NEW ULM - New Ulm resident Jerry Pagel filed Tuesday for the legislative race for Minnesota House District 16B.
Pagel is running without a political party and without campaign contributions. He said his approach is designed to reflect his frustration with the current political system and his efforts to encourage non-partisan work.
Because Pagel did not run in a primary for a major party, he was required by Minnesota law to gather 500 signatures from the district. He turned in more than 600 signature and was added to the ballot on Tuesday.
A long-time resident of New Ulm, Pagel graduated from New Ulm Public High School in 1966 and attended Minnesota State University-Mankato. He left before earning his degree to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 1968. He was discharged in February of 1969 due to an injury not related to combat.
He worked as a computer operator for 3M in New Ulm before working various car dealerships in the region.
He had his own Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership, which became Chuck Spaeth Ford when he retired and sold it. He helped start up the local Pike Driving School, which he still volunteers with.
Pagel bills himself as a conservative liberal. He opposes abortion and any government limitation of gay rights. He supports eliminating teach tenure, but opposes effort to reduce the power of unions.
"I feel both parties aren't serving [Minnesotans]. They've been at each other so much that they've caused a state government shutdown a few times in the last 10 years," said Pagel.
Pagel will face Republican candidate incumbent Rep. Paul Torkelson, who recently purchased a home in rural Hanska, and DFL candidate James Kanne of rural Franklin in a three-way race in the November ballot.
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