Feehan, Kimmel, Hohensee talk at DFL picnic

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Minnesota House District 16B DFL candidate Mindy Kimmel of New Ulm talks at the Brown County DFL Picnic at Hermann Heights Park June 18. Other speakers were District 1 candidate Dan Feehan of Mankato and Brown County Sheriff candidate Jeff Hohensee of New Ulm.

NEW ULM — Recently-endorsed 1st Congressional District DFL candidate Dan Feehan of Mankato spoke with an air of seriousness at the Brown County DFL annual picnic at Hermann Heights Park June 18.

“Our country seems to be pulling apart lately,” Feehan said. “There’s a feeling of fear in the country and on the campaign trail. We’ve got a great campaign to be a part of. It’s about action. Engage yourself and your neighbors.”

Feehan invited people to join him in the Springfield Grand Parade at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 22. On June 30, Feehan invited people to knock on doors with him in New Ulm.

“I’ve been a soldier, teacher and worked at the Pentagon,” Feehan said. “I didn’t do anything alone. I got things done working with people who decided to step up. Work with us. We’ve got a positive message to get out.”

District 16B candidate Mindy Kimmel of New Ulm said it’s time for people to act, it’s time for affordable healthcare, childcare and housing. She called for investing in pre-school and K-12 education so children have a world-class education.

In addition, Kimmel said she’s running for the State House to support long-term transportation solutions for safe roads and bridges.

“We’ve got to find new ways to operate. Come out and join us. It’s our time,” Kimmel said. She asked for supporters to walk with her at the Springfield parade.

Brown County Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee said becoming a sheriff’s campaign candidate is something he’s been looking forward to do to make the department a great place to work and bring accountability to the sheriff’s department.

“I’ve lived in this community for 27 years and this is something I’ve wanted to do my entire career,” Hohensee said. “I think Brown County can solve crimes better than it is doing. Since coming here, I’ve written more than 1,000 search warrants, averaging more than 100 a year, since I took that job. I can help this county solve more crimes.”

Hohensee said when he was Drug Task Force (DTF) Commander from 2009 to 2011, the DTF increased from three to five counties and increased in size from three to five employees.

In addition, Hohensee said Minnesota Drug Treatment program statistics showed that methamphetamine use in Brown County is double the state average.

“I can change that,” Hohensee said.

“The Drug Take-Back Program is a wonderful program that started three years ago,” Hohensee said. “The program was in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield but last year, the Legislature said they had to be operated by the sheriff’s department, so the program stopped in Sleepy Eye and Springfield. That’s a total of 400 pounds of drugs collected in Sleepy Eye and Springfield each month. That’s a lot of prevention.”

Hohensee said the Drug Take-Back program thwarts thieves from stealing drugs, especially from residences. As sheriff, he said he’d reinstate drug drop-off points in Sleepy Eye and Springfield.

In addition, Hohensee said he’d like to bring an emergency management director to the county sheriff’s office staff.

“The three gentlemen that are running against me are good guys, but they don’t have the experience I do,” Hohensee said. “I will find funding for these programs, including programs [to fight prostitution] that resulted in the arrest of 111 people who wanted to have sex with area kids the last three years.”

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.