ST. PETER - Joel Brinker, a former St. Peter City Council member, announced Monday he is running for the Republican endorsement in the special election for Minnesota House District 19A.
He started his first city council term in 1998, when St. Peter was ravaged by a devastating tornado, and he served until 2006. He sought the Republican endorsement in a 2006 state House race, but he dropped out after the first round of ballots.
Brinker said his focus is improving Highway 14 and the state's overall transportation system, along with pushing for a more business-friendly climate in the state.
During his 2006 run, Brinker focused on property-tax reform, fair distribution of Local Government Aid, strengthening local control of education and promoting renewable fuels.
In other development, endorsement conventions have been set for the 19A race.
Republicans will convene at 7 p.m. Thursday in the former movie theater at the Mankato Place mall. Current candidates are former congressional candidate Allen Quist, former Nicollet County candidate Jim Golgart and Brinker.
The DFL set its endorsement convention for Saturday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the North Mankato Fire Department on Howard Road. Announced candidates are teacher and union leader Robin Courrier, farmer Karl Johnson and MSU faculty member Clark Johnson.
The Independence Party has agrbusinessman and author Tim Gieseke running for its endorsement. The party will hold an endorsement convention this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Peter Civic Center. It is expected to be wrapped up by noon.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at email@example.com)