Age: 61.

Address: One 11th Ave. N.W.

Family: Wife, Stephanie, and two children.

Work history: Was an electronics technician in the Navy before working at Control Data in Minneapolis. Started a stained-glass window business in 1976 and still operates it today.

Education history: Graduated from multiple technical schools.


Community activities: Involved with several local organizations, most of which focus on environmental and social-service issues.

Government history: Olmsted County commissioner since 1987.

Contact information: 282-2752

Top three issues:

1. Maintaining and improving infrastructure.

2. Enact an ordinance protecting groundwater from development.

3. Dealing with state and federal funding cutbacks.

Candidate's statement:


"I believe in the mission, and I'm still having fun doing it."

By Joshua Lynsen

Mike Podulke, the senior Olmsted County commissioner, is running unopposed in the county's 1st District.

Podulke, who was first elected in 1986, has sat on the county board a decade longer than any other member. Despite the longevity, though, the board veteran said he's still engaged in county procedures and activities.

"It's just been fantastically interesting," he said. "It's like going to college forever. I'm seeing new subjects all the time."

Perhaps the most challenging subject, Podulke said, has resulted from state funding cutbacks. He blamed both legislators and Gov. Tim Pawlenty for cutting county aid while demanding that workers there provide more services.

"That's our challenge -- to be a fiscally prudent and financially stable organization when our partner is neither," Podulke said. "If Minnesota was a corporation and Pawlenty was the CEO, he'd be in jail."


During his tenure, Podulke voted for a commissioner pay raise and for an ordinance that banned smoking in county restaurants. The raise, passed in late 2002, increased annual compensation to an average $31,500.

Podulke said he's spent less than $100 on his campaign.

What To Read Next
Get Local