Rechtzigel and Nesseth will vie for commissioner seatCommissioner Dan Rechtzigel and challenger Barney Nesseth are both concerned about Goodhue County’s economy, but each has him own ideas for improvement.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel and challenger Barney Nesseth are both concerned about Goodhue County’s economy, but each has him own ideas for improvement.
The two men emerged from Tuesday’s primary election.
Nesseth said what he wants county residents to know most about him is that he’s “fiscally, very conservative.”
“And also, my other main concern is just jobs — the local economy. What is the county doing to enhance that?” he added.
Rechtzigel said the county’s Economic Development Authority has been working to grow the local economy.
“We’ve scaled back some of the more mundane regulations that we’ve had in land-use policies to make it easier for people when it comes to building and bringing things to Goodhue County,” he argued.
In terms of the county budget, each candidate said he understands that money is tight.
“We’ve had very challenging times budget-wise and this board that we have in place — and have had in place for quite a while — has worked about as hard as you can … to keep levies as low as we possibly can without having to push things off into the future,” Rechtzigel said.
Nesseth said there is still room to cut and expenses need to be lower.
“Everybody else is struggling in this day and age. They shouldn’t be quite so flush in cash,” Nesseth said of the county. “It should match its constituents.”
“I want him to really explain to the voters exactly what he’s going to get rid of,” Rechtzigel said of his opponent, adding that some of the county spending is impossible to eliminate because of state and federal mandates.
Ultimately, Nesseth said the County Board needs a new face and fresh outlook sitting on behalf of District 3.
“After somebody’s been in the position for eight years, that’s enough,” he said.
In Rechtzigel’s opinion, his knowledge is key.
“Experience is really valuable,” he said. “We’re working on developing relationships with other counties and partnerships and I think I bring that experience and that background and knowledge to the table and can really help continue that effort.”
Rechtzigel and Nesseth were the last left standing after Tuesday’s primary election in which Rechtzigel collected 351 votes for 47 percent of the total. He won the most votes in seven of the 11 precincts, but his popularity in the primary isn’t worrying his challenger.
“My main concern was (Rick) Murphy,” Nesseth said of the other candidate in the race.
Murphy collected a staggering majority of his votes from two precincts covering the township and city of Pine Island. He received 101 votes from that area and totaled 130 overall.
“Pine Island is going to be the spot where the election is won or lost,” said Nesseth, who finished with 261 votes in the primary.
Now that the field has been narrowed, both Rechtzigel and Nesseth are ready to take their campaigning up a notch — beginning with plenty of door-to-door visits.
“There’s a lot of area to cover,” Nesseth said. “I’ll be getting a few miles on the dirt roads and a few miles on my feet in the towns.”