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New leadership elected for Becker County DFL

The Becker County Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has new leadership following its county convention March 6.

The Becker County DFL held its biennial organizing unit convention at M-State in Detroit Lakes, where 27 delegates elected new officers, who will serve for two years.

The 2012-2014 Becker County DFL chairman, Aaron Wittnebel, opened the convention, and shortly thereafter David Stowman of Detroit Lakes was elected to chair the convention for the evening.

The election of new Becker County DFL officers included:  Mike Wammer of rural Audubon as chairman; Sharon Sinclair of Detroit Lakes as vice chair, Co-Secretaries Dave Erickson of Detroit Lakes and Ted Fiskevold from Erie Township, Lon Engberg also of Erie Township was re-elected treasurer, and Elizabeth Walker from the Detroit Township 2 Precinct was elected as  outreach and inclusion officer. All were elected by unanimous acclamation.

“We’ve got a great slate of new officers and a great slate of new directors,” said Chairman Wammer, who served as Becker County DFL Chairman in the 1970s and has remained active in the party ever since.

“I am looking forward to working with our committee to do the hard work that will make the Becker County DFL stronger while electing DFL candidates to public office.”

The delegates at the convention also elected five delegates and five alternates who will go on to attend the 7th Congressional District DFL Convention and the State DFL Convention.

Early in the convention, memorials were given for Virgil Gunnarson of Lake Park, Florence Fritz of Detroit Lakes, and Wayne Ruona of Detroit Lakes, and the DFL conventioneers rose for a moment of silence for the three Becker County DFL members who died since the last Becker County DFL Convention.

Comments were heard throughout the evening from candidates and elected officials or surrogates for them: Rep. Debra Hilstrom—a DFLer from Brooklyn Center (Secretary of State candidate), David Sobieski from Butler Township in Otter Tail county (seeking DFL endorsement  for State Representative in House District 2 B), Kyle Olson for Gov. Dayton, Ted Fiskevold for Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL, Clearbrook), Ted Fiskevold for Rep. Steve Simon—a DFLer  from Hopkins (Secretary of State Candidate), and Aaron Wittnebel for Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL, Dilworth) who is running for re-election in House District 4 B. State DFL Vice Chair Marge Hoffa from the State DFL Committee also made remarks.

Newly elected directors to the Becker County DFL Executive Committee included seven women and seven men: the women are Monaya Lund of Frazee, Mary Hanson of rural Waubun, Paula Wittnebel  of Lake Park, Beverly Horacek from Detroit Township 2 Precinct, Cyndi Anderson from Detroit Township 1 Precinct,  Sharon Josephson of Detroit Lakes,  and Monessa Hegg of Detroit Lakes.

The men are Bob Fischer of Lake Park, Michael Berre from the Detroit Township 2 Precinct, Ted Fiskevold of Erie Township, Dave Erickson of Detroit Lakes, Roger Winter of rural Callaway north of Richwood, Cole Hegg of Detroit Lakes, and Dylan Green of Frazee.  The entire slate of 14 was elected by unanimous acclamation.

Men elected as delegates to the State DFL and 7th CD DFL Conventions were:  Ted Fiskevold, Dave Erickson and Lon Engberg; alternates were Dylan Green and Cole Hegg.  Women delegates were: Cyndi Anderson and Sharon Josephson; alternates were Monessa Hegg, Monaya Lund and Elizabeth Walker. Male and female delegate and alternate slates were elected by unanimous acclamation.

Chairman Wammer and Vice Chairwoman Sinclair will serve as Becker County’s two delegates on the DFL State Central Committee; Ted Fiskevold and Monaya Lund were elected by unanimous acclamation as alternates for Becker County’s two SCC slots.

The 2014 Congressional District 7 DFL Convention will be held in Granite Falls on Saturday, April 26 and looks to be a love fest for U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.

Peterson, who has a Detroit Lakes address with a home on Floyd Lake, will be seeking his 13th consecutive endorsement to be the DFL standard bearer as he runs in November to begin his 25th consecutive year in Congress in January of 2015.

The State DFL Convention will be held in Duluth May 30 – June 1 and also looks to be a love fest for Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, as both seek their second endorsement for their current offices.

Dayton has won statewide elections three times in the past — and those wins occurred every 10 years:  State auditor in 1990, U.S. senator in 2000, and governor in 2010.

Franken won a very close election in 2008 —so close that following a lengthy recount, he was not sworn in until July of 2009.

At this time, the only contested DFL endorsement race at the State DFL Convention appears to be between two DFL state representatives, Deb Hilstrom and Steve Simon, as both seek DFL endorsement to run for the seat being vacated by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Ritchie, who has decided not to seek a third term, has held the office for eight years.

“I would like to remind all elected delegates to the Becker County DFL Convention last Thursday that they are also eligible delegates to either the Senate District 2 DFL Endorsing Convention or the Senate District 4 DFL Endorsing Convention—regardless of whether they attended the Becker County DFL Convention,” said Senate District 2 DFL Chairman Ted Fiskevold.

“The SD 2 DFL Convention will be in Park Rapids at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday, March 15; and the SD 4 DFL convention will be in Hawley on Saturday, March 22 with the time to be announced. Rod Skoe is your state senator if you live in Senate District 2; Kent Eken is your state senator if you live in Senate District 4.

Minnesota state senators do not run for re-election in 2014. At the SD 2 and SD 4 Endorsing Conventions, delegates will endorse DFLers to run for the Minnesota House in House Districts 2A, 2B, 4A and 4B.”