As has been tradition during election years, the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism will partner with the Early Edition and Noon Rotary Clubs to co-host candidate forums starting next month.

The Owatonna People’s Press is also a co-host for the forums.

Each Monday in October and the first Monday in November, the forums will be held at noon at the Owatonna Country Club. The event will be streamed live at and on the chamber’s Facebook page. The forums will be covered by the People’s Press and aired later on KRFO Radio.

An Oct. 5 forum eaturing candidates for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District is the first in the series

Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Blue Earth) has confirmed he will attend, however the invitation remains open to challenger Dan Feehan (D-North Mankato).

The candidates for state Senate and House will have a forum Oct. 12. Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) is being challenged by Roger Steinkamp (D-Faribault) for the state senate District 24 seat, Rep. John Petersburg (R-Waseca) is being challenged by Tom Shea (D-Owatonna) for the state House District 24A seat, and Rep. Brian Daniels (R-Faribault) is being challenged by Ashley Martinez-Perez (D-Faribault) for the House District 24B seat.

The forum for Owatonna City Council and mayoral candidates will be held Oct. 19. Mayor Tom Kuntz is being challenged by Ethan Cords; Councilmember-at-large Doug Voss is being challenged by Matt Durand. Incumbents Greg Schutlz (Ward 2) and Kevin Raney (Ward 4) are running unopposed.

Steele County commissioner candidates will have a forum Oct. 26. Incumbent Rick Gnemi (District 3) is being challenged by Mark “MD” Schultz and Incumbent Jim Abbe (District 4) is being challenged by James “Corky” Ebeling. Commissioner Greg Krueger (District 5) is running unopposed.

Candidates for the Owatonna School Board will have a forum Nov. 2. Incumbents Timothy Jensen and Eric Schuster filed for reelection. Also filing for one of the three open seats are Deborah Bandel, Dom Korbel and Abdulahi Osman.

Each candidate will be given 2 minutes for opening comments to introduce themselves and will then be asked three to four questions provided from the chamber public policy committee, allowing each candidate 1 minute to respond. Questions from the public may also be submitted. Each candidate will be given 2 minutes for closing comments.

Due to limited space, there will be no seating for the general public. The forums will be livestreamed on and at Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism on Facebook.

Questions for the candidates can be submitted in advance of the forums to

Reach Reporter Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @OPPAnnie. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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