Redistricting put Sen. Paul Gazelka in District 10 as the only incumbent state senator. I thought he’d run for re-election there, especially since it’s now leaning more Republican than before. Besides, he’s represented Crow Wing County for nearly two bienniums (four years); first as a state representative and now as state senator. His constituents were counting on him to run again and continue as their state senator.
Instead he’s abandoning them and moving here where he’s a complete stranger to a large part of the district. He claims he wants to continue representing Morrison County. But he’s moving into Cass County, the northern part of the district, which is only a few miles from his current residence. Why? Probably because the new District 9 leans more Republican than the new District 10 and Gazelka figures he’d have an easier time getting elected here. Does this sound self-serving to you?
Gazelka didn’t have to abandon his home district for us. He represented Morrison County for less than two years (almost a biennium). That doesn’t entitle him to receive our endorsement or to be elected our senator. He’s trying to make his decision sound helpful to us; but only wants an easy election for himself.
He claims many people were uncertain how to proceed after redistricting. That certainly wasn’t us! We had two active party people considering the race. Then Gazelka called and asked them not to challenge him so they stepped aside.
Now, we do have a local candidate: Ron Kresha, a 15-year resident of Little Falls. He’s a business owner and entrepreneur who’s been a teacher and company president. He’s very active in the community and knows how to create jobs and attract new businesses. He’s exactly what we need: a qualified District 9 resident, not a carpetbagger/outsider.