AITKIN — Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point won the Republican endorsement for the Senate District 10 seat Saturday, but not without a few political twists and turns.
Since Ruud was the only announced candidate for the seat, her endorsement had been expected to be handled quickly before delegates moved on to two contested races for House districts 10A and 10B.
That changed when Darrel Palmer, president of the Central Lakes All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Club, urged Republicans not to endorse Ruud Saturday because of her support of legislation during her one-term stint in the Minnesota Senate. The legislation, he said, restricted motorized vehicle use in the outdoors. Describing himself as a hunter and outdoorsman, the resident of Lake Edward Township in Crow Wing County suggested Republicans continue looking at other options for the Senate endorsement.
Ruud responded by stating that Minnesota has done a great job with the ATV issue and that there were many more miles of trails than there were 10 years ago. She also emphasized the importance of communication in politics and said “hijacking a candidate is not how we communicate.”
Palmer’s motion to have no endorsement made in the Senate race failed on a voice vote. A motion to suspend the rules and allot 10 minutes to discuss the issue also failed. Discussion revolving around Palmer’s concerns delayed the process by more than the 10 minutes he had requested.
Ruud, 60, was endorsed on a voice vote after the rules requiring a paper ballot were suspended.
In comments after her endorsement Ruud said it had been more than six years since she had worked on any legislation regarding ATVs — an issue she described as a tough one. She said she was an author of 2003 legislation that instituted a process for trails to be established, provided support for ATV clubs and authorized the DNR to assess trails.
Palmer, who said he attends the same church as Ruud, said his opposition to endorsing her was not personal. The Region 3 director of the ATV Association of Minnesota, Palmer said Ruud did not spell out her views on the ATV issue in her comments at Saturday’s convention at the Westside Church buildings in Aitkin.
In her acceptance speech, Ruud described herself as pro-life from conception to natural death; co-author of the Personal Protection Act and a strong believer in the Second Amendment; a small business owner; a former Breezy Point mayor and District 4 state senator; and a state Realtor of the Year. She also said she was a church member, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and a devoted daughter to her parents who were both 96-year-old World War II veterans.
“I believe I have the experience, work ethic and drive to make Minnesota an even better place to live,” she said.
Holding a copy of Wednesday’s Brainerd Dispatch, she cited the headline “Jobless rates tick up in February” and stated: “This must end.”
The newly drawn District 10, which includes Aitkin County and the majority of Crow Wing County, has much to offer employers, Ruud said, including a well educated work force, medical facilities, educational opportunities, airports, agricultural opportunities, industrial parks and recreational opportunities.
“This is a place to build a future and raise a family,” she said, calling for Minnesota to take the stumbling blocks out of the way of the business community.
She termed Minnesota’s high corporate income tax rate and death tax rate and overall tax burden as unacceptable. Ruud called for the repeal of the statewide business tax.
Ruud was elected to the state Senate in 2002 and served one term.
Eighty-eight delegates — 42 from House District 10A and 46 from House District 10B were seated for the Senate District 10 endorsing convention. The DFL endorsed candidate for Senate District 10 is Taylor Stevenson of Baxter.