Republican legislative endorsements made in Brainerd lakes area districts
Senate seats will head to primary; field narrows in two area House districts
The Republican legislative field narrowed in two area House districts after endorsement conventions were held earlier this month.
After redistricting occurred in response to the 2020 census and changed legislative boundaries, most of the Echo Journal coverage area falls into Districts 5 and 6.
Republican endorsing conventions were held April 2 in Verndale for District 5 and in Remer for District 6. However, the House District 6B convention was held in March in Brainerd.
House District 6A
Ben Davis won the Republican endorsement for the House District 6A seat over John Howe, of Grand Rapids, and David Liedl, of Pequot Lakes.
The three candidates reportedly had agreed to abide by the endorsing process, meaning Davis’s name will be on the November ballot.
House District 6A includes the cities of Crosslake, Manhattan Beach, Fifty Lakes, Emily, Crosby, Ironton and Deerwood, along with Fairfield, Ideal, Little Pine, Mission, Ross Lake, Perry Lake, Timothy and Wolford townships in Crow Wing County; and Ponto Lake Township in Cass County, among other Cass County communities. This district also includes part of Itasca County, including Grand Rapids and Cohasset.
First-time candidate Davis, a pastor from Mission Township, said in a news release that he earned 61.1% on the first ballot to successfully secure the endorsement.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the delegates and alternates who participated, and extend my appreciation to David Liedl and John Howe for a spirited race,” Davis said in the news release. “As your next state representative, I will always fight for the rights of Minnesotans, our Constitution and the unborn. I look forward to representing all of the people living in Minnesota House District 06A, and to meeting voters across this new district as the campaign continues in the weeks and months ahead.”
Davis is pastor of Remnant Ministry Center in Brainerd. He’s been married to his wife, Dawn, for almost 22 years and they have six children.
House District 6B
Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, was endorsed March 10 over challenger Doug Kern, of Brainerd. This race will be part of a primary election in August to determine the Republican candidate on the November ballot.
Heintzeman currently represents House District 10A.
House District 6B includes most of western Crow Wing County, including the cities of Brainerd, Baxter, Pequot Lakes, Nisswa, Merrifield, Jenkins and Breezy Point.
Senate District 6
State Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, who currently represents Senate District 5, earned the endorsement over state Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, currently of District 10. The two senators were seated in the same new Senate District 6 after redistricting.
Eichorn and Ruud will be on the primary ballot in August to determine the Republican candidate on the November ballot for this Senate seat.
Forest Hyatt, chair of the Crow Wing County Republicans, told the Brainerd Dispatch that Eichorn earned 76.1% of the delegate vote in the first round.
This Senate district includes parts of Cass County, including Ponto Lake Township in the Echo Journal coverage area; the northern two-thirds of Crow Wing County; and parts of Itasca County.
House District 5A
As previously reported in the Echo Journal, Lake Shore Mayor Krista Knudsen won the Republican endorsement for the House District 5A seat over Cass County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Mike Paulus, who ended this run for state office.
District 5A includes parts of Cass, Hubbard, Wadena and Becker counties, including the area cities of Backus, Chickamaw Beach, East Gull Lake, Hackensack, Lake Shore and Pine River, along with the area townships of Barclay, Bull Moose, Bungo, Deerfield, Fairview, Home Brook, Loon Lake, McKinley, Pine River, Powers, Walden and Wilson.
Senate District 5
Bret Bussman garnered the Republican endorsement for Senate District 5 over current Sen. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids in two rounds of delegate voting.
This race will be on the primary ballot in August.