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GOP endorses incumbents in District 58 races; DFL hopes to name candidates soon

Dave Thompson.1 / 2
Pat Garofalo.2 / 2

One side of the ballot will look very familiar when Farmington residents choose their local legislators in November. The other side is still a bit of a mystery.

Incumbent state Senator David Thompson and Representative Pat Garofalo were both endorsed by the newly-renamed Senate District 58 Republicans at the party's district convention Saturday. Neither faced any opposition from within his party.

District 58, renamed during the state's redistricting process, is not significantly changed from its former incarnation as District 36.

Thompson, a Lakeville attorney and former radio talk show host, is currently serving his first term in the Senate.

Garofalo was first elected in 2004 and is currently in his fourth term in the House. He is chair of the House Education Finance Committee and a member of the redistricting, taxes and ways and means committees.

Garofalo called the endorsement an honor and said he looks forward to making the case to voters that he deserves a fifth term.

"We've done some good stuff this year for the Farmington School District," he said. "It's going to reduce property taxes by over $34 million."

Things are less settled on the DFL side of the ballot. District Democrats held their convention March 10 but emerged with an endorsement for just one candidate, Colin Lee in House District 58A. That district covers primarily Lakeville.

District DFL chair Steve Quist said one candidate has stepped forward to run against Garofalo in District 58B. He declined to name the candidate until he announced his intentions, but said in an email he is a law enforcement officer with more than 30 years of experience.

There has so far been limited interest in the Senate seat. Quist said one person has shown some interest in running.

"My hope is that a candidate steps forward who will challenge Mr. Thompson and bring out the person we have seen representing the Tea Party and ALEC, not the majority of residents who live in Farmington," said Quist, who ran his own unsuccessful campaign against Thompson in 2010.

Quist hopes to have an endorsing meeting April 5 to finalize the DFL candidates.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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