The Owatonna People's Press and Waseca County News are both reporting that Owatonna mayor to run for vacated Senate seat. Tom Kuntz joins fellow Republican Mike Parry and Independence Party candidate Waseca Mayor Roy Srp as announced candidates in the race.
KEYC-TV in Mankato aired a brief report on Kuntz's announcement.
Defeated by first-term Representative Kory Kath in a surprise upset that put a seat into DFL hands that hand been held by a Republican since 1982, Kuntz touted his experience in the 2008 race in his press release:
“I am announcing my candidacy as a Republican Candidate for Senate District 26 being vacated by Dick Day,” he said in an e-mailed press release. "My experience as Mayor of the great City of Owatonna, as well as my run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2008, makes me a qualified candidate for the District 26 senate seat.”
Kuntz's house bid web site is still live.
Should senate district Republicans not endorse in the race, Kuntz's entry into the contest suggests that a January 12 primary will indeed take place should both Kuntz and Parry file for office. Candidates may file for office between December 23 and 29. None has committee registration information online yet with the state Campaign Finance Board.
No DFL candidate has announced for the open seat. Both House seats in the district are held by Democrats. Representative Patti Fritz was first elected in 2004, while Kath won his first-term last year. Fritz has announced that she will not seek the senate seat.
Photo: Owatonna Mayor Ton Kuntz.