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Hearing set to fill Allen's County Board seat ahead of special election

File photo by Michael Brun

Residents will have a chance to give input and offer their candidacy Monday night, May 13, on filling the Goodhue County Board seat left vacant by the death of District 1 Commissioner Ron Allen.

Ron AllenA public hearing will be 6 p.m. in the Government Center boardroom. Following the hearing commissioners will have the option of appointing someone to the board until a special election can be held.

READ MORE: A life dedicated to service: Ron Allen remembered as good listener, caring friend

State election law and the time requirement for candidate filings mean November would be the earliest for a special election, though it could be pushed to February 2020 if there are more than two candidates and a primary election is needed, County Attorney Stephen O'Keefe told commissioners at a special meeting Tuesday.

Allen died Friday, April 19, at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. He stepped away from the County Board in late 2018 to undergo cancer treatment, replaced by interim Commissioner Scott Safe. Allen's death ended the interim appointment and prompted a special election process. His term was set to expire in January 2021.

OBITUARY: Ronald C. Allen

The board has until May 18 to hold a public hearing on temporarily filling the vacancy. Commissioners considered holding the hearing at the next scheduled board meeting May 7 in Kenyon, but unanimously agreed on the May 13 date in Red Wing so the hearing could be held closer to the district of the vacant seat.

District 1 covers much of Red Wing as well as Welch Township. Voter and district information can be found at

Board Chair Brad Anderson on Tuesday praised Allen's 14 years of service on County Board as well as his three decades in the military.

"Commissioner Allen's service to not only this county but to the country is very much appreciated," Anderson said.

A funeral service for Allen will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, at New River Assembly of God Church in Red Wing. Burial will be Thursday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The family asks that memorials be made to the Minnesota Lion's Vision Foundation.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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