Civic beat // Lawmakers face re-election against slate of challengers

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June 18, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter

All incumbent state lawmakers in Northeast and Downtown Minneapolis will face challengers for their seats this November, and one open race has drawn a crowded field. 


Since Bobby Jo Champion has decided to give up his seat in the Minnesota House in order to seek a spot in the Senate, his House seat is vacant and attracting hopefuls. 


House District 59B includes North Minneapolis, Downtown and the North Loop. 


Three are competing in a DFL primary and two are competing in a Republican primary. Also, Anthony Hilton filed to run under the party heading of Ecology Democracy. 


Terra Cole, Raymond Dehn and Ian L. Alexander are competing in the DFL primary.  


Gary Mazzotta and Bill McGaughey are competing in the Republican primary. 


Those primaries will be held Aug. 14. 


Champion is running in Senate District 59 and will face Republican Jim Lilly. 


In Senate District 60, Kari Dziedzic faces her first re-election since winning a special election in January. The district includes all of Northeast as wells as the University of Minnesota and Cedar-Riverside. 


Dziedzic, a DFLer, will face Republican Mark Lazarchic and Independence Party candidate Rahn V. Workcuff. 


Lazarchic, 43, is self-employed and has lived in the Audubon Park neighborhood for 11 years. While he knows he faces an uphill battle in the DFL-heavy district, Lazarchic says someone has to speak for the other side. 


“If I go around and knock doors, I find people agree with me 80 to 90 percent of the time,” he said. “But they vote for letters. They don’t vote for people.”


Workcuff lives in Cedar-Riverside and has made many runs at public office, including a run in the Independence Party primary for governor in 2010. 


Workcuff said he wants to cut state spending in many areas, but not in health services. Workcuff spoke through his granddaughter, Beth Jackson. The 63-year-old said he was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the Air Force in Vietnam and subsequently suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. He has difficulty speaking.  


DFLer Diane Loeffler is defending her seat in House District 60A against Republican Brent Millsop. 


Millsop, 46, is a 21-year resident of Northeast, where he and his wife are home schooling their four children.  


Millsop said he has done a bit of everything, including serving in the Air Force, playing in a Christian rock band and working for the Maui Police Department in Hawaii. He said he’s self-employed now and spends a lot of time educating his children. 


Millsop counts Ron Paul, the Texas Libertarian, as a political influence. He says he’s running for fiscal responsibility and issues of constitutional freedom. He said he morally opposes gay marriage, but he hasn’t decided if he would, given the chance, vote for or against the legalization of same-sex marriage. 




Electric vehicle charging stations could be coming to a park near you


The Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition is applying for a federal grant in order to install electric vehicle charging stations at 11 parks along the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities, including four Minneapolis parks. 


The charging station would be installed at the Park Board Headquarters, North Mississippi Park, BF Nelson Park and Minnehaha Park. Each park would get two stations. 


The stations cost $10,000 each. The Park Board wouldn’t have to pay any of that cost, but would have to maintain the stations at an estimated cost of $25 to $50 a year. 


If approved for the grant, installation would take place in spring 2013, according to a Park Board memo. 


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