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Olmsted County District 2 candidates

Two seek District 2 commissioner seat in Olmsted County

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Olmsted County District 2 candidates Gabe Perkins (left) and Dave Senjem (right).
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ROCHESTER — Two candidates will be on the Nov. 8 ballot for the next Olmsted County commissioner in District 2.

Each candidate was sent a short questionnaire seeking background information and their reason for seeking the seat.

Here’s what they provided:

Name: Gabe Perkins

Age: 47

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Occupation:  Training and organizational development specialist with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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Gabe Perkins.
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Education: Chatfield High School; associate of arts degree, Rochester Community and Technical College; bachelor of science in history and social studies teaching, Winona State University; master’s degree in human resource development and organizational development, University of Minnesota.

Have I held elected office? No.

Have I served on local government boards or commissions?  

  • Olmsted County Health Advisory Committee past member and chairman, 2007-2009.

Community Involvement

  • Riverland Community College CDL Driver Training Program Advisory Board member.
  • Chatfield Brass Band percussionist.
  • First Presbyterian Church-Rochester elder.
  • First Presbyterian Church Personnel and Administration Committee chairman.

Top Three Campaign Issues

  • Support Olmsted County residents on limited or fixed incomes.
  • Investments in affordable housing and public health.
  • Support our veteran services.

What makes you the most qualified candidate? My life experiences. Those include my 20 plus years in leadership, health care, public policy, human resources, organizational change behavior and transportation, while working with the American Cancer Society and MnDOT. I am a spouse, parent and caregiver for our aging parents. I have an open mind and value partnerships.

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What is my top goal if elected? My goal is for Olmsted County to be the No. 1 county in America. Destination Medical Center is a great opportunity for our county. Without affordable day care and housing, how can we attract and retain families to live here? Olmsted County will be a kind, safe, inclusive and vibrant county.

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Name: David H. Senjem

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Sen. Dave Senjem

Age: 79

Occupation: Retired, environmental affairs coordinator at Mayo Clinic.

Education: Bachelor of arts, Luther College.

Have you held elected office? 

  • Rochester City Council, 1992-2003.
  • Minnesota Senate, 2003-present.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions? 

  • Rochester Park Board, 1988-1992.
  • Rochester Charter Commission, 2014 - 2020.

Community involvement: 

  • Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial Association founding member, 1995 to present.
  • Greater Rochester Area University Center associate member, 2002 to present.
  • Mississippi River Parkway Commission chairman, 2002 to present.

What are your top three campaign issues?

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  • Public safety.
  • Property taxes.
  • Ensuring essential services.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? Above all, I want to give back. I believe in our community and have a strong desire to make it better. I have an equally strong commitment to the people of our county and wanting to ensure their voices and opinions are part of our county’s decision-making process. I have a strong history of listening, learning and doing, and that will not change.

What will be your top goal if elected? My top goal if elected is to be a hands-on and highly effective county commissioner. To be that commissioner that citizens will like as a friend, respect as a decision-maker, and appreciate as a public servant. If elected, the citizens of Olmsted County will receive no less than my full commitment to serving them well.

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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