NEW ULM - Assistant Watonwan County Attorney Chuck Hanson of New Ulm created an election race against incumbent Robert D. Hinnenthal when he filed for the Brown County Attorney seat last week.
Hanson, who worked at the Gislason & Hunter law firm in New Ulm for a number of years, said he was approached by a couple law enforcement officers who asked him if he would consider running for Brown County Attorney.
"Being a full-time prosecutor, I'm in court daily," Hanson said. "I knew (retired Brown County Attorney) Jim Olson and appreciated the way he ran the county attorney's office. He was in court every day. Now, a variety of attorneys represent Brown County in court. I think Brown County needs a hands-on county attorney. Here in Watonwan County, we have two full-time county attorneys who are busy in court daily."
Hanson, who specialized in litigation, family, agriculture and real estate law in New Ulm, ran for the New Ulm City Council Third Ward seat in 2012. He lost to incumbent Les Schultz by a margin of 950 to 831 votes.
"I'm looking forward to the election. I think it'll be interesting. Let the voters decide," Hanson said. "Running for New Ulm City Council a few years ago was a good experience, but this (county attorney position) is right up my alley."
Hanson is formerly active in the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul's Lutheran Church Council, New Ulm Junior Baseball Association and New Ulm Basketball Association,. He is currently active with the Heart of New Ulm. He recently entered a sprint triathlon event that will include a 12-mile bicycle race, quarter-mile swim and 2.5 mile run in Annandale in July. Hanson raced in the Breaking the Ice 5k benefitting the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon suicide-prevention program in March on the trail around Sleepy Eye Lake.
Hinnenthal practices in estate planning, estate administration and cooperative law. He has served on many charitable, community and church boards including president of the New Ulm Area Foundation. He has served on the Martin Luther College Board of Control and the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church board.
He was recognized by his peers at one of the top 40 estate and probate attorneys in Minnesota. He served as an assistant Brown County attorney for 18 years before becoming the County Attorney in 2009 after Jim Olson retired.
Assistant Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak filed for the Auditor-Treasurer position when the filing period opened on May 20. She is the only person to file for the job so far.
Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Marlin Helget will complete 28 years as Brown County Auditor at the end of the calendar year.
Brown County incumbent officials who filed for re-election and have no opposition so far are District 4 County Commissioner Andrew Lochner, District 5 Commissioner Dennis Potter, County Recorder Betti Kamolz and County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann.
Soil & Water Supervisors Greg Roiger in District 3 and Ralph Stadick in District 5 have not yet filed for election, nor has anyone else.
Candidate filing periods close Tuesday, June 3.
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