On April 9th and 11th Minnesotans will find out who the republican-endorsed candidates are in two different senate districts.  On April 9th there is an endorsement convention in district 51, which encompasses parts of Burnsville and Eagan. The seat is currently held by DFL Senator Jim Carlson. One of the two candidates is Victor Lake. Lake is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union and a small business owner. Lake says seeing communism first hand has greatly influenced his ideology. Lake also says he is prolife and a second amendment supporter, and wants to offer sensible solutions to Minnesota’s transportation needs, stating, “I want to invest in our transportation, in to roads and bridges so we’re all safe…but do it with the money we have, with the surplus we’re projected to have.”

The other republican candidate is Minneapolis police officer Chris Kelley, who had to reschedule his interview with Alpha News. Kelley served in the United States Army and Army Reserve.  Kelley is concerned about small business issues, his website explains, “I know we don’t need unnecessary burdens such as excessive taxes and regulations which make businesses unviable.”

On April 11th there is an even larger endorsement convention in district 20, which includes portions of Le Sueur, Rice and Scott counties. The seat is currently held by DFL Senator Kevin Dahle. There are four candidates. One of the candidates is 28 year old Danny Petricka. Petricka is a graduate from MSU Mankato and works taking care of disabled Minnesotans. Petricka says he is running because he thinks current leadership needs a change in priorities, explaining, “We’re not elected to keep majorities, we’re elected to run on our principles and represent our constituents, and that’s something that’s more important than trying to keep a majority or getting reelected.”

Similar to Lake, Petricka says he would change Minnesota’s transportation priorities to focus on roads and bridges. The three other candidates are Mark Bartusek, Rich Draheim, and Bruce Morlan.

Mark Bartusek served as the Vice Chairman on the New Prague City council for over six years, resigning after moving outside of the city limits. Bartusek’s website states he has a, “diverse professional background which includes farming, construction superintendent, and currently works in the Information Technology department with US Bank.” Bartusek says he wants to use the Senate Seat “as a means to engage more citizens with the political process.”

Rich Draheim is a well-known businessman in the area. According to the Mankato Times Draheim graduated with a Business Administration degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. The article states Draheim “worked for 19 years for area John Deere implement dealerships.” The article goes on to explain Draheim later “owned and operated the Westwood Marina on Lake Washington and currently owns and manages Weichert Realtors, Community Group of Mankato and the New Ulm Event Center.”

Bruce Morlan served twenty years in the United States Air Force, serving as a missile launch officer in Montana, then as a missile ballistics analyst, a nuclear war analyst and Chief Scientist for Strategic Air Command’s Director of Intelligence. His website states he worked at the Mayo Clinic where he was the statistician on several clinical trials and conducted data mining studies on patient physiology.

The Senate District 20 endorsing convention is April 11th.  Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to follow the 2016 elections in Minnesota.