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Two Woodbury Republicans to vie for legislative seats

Local Republicans gave their blessing last weekend to two Woodbury residents running for the Minnesota House, including one candidate who didn’t emerge publicly until the endorsing convention.

Lukas Czech was unanimously endorsed by Senate District 53 delegates to challenge Rep. JoAnn Ward in House District 53A.

Czech, a Little Falls, Minn., native and a 2003 graduate of Hamline University, described in a news release how a three-story fall in 2007 left him paralyzed from the neck down. He now works at Best Buy in Oakdale and describes himself as a “disability advocate” who speaks with lawmakers in support of the disability community.

His name emerged late in the endorsing process. Local GOP leaders openly solicited for a candidate to run against Ward as recently as the February caucuses.

“We are all very excited about his campaign,” said Senate District 53 Republican Party Chairman Joe Salmon.

Little surprise surrounded the endorsement of Kelly Fenton, a Woodbury woman who previously served as deputy chairwoman for the Republican Party of Minnesota.

“I’m very excited and so are our delegates about both candidates,” Salmon said. “I think we’ll have a good, solid race.”

Fenton launched her campaign last year after Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury, announced she will not be seeking re-election in the fall.

Fenton was endorsed on the first round of balloting.

“I’m so proud and honored to be the endorsed Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 53B, and I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to my fellow citizens and delegates for putting their faith and trust in me as we look towards a more prosperous future for Minnesota,” Fenton said in a news release.

For now, the only DFL challenger for the open House District 53B seat is Woodbury Planning  Commission member Kay Hendrikson.

Senate District 53 Democrats gather for their endorsing convention March 29 at Tartan High School.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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