Broadband emerges as top for Reps and Dems in MN Senate District 11 race

The Pine Journal reports…

Seven candidates have filed for the Minnesota Senate District 11 seat since Gov. Tim Walz named former Sen. Tony Lourey as his pick for Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner last week.

The special election is Feb. 5. District 11 includes parts of Carlton, Pine, St. Louis and Kanabec counties.

Two candidates, Stu Lourey and Michelle Lee, are seeking the DFL endorsement and will faceoff in a primary election Jan. 22. There will be an endorsement convention at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 at Barnum High School.

DFL rules require at least 10 days notice before an endorsement convention. Both candidates will appear on the primary ballot because the final day to withdraw from the election was Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Four candidates, state Rep. Jason Rarick, Pine City Mayor Carl Pederson, Justin Krych and Matthias Shir, sought the Republican nomination. Rarick emerged as the Republicans’ preferred candidate following an endorsement convention Tuesday, Jan. 8, in Hinckley.

Pederson, Krych and Shir all told the Pine Journal they will withdraw from the race and support Rarick in the general election.

Finally, John “Sparky” Birrenbach filed as a candidate for the Legalize Marijuana Now Party.

At least two candidates mention broadband as a priority…

Lee said she advocates two free years of vocational or technical school for all Minnesotans and wants to bring broadband internet access to every residence in the state. During her campaign for Congress, Lee advocated for a single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” health care program.


Rarick said his priorities at the state Legislature would be to expand broadband internet access, particularly in rural areas, and improve Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure. He said he supports Walz’s proposed gas tax to fund transportation improvements around the state.

It’s nice to see broadband get bipartisan support!

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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