Large Turn-out for SD 49 & 50 Family Picnic

Cropped_and_Resized_Food_Line-1.jpgOver 100 people came out for our annual picnic to enjoy great food, listen to the speeches of several candidates & talk with them informally and also to share ideas with fellow Republicans.  We were joined by

  • Governor candidates Jeff Johnson, Matt Dean, and Keith Downey’s daughter, Sarah. 
  • Attorney General candidates Harry Niska and Doug Wardlow
  • MN House Rep. Dario Anselmo and former House Rep Chad Anderson
  • MN GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan, MN GOP Secretary Barb Sutter, and National Committeewoman Janet Beihoffer
  • Bloomington City Councilor Eldon Spencer
  • Minneapolis city council candidate Fadumo Yusuf
  • Edina school board candidate Faisal Deri
  • Bloomington city council candidate Larry Frost
  • Bloomington school board candidate Beth Beebe

The Greek and Somali food items were a special treat this year.  The Gyros and tzatziki in pita pockets were very popular.  Abdi Hirsi’s Sambusas were wonderful.  Tom's Famous roasted corn on the cob lived up to its deserved reputation.  The salads and baked beans were great complements.  All topped off with watermelon, brownies, and a selection of chocolates.

Cropped_Resized_Mike_Lehmann_Stokes_the_Republican_Fires.jpgThanks go out to volunteers like Russ and Trish Burnison, Dino and Matt Balafas, Dar Gray, Tom Hulting, Wayne and Carolyn Wenger, Mary Doughty, Barb Sutter, Louis Tiggas, Rick Davies, Mike Lehmann, Beth Beebe and those selfless souls on the preparation and serving line and helping with games.  You made this picnic an outstanding success.

Our gathering was of such significance that it warranted a visit by a DFL tracker.  When the candidate speeches began, he started filming.  At that point, he was asked to leave.  While the park is a public space, we rented the  picnic pavilion and our event was not free to the public. 

See more of our picnic photos below.

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Eldon Spencer Draws on City Experience for Bloomington City Council Service

spencer_web.jpgEldon Spencer was appointed to the Bloomington City Council in March and is running for election to represent District 2 for a full four-year term.  He sat down with us to discuss his experience and his advice to others that might consider being candidates for local government office.  The following is a condensed version of that interview.

You may view the video by Clicking Here.

SD49GOP:  Eldon, tell us about your experience in being selected for the Bloomington City Council.

Eldon:  Thirteen applicants applied to fill a vacant council position.  The Council narrowed it down to four after each of the applicants had a chance to make their pitch.  After questioning each of us for a half hour, there were two rounds of votes.  They eventually chose me to finish the open term.

SD49GOP:  Have you run for office before?

Eldon:  I ran for the city council in 2001.  The primary was on 9/11/2001, a day that will be pretty hard to forget.  I immediately challenged my opponent to suspend our campaigns for a couple of weeks before resuming politics as usual.  It compressed the campaign, but I think it was the right thing to do. 

SD49GOP:  Being a councilor for a city the size of Bloomington is a very responsible position.  Tell us about your experience in city planning, operations, and oversight to be ready for the job.

Eldon:  I served on the Planning Commission for six years.  You deal with important issues, such as land use and some of the fiscal expenditures of the city.  You identify the facts that are critical in preparing a record for the City Council.  You make recommendations that they are free to accept or reject.  You get a sense of the minds of the individuals who work for the city as well as the public on various types of issues.   

One can also make a difference outside of government.  Bloomington has great service organizations and places of worship through which to affect the community and its individuals.  My Rotary Club has worked on a program called Strive at Jefferson High School that helps kids who have been underachievers but are ready to turn their lives around.  Service organizations can do many things well and very cost-effectively, saving taxpayer dollars. 

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SD49 Turned Out for Edina's July 4 Parade

Parade_pic_1.jpgJuly 4th proved to be a beautiful day for a parade in Edina.  The traditional parade celebrated veterans, local politicians, and community organizations.  Two dozen energetic members and friends of Senate District 49 represented our local Republican Party in grand style.

Vince Riehm choreographed the bearers of the SD49 banner at the front of our procession.  Carol Kerr and John Ward lent a touch of elegance to our delegation with their vintage convertibles.  Carol’s iconic inflatable elephant rode perched on her car, while Guled, Liban, and Amar Hirsi held up posters from the passenger seats of John Ward’s red Mustang.

MN Attorney General candidate Harry Niska and Congressional candidate Frank Drake joined us in our mile walk.  Adding to the high energy of our delegation, Ben Baribault drove a go-cart that he designed, built, and decorated himself.  Alex Fink joined with his decked-out scooter. 

Thanks to Nancy Carlson, Carol Kerr, and friends for hosting us to Root Beer floats and Rice Krispy bars at the conclusion of the parade.

Watch a quick video with some photo highlights 

And see More photos below

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SD49 Budgets 30% for Funding of Local Candidates

SD49_Budget_Info_Picture.jpgThe Executive Committee of Senate District 49 is driven by three primary goals – to identify, endorse, and support district Republican candidates; to inform Republicans of local activies and issues; and to organize and build the base of local Republican Party support.  

We work to achieve those goals through volunteer efforts (the district has no paid staff) and targeted spending planned over two years, aligned with the two-year election cycle.  Our projected budget for the 2017-2018 cycle is about $65,000.  Thirty percent (30%) of that is earmarked for funding of Republican-endorsed candidates running for the MN House and Senate in Senate District 49.

The following table breaks out expenses as a percentage of the two-year budget:

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Bloomington City Council to review Hyland Greens Housing Construction RFP at June 26 meeting

Hyland1_1.jpgThe Hyland Greens Golf Course occupies 63 acres in the heart of Bloomington (and House District 49B), at 10100 Normandale Boulevard.  Purchased by the city of Bloomington in 1974, it has been run by the city and is losing money.

The Star Tribune reported in February 2016 that a task force set up by the city recommended retaining the golf course and finding ways to fix its finances.  The task force urged that a golf management consultant be hired, but also allowed for the sale of roughly 10 acres that became available when the city relocated the driving range.

The Bloomington City Council will hold a public hearing during its meeting on Monday, June 26, to consider approving a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the former driving range for private residential development.  The RFP states, “the City will also consider selling additional Hyland Greens Golf Course land provided a golf course readily accessible and open to the public is retained…” 

The council meeting is open to the public and will convene at 7 pm in Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road.  

For more information about the Request for Proposal, the targeted development, and intent of the original task force, please continue reading.


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School Board Candidates Needed

education-2107914_640.jpgSchool districts in Bloomington, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka will be holding school board elections on November 7.  If you are interested in your local schools and the quality of the education they are providing, you should seriously consider running for the school board in your district.  The window of time to explore what it will take is getting short.  The period for school board candidates to file is as early as July 28 to August 11. 

The Senate District Candidate Search committee will be open to talk with candidates that seek our support.  If you are considering running, or if you are willing to volunteer and to help with these campaigns, please contact Randy Sutter (952-835-8917) or Mike Lehmann (612-839-0761).

Eden Prairie School District 272 will have three members up for election in 2017.  Affidavits of candidacy are available from the district’s Administrative Services Center at 8100 School Road, Eden Prairie.  The candidate filing period is open from July 28 to August 11.  Forfurther information about school board elections, contact Laurie Hemstock at or call 952-975-7072.

Edina School District 273 school board will have four spots up for election.  Questions regarding affidavits of candidacy for the Edina School Board should be directed to Margo Bauck, 942-848-4004 or email  Edina has not yet published the filing period, but in the past it was late July - August 11.

Minnetonka School Board will have three seats up for election in November.  The candidate filing deadline is August 15, 2017.  Please call 952-401-5000 if you have any questions.

Bloomington School Board will have four seats up for election this year.  The candidate filing period is August 1 to August 15, 2017.  If you have any questions pertaining to filing procedures or reporting, please contact Jennifer Hazel at 952-681-6402.

How to Enjoy National Night Out August 1

National_Night_Out_Logo.jpgAt a time when reports of auto thefts and home break-ins are increasing, it is very important to get to know your neighbors.  Neighbors knowing neighbors is one of the most effective ways to prevent crime.

National Night Out (NNO) is coming up on Tuesday, August 1. Each year, neighborhoods in our area organize block parties on that evening.  

Residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend an evening outside with neighbors.

Recently, some cities have started to refer to this event as “National Night to Unite”;  its new purpose is to celebrate/strengthen neighborhood and community partnerships.

Please note that registration of your National Night Out or National Night to Unite events with your city may have a deadline of as early as July 21.

Read on for information on what Bloomington, Edina, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie are doing

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Edina Hit with More Car Thefts and Break-ins

Car_theft_break_in.jpgSince April, Edina has seen a significant increase in burglaries, thefts from vehicles and thefts of vehicles throughout the city, especially in the northeast quadrant.  The Edina Police Department reports that the majority of the crimes seem to be crimes of opportunity, meaning doors were left unlocked.

The Edina Crime Prevention Fund has increased its reward to $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and charging of the person or persons responsible for recent burglaries, thefts from vehicles and vehicle thefts in the northeast area of Edina.

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Charges Filed for Violent Capitol Protesters


In early March, a number of supporters of President Trump held a legal rally inside the State Capital.  They were met with a counter-demonstration that became disruptive and potentially dangerous.  Police arrested several of the more violent protesters.  Finally, almost three months later, the Ramsey County Attorney and the St. Paul City Attorney filed charges against eight of the anti-Trump protesters.

Will these individuals, who cannot tolerate a different view, legally be held accountable in a court of law? Will all Americans living in the Twin City area be allowed to voice their opinion on any and all matters without suffering violence?  Where do the leaders of Minneapolis and St Paul stand on those that would disrupt and potentially endanger those of us willing to rally in support of our President?

The legal proceedings against the protesters are slowly moving forward. There are upcoming future court dates that will decide the fate of all eight protesters. We all hope for justice.

Read on for more details about the rally and the charges against the protesters.

And CLICK HERE to read Alpha News reporting about the much swifter filing of charges for June 10 violence.

Image Credit: Preya Samsundar/Alpha News MN

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Candidates for Local Races, August 8 Primary

Bloomington_City_Hall.jpgCandidates running for office in the cities of Bloomington and Minnetonka have filed and an August 8 primary will be held in Bloomington.  (Edina and Eden Prairie will not hold mayor or city council elections this year.)  SD49 volunteers will be needed to help with campaigns. 

Bloomington voters will elect four city council members this year:  Districts 2, 3, 4, and At-Large.  Minnetonka voters will  elect a mayor and two At-Large city council members.

Bloomington candidates:

  • At-Large     Kim Vlaisavlevich (appointed), Nathan Coulter, Michael Arulfo, and Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff
  • District 2 (southwest Bloomington)  Eldon Spencer (appointed), Cheryl Lewis, Shawn Nelson, and Lenny Klevan Schmitz
  • District 3 (northwest Bloomington)  Jack Baloga (incumbent) and Larry Frost
  • District 4 (northeast Bloomington)   Patrick Martin and Jon Oleson (incumbent)

Minnetonka candidates:

  • Mayor         Brad Wiersum and Ashwin Patel
  • Council Member At Large Seat A              Deb Calvert and Brian Kirk
  • Council Member At Large Seat B              Patty Acomb (incumbent) and Derrick Banks

A Primary Election will be held on August 8 for the At-Large and District 2 seats, as three or more candidates filed for those offices.  Two candidates for each seat will go forward to the general election in November.

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