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2 candidates enter race for New Ulm Ward 3

Dobberpuhl and Schmitz file candidacy, incumbents run unopposed in other elections

NEW ULM – With the window for candidate filing closing Tuesday, only New Ulm’s Ward 3 will see a contested election.

Two candidates filed to appear on the Nov. ballot for Ward 3: Heath Dobberpuhl and Tom Schmitz. Currently, Ward 3 is represented by Les Schultz, the longest sitting member on New Ulm’s city council. Earlier this week, Schultz announced he would not file.

Dobberpuhl and Schmitz entered their names before the deadline ended at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Dobberpuhl said he had a passion for New Ulm ever since he attended Martin Luther College (MLC) as a student in the ’90s.

“I realized it was a great town,” Dobberpuhl said.

Tom Schmitz

In 2007, Dobberpuhl took a position teaching at Minnesota Valley Lutheran (MVL), allowing him to move back to New Ulm. He worked at MVL for 15 years. For the last two years, he has taught science at MLC.

“I have a skill set that could be useful for the city,” Dobberpuhl said.

Asked what goals he has for New Ulm if elected to council, Dobberpuhl said the city has a lot of great qualities and he wants to maintain and enhance the community in anyway possible.

Schmitz served as New Ulm’s Park and Recreation Director for 18 years, retiring in April 2023. He also currently serves on the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission as District 5 Commissioner.

Schmitz said he decided to run because he believes New Ulm is the best small town in America and he wants to assist the city with future improvements.

Schmitz said he feels New Ulm needs three things to be successfully: first it needs employers; second it needs employees and third the employees must have a high quality of life. Schmitz said to ensure residents have a strong quality of life the city needs access to education, health care, commerce and resources.

New Ulm’s Ward 3 is the only election this year in which two names will appear on the ballot. For other New Ulm and Brown County elections, only the incumbents filed to appear on the ballot.

In New Ulm’s Ward 1 incumbent Dave Christian and Councilor-At Large Andrea Boettger refiled for these positions and will run unopposed.

On the county side, Brown County Board of Commissioner incumbents David Borchert (District 1) and Scott Windschitl (District 3) refiled for election and are unopposed.

Brown County Soil and Water Supervisor incumbents Chairman Craig Fischer (District 1), Secretary Brad Augustin (District 2) and Vice Chairman Mark Weller (District 4) also refiled.

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