Click here to read an archive story about redistricting and the open legislative seats in the Elk River area.
Click here to see a map of House District 30A.
by Joni Astrup
An Elk River man has entered the race for an open House seat.
Christopher Kumpula is running in House District 30A, which includes Elk River and Big Lake. Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, is the incumbent but she is running for an open Senate seat instead.
Kumpula is the second Republican to announce he will run for the House seat. The other candidate is Elk River City Council Member Nick Zerwas.
Kumpula said he decided to run because of the need for a representative who believes in liberty and constitutionally restrained government, a defender of free markets and sound economics, and a statesman who demands public accountability and transparency.
“I want to improve our business climate in Minnesota and lead the way for much-needed reforms in the judiciary,” he added.
Kumpula has a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
He is currently unemployed having previously worked as a mortgage company associate.
Kumpula has served on the Republican BPOU Executive Committee for House District 16B in Sherburne County.
He also has been involved with Toastmasters Inter-national for more than seven years, and helped start the local chapter, Elk River Area Toastmasters.
In addition, he said he’s proud of a youth leadership program he initiated and conducted with Elk River High School.
He also has taught Sunday school, presented at youth conferences and served as Sunday school superintendent.
He has lived in Elk River since 1996.
Asked what would make him an effective representative Kumpula said he has proven experience in Minnesota state politics.
“I have taken the stand for integrity of process, even against leadership in my own party,” he said. “My background in policy and negotiation is indispensable for difficult reforms in areas like our judiciary. A strong work ethic counts, and no one works as hard on the campaigns of our candidates as I have done.”
“Effectiveness in the Minnesota House of Representatives hinges on how well you frame and articulate the issues,” he added, saying he presents a needed, persuasive and clear voice.
Two years ago Kumpula was in a five-way race for the Republican endorsement in Senate District 16. But he withdrew before voting began at the endorsing convention and threw his support behind Dave Brown, who went on to win the endorsement. Brown then beat Sen. Lisa Fobbe, DFL-Zimmerman in the November 2010 election.