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Weinerman to challenge Gazelka in Minnesota Senate race

Jason Weinerman

Jason Weinerman last week announced his candidacy for Minnesota's Senate District 9.

Weinerman, 45, of Little Falls, is seeking the DFL endorsement to run against incumbent GOP senator Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa.

"I think it's time for rural Minnesota to have more of a voice in the state Legislature," he said.

Issues important to him include rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water systems in smaller towns, as well as improving higher education, including funding for students.

Weinerman holds a degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and has worked for several state government agencies, including the Colorado State Forest Service and the North Dakota Forest Service, the release said.

A longtime Minnesota resident, Weinerman works for the state Board of Water and Soil Resources. He said his job gives him an understanding of how state and local government interact with each other.

"I have spoken to hundreds of citizens from communities in central Minnesota and they want government to work for them," Weinerman said in the release. "Government should be under their feet, supporting them rather than on their backs holding them down."

Weinerman said he opposes the general Republican position of "a constant need to trim government, not raise taxes, and try to get government on the cheap."

"There are some times in our pursuit to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse, where we might actually create some waste by asking folks to dot too many I's and cross too many T's," he said. "When you pursue government on the cheap, you get government for the cheap."

A friend suggested he run, he said. Weinerman declined to give the friend's name but he said he was not recruited to run.

Weinerman also works as an adjunct professor at Anoka Ramsey Community College and Saint Cloud State University, teaching college orientation and study strategies courses.

Married with no children, Weinerman and his wife enjoy the outdoors, particularly biking and hiking.

ZACH KAYSER may be reached at 218-855-5860 or Zach.Kayser@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZWKayser.