Readers’ Views

Voting for Bjorn

To the Editor:

Bjorn Olson was my children’s seventh-grade history teacher and how much they loved him. I know, based on my interactions with him, that he is a man with great character.

He cares about his students, their education and overall well-being. He has created after-school programs, a board game club, is a cross country coach and is the middle school Knowledge Bowl coach.

I heard from my children that Mr. Olson spent his lunch break playing dodgeball with students every day. To me that shows true character and investment in the next generation. I’m proud to be voting for Bjorn.

Mike Mathews

Blue Earth

Vote for Sukalski

To the Editor:

I am a retired industrial technology teacher and dean of students of Granada-Huntley-East Chain Schools. I had the privilege of having state House candidate Michael Sukalski in my classes and later as a neighbor when he moved into a home close to mine in Fairmont. I can attest that the entire Sukalski family has an extremely high regard for hard work and educational excellence.

Michael was one of the top three students I had during my last 10 years of teaching. The industrial classes I offered concentrated on problem-solving, a skill that Michael has great proficiency for, and a skill that is critical for a state representative.

Michael’s leadership was invaluable to me in the classroom as he served as student aid in three of my classes, and he was always willing to help anyone.

My impression of Michael is that he possesses the finest qualities for a state representative, including compassion, honesty, dedication, energy and humor.

Michael wants to represent his community and improve education to better prepare our youth for successful futures. He places great emphasis on courses that teach life skills, financial planning, vocational studies and college-level curriculums.

The people of District 23A would be fortunate to have Michael represent them in St. Paul. I encourage you to vote for Michael Sukalski in the primary election on Aug. 11.

Tony Stadler


formerly of Fairmont

Sukalski is a leader

To the Editor:

I am excited that Michael Sukalski is running in the primary election. The more I learn about him, and the more I talk to him, the more I believe he is the right person to represent our district.

I wanted to share part of an open letter he recently shared publicly:

“My strong leadership and advocacy experiences make me qualified to serve as your state representative. I have over 20 years of experience volunteering and advocating for various causes, including agriculture, for those with disabilities, improvements to our education system, and for hunting and gun rights.

“I am a director of the Martin County Farm Bureau, an active member of local corn, soybean and pork producers associations, and have experience in international relations through my volunteer work. My agricultural knowledge and experience allowed me to help establish the new Precision Agriculture program at SDSU — the very first in the nation — while writing and teaching the curriculum for a college-level course. I led a team of engineers and earned U.S. Patent 9,380,773.

“I tutored more than 50 college students in accounting, business, economics, math, chemistry, physics and engineering.

“I have a unique perspective of the challenges faced by not just farmers and small business owners, but of individuals with disabilities and the challenges they face in education and employment through my continuous advocacy for my little sister Suzy who has Down syndrome.”

I’ve spoken to Michael on multiple occasions, and I’ve watched his videos on Facebook, and I am impressed. Michael works hard to study the issues, and seeks out experts to form his opinions and generate solutions. He can get the job done.

I trust Michael Sukalski to represent us in St. Paul. That is why I am voting for Michael Sukalski on Aug. 11.

Marcia Musser


Let the people decide

To the Editor:

I find it interesting that some people think it’s critical for candidates to “abide by the party endorsement.”

Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota said he would abide by the Republican Party’s endorsement when he ran in 2014 but, for good reason, continued his run anyway. MPR News reported on May 19, 2014: “Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth said he’d abide by the endorsement and not run against Miller in a primary. But Hagedorn now says he’s re-entering the race because Miller isn’t campaigning hard enough.”

I can’t find anywhere that Bjorn Olson ever said he would “abide by the party endorsement.” All I could find was this quote from a Fairmont Sentinel article on March 17, 2020: “Elmore Mayor Bjorn Olson has said he has not yet decided whether to abide by the endorsement.”

Based on his hesitance, the party endorsement must not mean very much to Olson.

I’m not so sure a party endorsement really matters to state Rep. Bob Gunther either — on March 16, 2020, the Fairmont Sentinel reported: “Gunther, who will wrap up his tenure in St. Paul at the end of this year, has said he will not endorse a candidate. ‘Let the people decide,’ he said when asked about it last week. ‘They are all very good candidates.'”

Frankly, a debate between the two Republican District 23A candidates running in the primary would have been beneficial to the voters. Michael Sukalski has voiced his positions with in-depth reasoning on his Facebook page and website. I have yet to hear the “endorsed” candidate Olson articulate his positions with any real explanation.

Don’t blindly follow the party’s endorsement. Do your own research and make sure your vote is an informed one. Honestly, I agree with Gunther’s original sentiment. Let the people decide. They will on Aug. 11.

Marilyn Vandenhemel


Impressed by Olson

To the Editor:

I am so impressed with Bjorn Olson and his strong campaign. All summer long, he has been meeting with community members, attending events and door knocking every day.

Learning more about the kind of person he is and his strong leadership within our communities shows us the quality of person he is, and what we need at the state Capitol.

I too was at the endorsing convention and was impressed by how he communicates and maintains composure under pressure. He was endorsed for a reason. He is hard-working and is determined to fight for us here in rural Minnesota. I am looking forward to voting for him on Aug. 11 and you should be too.

Nathan Peterson


Olson proves himself

To the Editor:

The Republican-endorsed candidate for District 23A state representative, Elmore Mayor Bjorn Olson, knows how to balance a budget without raising taxes. Before Olson became mayor, the city of Elmore ran a budget deficit of $120,000. After Olson’s first year as mayor, Elmore ran a budget surplus of $23,000, and the budget remains balanced to this day.

As the state faces a current projected budget deficit of $4.7 billion, we need an elected official with proven success in balancing spending. Bjorn Olson is the only candidate with a proven track record of correcting government budget deficit spending. Join me in voting for Bjorn in the Aug. 11th primary.

Mike Schutta



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