Cox, Dahle receive party endorsements for senate seat

Republican and Democratic-Farmer Labor party members in Senate District 25 held separate meetings Wednesday to endorse a candidate for a special election to fill the state senate seat being vacated by Tom Neuville.

Neuville, a 17-year veteran of the state senate, was chosen to fill a vacancy as a judge in the Third Judicial District, and has resigned from his senate seat effective January 1, 2008. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has scheduled a special election for Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, to fill the seat.

District 25 includes all of Le Sueur County and parts of Rice, Scott and Sibley counties.

Republicans meeting in Northfield endorsed former State Rep. Ray Cox of Northfield as their candidate. Cox, who owns a construction company in Northfield, served four years in the legislature representing District 25B, and was narrowly defeated in 2006 by current Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield).

DFL delegates took six ballots to settle on their nominee. He is Kevin Dahle, a Northfield teacher. Other candidates were Don Sauter of Arlington, who dropped out after the second ballot, Anne Bomstad Miller of Northfield, who was eliminated after the fourth ballot, and Montgomery Mayor Mick McGuire.

Contacted on Thursday, McGuire said he and the other candidates had agreed to respect the endorsement and drop out of the race. All three had previously filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office. They must withdraw by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, to avoid a primary election.

Indications are there will be a primary on the Republican side, as Henderson Mayor Keith Swenson has filed and said he would run in the primary. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Vance Norgaard, a Northfield area farmer and former owner of an aviation company, has filed as an Independence Party candidate.

The filing period for the special election ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.

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