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Meet the Olmsted County District 4 candidates

Brian Mueller and Kindra Ramaker are seeking the District 4 commissioner seat in Olmsted County.

Brian Mueller and Kindra Ramaker
Brian Mueller and Kindra Ramaker.
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ROCHESTER — Two candidates will be on the Nov. 8 ballot for the next Olmsted County commissioner in District 4.

Each candidate was sent a short questionnaire seeking background information and their reason for seeking the seat, which represents the southern and eastern portions of the county.

Here’s what they provided:

Name: Kindra Ramaker

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Age: 46

Occupation: Mayo Clinic - supply chain management.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science; master’s degree in public affairs.

Have you held elected office? No.

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Have you served on local government boards or commissions? 

  • Olmsted County Human Rights Commission from 2017 to 2020, serving one year as chairwoman.

Community involvement:

  • Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association, board chairwoman.
  • Rochester Branch NAACP, executive committee member.

What are your top three campaign issues:

  • Rebuilding faith in our democracy at the local level.
  • Creating a thriving, inclusive rural economy.
  • Investment in human infrastructure as a way to decrease nonvalue-add government spending.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I have a strong understanding of economics and policy. I’m someone who is active in my community, and understand rural life. I’m aware of how people’s ability to afford (or not afford) updated rural septic systems impacts our whole community and the environment. I understand how a small town struggling to keep day care providers impacts the local schools and efforts to attract new families and new businesses.

What will be your top goal if elected? Making the democratic system work at the local level. The commissions established to inform the Board of Commissioners are not performative. People who volunteer for commissions don’t want to sit at a meeting and do nothing – they want to work at making our county work. We should let them and support them.

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Name: Brian Mueller

Age: 57

Occupation: Self-employed heavy equipment mechanic for 29 years.

Education: John Marshall High School; auto mechanic program and diesel mechanic program, Rochester Community and Technical College.

Have you held elected office?

  • Rochester Township supervisor, 2004-2022.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions?

  • Rochester Township Metes and Bounds, 2004-2022.

Community involvement:

  • East St. Olaf Lutheran Church, member, past president and council member.

What are your top three campaign issues: 

  • Property taxes.
  • Health and Human Services for vulnerable adults.
  • Funds for smaller towns.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?  I have 18 years of practical government experience dealing with budgets, roads, bridges, equipment and employees. I am pro-agriculture and have some farm background. I have owned and operated a small business for 29 years. I have lived in the county for 43 years and have witnessed many changes.

What will be your top goal if elected? To understand the ins and outs of county government and its programs and to become an asset to the county.

More candidate video responses
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses describing how a commissioner can help residents better understand how county government operates
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses describing the qualities needed for a commissioner and what prompted them to run for office.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses related to priorities for tax dollars collected to address housing issues.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses related to spending priorities as the county continues to deal with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses related how the county could help encourage more building and development.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses related potential development of the county-owned property that once housed a Seneca Foods canning facility.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses regarding how commissioners should work with the county sheriff.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses regarding where they might see need for added county resources and support.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses to a recent report highlighting 42 recommendations for addressing race and racism as a public health issue in Olmsted County.
Candidates for five commissioner seats were asked to submit video responses related to what they see as a primary goal for Olmsted County to achieve next year.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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