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Nygren won't seek re-election

Morrison County Auditor-Treasurer Russ Nygren announced Friday he won’t run for re-election. Nygren, who grew up in a family where public service was the norm, was first elected to the Morrison county auditor post in 1986. The two offices were combined in 2010.

“I believe it is time for someone else to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Morrison County,” Nygren said in a statement. “It has been a great opportunity to have worked for the citizens of Morrison County for 28 years.”

Nygren said in an interview that his grandparents on one side were from the Pillager area and the grandparents on the other side lived southeast of Motley. His grandfather, John Nygren, served on the school board and town board. His father, Leonard Nygren, served on the Rail Prairie Township board for 25 years. Another grandfather, Edward Dorsey, served 20-some years in the Cass County Assessor’s Office and then served one term as Cass County auditor.

Russ Nygren, 60, lives on the same farm his parents bought in 1961, in rural Cushing. Before working in the Morrison County Auditor’s Office, Nygren worked for a private certified public accountant firm. Before that he audited nursing homes for the state of Minnesota.

The auditor-treasurer said he wanted to give potential candidates time to consider whether they would like to run for the office this fall.

Computers have been the major change in his office. When he started in the office there was one personal computer and one main frame IBM computer. Now his office has hundreds of computers in addition to smart phones.

He said credit goes to his staff for all of the responsibilities employees have picked up in an era of government down-sizing.

Nygren said Morrison County has good infrastructure, buildings and roads and is in good financial shape.

“I just really appreciate all of the support I’ve received from the citizens,” he said.

In his statement, Nygren said he’ll serve until his successor takes office in January of 2015. He said he intends to spend more time with his family and friends in retirement.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or Follow on Twitter at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860