Sen. Paul Gazelka announced Monday that he is seeking re-election to the Minnesota State Senate in Senate District 9.
Gazelka currently serves as state senator in District 12, which covers almost all of Morrison County and the southern half of Crow Wing County. Senate District 9, per the boundaries released by the courts recently, contains Morrison County, Todd County, most of Wadena County and the East Gull Lake area of Cass County.
Gazelka said he and his wife, Maralee, had considered moving to East Gull Lake prior to his running for his current Senate seat. East Gull Lake is about 10 miles from their current home and about four or five miles from his State Farm Insurance office in Baxter, he said.
“Before I was in the office we looked at this area, because that’s where my business is and a few miles from where my daughter’s school is,” he said. The Gazelkas have a 10-year-old daughter still at home, with their other four children already graduated from high school. But, the family couldn’t make the move at the time, because that would have put them out of the then Senate District 12B, for which he was a candidate.
The family plans to move by the May deadline, as candidates must live within the district for which they are running at least six months prior to the election.
“Now that they’ve cut the district in half, I’m choosing Morrison County,” said Gazelka. One of the key areas he serves is Camp Ripley, because he serves on the veterans committee, he said.
“I want Camp Ripley in my area,” said the Senator. “It’s an important part of what I do here — to have oversight on Camp Ripley. They’re more than just training the troops,” he said. Camp Ripley is also the training site for the state highway department, the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota state troopers and law enforcement.
“They’ve become really a center for training throughout Minnesota and the nation for that matter,” said Gazelka.
Republican Sen. Carrie Ruud will run in the new Senate District 10. “She was in the northern part of Crow Wing County, and is in the new part of District 10,” said Gazelka. “She’ll be a good fit there as well.”