As the Minnesota budget stalemate continues, it’s easy to imagine legislators being just plain frustrated by what’s taking place around them. Chances are the Democratic or Republican lawmaker is fed up with tactics or political points of his colleagues across the aisle. (There seems to be precious little middle ground anymore — and remember, it’s an election year.) If I were in the Legislature, I’d personally be a little frazzled by the fact that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has put a priority on fishing this weekend, rather than being face-to-face with House and Senate leaders working on some sort of budget compromise.
So, with that, it always provokes in me some mixture of surprise and puzzlement when I learn of of an individual announcing the intent to run for the Minnesota Legislature. Of course, I can see how it would be fulfilling to do your part to help make your community and surrounding area better while representing your fellow citizens. But … is it worth all the headache?
Larry Lanphere thinks so. He issued a press release Thursday stating his intent to run for Minnesota District 22A Representative as a Republican. The seat now belongs to Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, who is opting to run for the District 22 Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy.
“Larry Lanphere is tired of waking up every morning to listen to the news and read the papers about all the problems we face in the State of Minnesota,” Lanphere’s press release states. “Government overspending, turning our back on our core values, partisan bickering and prioritization of special interests have created problems in this great state.”
Lanphere explained that he wanted to go to St. Paul to help restore a government that is “for the people and by the people.” A broadcaster for many years at Worthington’s KWOA, he now lives in Luverne and works for the agricultural station WNAX.Economic development, veterans’ affairs, growth and diversification of agriculture, family values and fiscal responsibility for government will be the primary themes of Lanphere’s campaign, his press releases states.
“During the past six months, Larry’s involvement with Honor Flight Southwest Minnesota and the inaugural flight was the key factor in his decision to put his ‘hat in the ring,’” the press release continues. “The stories of sacrifice and service by these World War II veterans inspired Larry to pledge his time and his effort to help solve the problems we face in Minnesota today.”
Lanphere joins Keith Forshey of Hills, who announced his intention to run in an April 20 press release, as Republican candidate for the District 22A seat, which Magnus has held for four two-year terms. Forshey touted his “years of leadership in the customer service industry, along with small business ownership” in his announcement as his credentials for election.
On the DFL side, Kevin Vickerman of Tracy — the nephew of Jim Vickerman — is apparently the lone candidate for the seat at this point. The District 22 Endorsement Convention is scheduled for May 22 in Fulda.
According to the Minnesota GOP website, Republicans have also yet to endorse a candidate for the District 22A seat. A scheduled date for the endorsement could also not be located.