Freshman Rep. Jerry Hertaus, R-Greenfield will have a rematch bid for the 33A House seat against 2012 DFL candidate Todd Mikkelson.
In the 2012 election, Hertaus won with 14,717 votes or 62.9 percent next to Mikkelson’s 8,963 votes or 37.81 percent. The two were vying for a seat left open by then Rep. Connie Doepke who ran for State Senate.
Mikkelson said at the DFL caucus in Orono on Tuesday, Feb. 2, that this race will be different now that his competitor has a voting record.
Hertaus was endorsed unanimously at the Senate District 33 convention Tuesday, March 11 earning the Republican nod to run for a second term in the seat that cover much of western Hennepin County.
“I’m grateful to have received the Republican endorsement for a second term,” Hertaus said. “After a legislative session of higher taxes, skyrocketing government spending, and other misguided policies, Minnesotans are ready for new leadership. I look forward to returning to St. Paul as a member of the majority and getting to work on solutions that will make life easier for Minnesota families, not more expensive.
Hertaus is the former Mayor of Greenfield.
Mikkelson, an inventor and owner of the Orono-based RM Group, highlighted his small business background in his pitch to delegates on Saturday.
“I have no choice but to run my business in a fiscally responsible way, and that includes making smart investments to help us grow into the future,” he said. “Smart investments in infrastructure and schools are good for our kids, our workforce, and our economy. Those investments will improve our standard of living, attracting more people and businesses, and most importantly, create new jobs.”
Mikkelson sought to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Hertaus.
“Minnesota is back on track in a big way. Our property taxes are lower for the first time in over a decade. Forbes Magazine rates us as the fourth best state for businesses,” he said. “We’ve funded all day kindergarten. We finally have the resources to invest in things that have been neglected for a dozen years. But our current representative has not been a part of any of this. As a matter of fact, he’s gone around bad-mouthing every part of it.”
Despite the Republican tilt of the district, Mikkelson is optimistic about his chances.
“Our 2012 campaign raised the numbers for our side by nine percentage points, over 2,300 votes. If we do the same and just a little more this time, we can bring a sensible, moderate voice back to the capitol for all of us in the district.”
District 33A stretches from Wayzata in the east to Greenfield and St. Bonifacius in the west.
Candidates for state office can officially file with the Secretary of State’s office starting on May 20 until June 3. The withdrawal date is June 5. The primary election will happen on Aug. 12, and the general Election Day is Nov. 4.