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Woodbury's Ward to challenge for Democratic endorsement in HD 53A

The race is on in House District 53A.

A Woodbury woman announced today that she is seeking the Democratic endorsement to run in the district against Republican Pam Cunningham.

JoAnn Ward, a Woodbury resident since 1974, said in a news release that she will tap experience in education, business, state agency work and social service leadership in her run for the seat.

Ward's announcement comes less than a week before Senate District 53 delegates convene in Oakdale to endorse their candidates for the Legislature. Woodbury resident Mark Wackerfuss is also challenging for the House District 53A endorsement.

In the release, Ward describes extensive volunteer work with District 833 schools, including serving as PTA president and helping to lead referendum efforts in the early 1990s. Ward worked for nearly 14 years as a real estate sales associate, according to the release.

"Understanding the quality of life issues that residents are seeking is key to maintaining and improving the positive aspects of life Minnesota is noted for," she said through the release. "High quality, rigorous education in our schools is a top priority for people moving to Minnesota."

As a lawmaker, Ward said she would advocate for "sustainable economic growth" through education efforts.

Ward's resume also includes a nine-year stint as executive director of the South St. Paul Restorative Justice Council and involvement on the South Washington County Youth Service Bureau, where she served as president.

Ward has a husband, Joe, three grown children and five grandchildren.

Delegates from the district convene Saturday at Tartan High School.

House District 53A includes much of western Woodbury, besides portions of Maplewood, Oakdale and Landfall.

Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood, announced last weekend that she would not seek re-election to run in House District 53A.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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