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Election 2012: Soil & Water, St. Paul

October 13th, 2012 (05:26 pm)

First, an update on the move: we pushed it back to after Election Day, so I will definitely be voting in Minneapolis. However, since I've already done a bunch of St. Paul oriented research, I'm still going to do endorsements for St. Paul.

I'll get to the Minneapolis Soil & Water endorsements in a few days -- I e-mailed people and want to give them a chance to respond. (However, I will note for the record that when you're an elected official -- any sort of elected official -- and I can find no way to e-mail you, your opponent would have to be really pretty goddamn bad for you to get my endorsement.)

Anyway! On to the St. Paul Soil & Water District Commissioners. There are two contested races.

Soil and Water Supervisor District 2
Gwen Willems
Greg Ryan

I am endorsing Gwen Willems. She's endorsed by the DFL and is the incumbent. I found a newspaper article that noted they tried to reach her opponent and got no response. I googled her opponent and came up dry. Gwen it is, then.

Soil and Water Supervisor District 5
Matt Ledvina
Margaret Ann Behrens
Dee Dodge George

Yes, that would be three candidates. I think I read that there was a tie in the primary.

I am endorsing Matt Ledvina, who has both a website and some actual qualifications for the job. (He's a Civil and Environmental engineer with significant professional experience in stormwater management.) He's also endorsed by the DFL.

Of the other two -- all I found about Dee (Dodge) George was her LinkedIn page, which says she's a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry. (I think? The employer is Takeda Pharmaceuticals and her first job accomplishment listed is, "Lobbied in five state region on legislative and regulatory issues with potential impact to business interests and executed favorable outcomes." I am pretty sure I'd rather she not be on the SWCD board.)

Margaret Ann Behrens turned up as someone who'd filed a lawsuit against another candidate in a prior race and had her lawsuit thrown out. Which made for mildly interesting reading. I was not super impressed.

Back in a bit with judicial candidates and the mystery of What the Hell Dan Griffith Believes. This may take a while.


Posted by: Chris Oinonen Ehren (Chris Oinonen Ehren)
Posted at: November 5th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)

Thanks for doing the footwork - I appreciate being able to get some back ground on these people before the election.

Posted by: cmikk (cmikk)
Posted at: November 5th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)

(link triggered spam filter, so here's what Greg Ryan provided to one paper's voter guide:)

Address: 2800 Hillscourte So., Roseville

Age: 52

Education: Still getting education

Occupation: Plumbing and heating company owner for 28 years, rental property owner for 30 years, own business on light rail line

Q: Why did you decide to run for this office?

I ran for this office because not many people with as many years experience in business are representing the interest of all the people.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Q: What is the top major issue you expect to be critical for the district over the next four years, and how would you address that?

Making sure that all rules and regulations have a common sense approach to governing the people and their private property.

Posted by: Red eyed and blue (jessikate)
Posted at: November 5th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)

Thanks for posting this - it's been really tough to find any information on the soil & water supervisor races.

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