CANDIDATE PROFILE Name: Judy Ohly
Address: 5823 River Ridge Court N.E., Rochester.
Family: Married, three children.
Work history: Realtor until 1999, when she worked as the Olmsted County facilities coordinator for three years. After that, she did real estate work for Somerby Golf Community before opening Ohly Real Estate earlier this year.
Education history: Is a licensed Realtor.
Community activities: Involved with several local organizations, including the Community Housing Partnership, the Zumbro Watershed Partnership and the Diversity Council.
Government history: None.
Contact information: 252-9763
Top three issues:
1. Protecting children.
2. Restoring the environment.
3. Managing growth.
"I will be proactive and encourage partnerships, goal-setting, teamwork and results. I have knowledge, commitment, integrity and vision, and will be an excellent commissioner."
By Joshua Lynsen
Judy Ohly, a political newcomer, has transformed the Olmsted County 7th District race into a close contest.
Ohly, who's running against commissioner Jeff Thompson, received 43 percent of the vote in the district's three-way primary race. Thompson, a commissioner since 1997, got 46 percent of the vote.
Since the primary, Ohly said she's met more voters and attended more meetings throughout the county's expansive 7th District.
"I'm so eager to learn about things, talk to people and find out what people are talking about," she said. "I have heard some frustrations, and I want to be in a position to help people work through those."
Ohly said she hopes to bring enthusiasm and experience to a board that governs an estimated 115,000 people.
"The role of commissioner is the role that directly affects every person in the county," she said. "That political arm is the one that can embrace you."
Ohly said that if she had been on the board, she would have voted against 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.
Ohly said she's spent about $7,000 on her campaign.