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Ottertail's Hanson to run primary against Murdock for State House seat

Otter Tail and Wadena County voters will experience one of the most lively primary elections in years.

Five candidates are now in the running for Republican Dean Simpson's District 10B State House of Representatives seat. Simpson announced earlier this summer that he would not seek re-election.

Mark Murdock, Perham, is the endorsed Republican candidate for the House seat, but he is facing a challenge from Ottertail businessman Al Hanson.

Meanwhile, there is challenging DFL party-endorsed candidate Tim Nieminen, Wadena, who ran against Simpson in 2006, but lost. At the September primary election, DFL voters will choose between Nieminen, Janine Hudson, and Pete Philipps.

Hanson and his family operated the Giant Tire business in the brick creamery building in Ottertail for many years, selling aircraft and big industrial tires to farmers and contractors throughout the Midwest.

Hanson recently sold the landmark building in Ottertail to a local group that plans to restore it.

Hanson is currently executive director of Lutheran Prison Ministry, a nationwide Bible outreach to prisons and jails across the United States, an organization that he helped form more than 25 years ago. He is well known as a public speaker on the subject of prison reform and the prison ministry in our area.

Hanson graduated from high school if Fergus Falls and attended Augsburg College. He has earned a Masters Degree from an accredited Bible college.

His wife, Jeanette Van Sickle Hanson is a graduate of Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls.

The couple has four grown daughters. Hanson is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Ottertail Lions Club, American Correctional Association and he is a past member of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Hanson says he has the time and business experience to represent the citizens of District 10B. He says that "citizens have long been neglected by the state legislature as they continue to play politics with each other in St. Paul, largely ignoring the needs of folks in outstate Minnesota."

Hanson said that high taxes and lack of jobs are at the top of the list of concerns for District 10B which includes Perham, Parkers Prairie, Sebeka, Wadena, Ottertail, Henning, Verndale, Menahga, part of Staples and the surrounding townships.

The district covers a large area and now that he has sold his business, Hanson believes he can devote the needed time to legislative matters that are vital to our area during this period of economic crisis and recession in our country.

Hanson says this coming election is one of those times when business experience and understanding the commodity and financial markets can greatly benefit our district.