Local Republicans follow statewide trend, pick Johnson for governor

    The Republican caucus convened at the Crookston Public Library Tuesday evening with approximately one dozen people in attendance. Spokesperson Lonn Kiel, who was also voted in as the chair of the group, explained eligibility requirements and gave instructions for the meeting.

    Gubernatorial candidate, Republican Jeff Johnson, won Crookston’s Republican caucus with a majority vote. The rest of the votes were labeled “undecided.” Johnson is married to Sondi (Lee), a 1985 graduate of Crookston Central High School. She’s the daughter of Lloyd and Shirley Lee.

    If there is any potential intrigue tied to Tuesday’s undecided votes, it involves former two-term Minnesota Republican governor Tim Pawlenty, who earlier Tuesday quit his Washington, D.C. lobbying job amid growing speculation that he’s going to throw his hat in the ring for Minnesota governor.

    During the course of the hour-long event, Kiel, and his wife, District 1B Rep. Deb Kiel, voiced the importance of voting and suggested that lending support to candidates was needed.

    “Many hands make light work, but many feet do too,” Lonn Kiel stated as he referred to supporters who helped knock on doors and accept donations.

    Rep. Kiel concluded the meeting reading a “note” from Senator Mark Johnson who said he was pleased with the gains that were made during 2017’s legislative session as well as the “investments” made for the state of Minnesota, but that the work is not done yet.