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Stevenson, Sluss to square off again

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In a rematch of a 2010 DFL Senate District 10 endorsing face-off, Taylor Stevenson and Terry Sluss, both of Baxter, will seek party approval Saturday when Democrats meet at Crosby-Ironton High School in Crosby.

The endorsing convention is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Crosby-Ironton High School in Crosby. Registration is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The new Senate district includes primarily Crow Wing and Aitkin counties.

The campaign has consisted mostly of candidates reaching out one-to-one to delegates in the newly drawn Senate District 10.

Sluss, 63, a 2006 DFL-endorsed candidate for the state Senate, said he has pointed out to delegates how his years of experience on the Crow Wing County Board and service on other boards have given him a “heads-up” on how government operates. He mentioned, in particular his work on the Meth Task Force for the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Children’s Mental Health Advisory Committee to the Governor and Legislature and the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Task Force, which led to the establishment of problem-solving drug courts in Aitkin, Crow Wing and other counties.

He said he has called almost 230 delegates of the approximate 300 delegates in the two counties. He expected somewhere between 100 to 125 of the delegates will show up at Saturday’s convention.

“It looks like I have very, very decent support,” Sluss said.

Stevenson, who won the endorsement in 2010, said he has left messages, written letters or talked to each of the approximate 300 DFL delegates and would continue those efforts up until Saturday’s convention.

Stevenson, 24, said he is telling DFLers he would be an advocate for this area, he grew up in this district and would represent a new generation of leadership. He said he’s been getting overwhelmingly positive response.

“I’ve got the passion and compassion to serve this area with everything I’ve got,” Stevenson said.

Democrats will also endorse House candidates for District 10A and 10B. The only announced candidates are Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, in 10A and Joe Radinovich of Crosby in District 10B.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Senate District 10 will endorse candidates at 9 a.m. March 31 at Westside Church buildings in Aitkin with registration starting at 7:30 a.m.

The Republican convention will feature contests in House districts 10A and 10B. David Allan Pundt of rural Deerwood, Tom Nixon of Deerwood and Dale Lueck of rural Aitkin are all seeking the 10B endorsement. In House District 10A, Chris Kellett of Brainerd and Kurt Martin of rural Brainerd are looking for party support.

Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point is running unopposed for the Senate District 10 Republican endorsement.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed on Twitter at MikeORourkenews.