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Republicans in District 23A endorse Olson

FAIRMONT – Republicans in Minnesota House District 23A endorsed Elmore Mayor Bjorn Olson on Tuesday night.

Olson garnered exactly the necessary 60 percent of the vote on the 8th ballot to defeat Fairmont engineer Michael Sukalski.

Republicans made their selection via teleconference, at which they also again backed District 23 state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, for re-election.

Martin County Republican co-chairman Phil Schafer said Olson received 37 percent of the vote on the first ballot, followed by Sukalski at 35 percent and Tom Nelson at 27 percent. Nelson is economic development director in Jackson.

Nelson dropped out after the second ballot.

Schafer said the convention lasted about two and a half hours.

Both Nelson and Sukalski previously said they would not challenge the endorsed candidate in the primary.

Shane Schofield, chairman of the Watonwan County Republican Party, had also sought the seat.

State Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont, has held the seat for 25 years. He will end his tenure in January.

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