initiatives and referendums in the state of Minnesota," he said.
Short said he's also looking for ideas and suggestions during his campaign. He plans on having Post-it notes at parades that people can fill out with suggestions.
During a visit to a government class at Murray County Central High School, Short said he asked students how they would remember who their representative is, if he was to be elected.
"(One said) 'well if we wear our jean shorts at the parades, maybe we'll remember,'" Short said, appreciating the play on his name.
Delegates said they stand behind Short as the endorsed candidate for 22A.
"I do think he's got an excellent chance," said Ben VanderKooi.
"I think you've got a good candidate with Gene," said Richard Peterson.
As for 22B, delegates plan to keep looking.
"We are basically extending the process of endorsement to find someone to run in this area," said Mike McCarvel, chairman of the Senate District 22 party.