by Paul Rignell
More than 120 Republican delegates from Otsego and other areas of the new House District 30B gathered at their party’s Wright County spring convention in Buffalo March 10, and on a first ballot they endorsed David FitzSimmons of Albertville as their candidate for state representative.
FitzSimmons received more than 76 percent of the delegates’ vote (with 60
percent needed for endorsement) after both FitzSimmons and challenger Paul Bolin of Otsego each had an opportunity to address their fellow House district Republicans.
Most Otsego residents who live in the new 30B have been in what will become the former 19B, where their current state representative is Joe McDonald, a Republican from Delano. But, the redistricting that was approved this winter split McDonald and other residents of western Wright County apart from FitzSimmons, Bolin and others in eastern Wright County, where District 30B will also include Hanover and St. Michael.
FitzSimmons has stepped away from chairing the Wright County Republican Party activities while running for legislative office. He has also led Republicans as their party chair in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.
Bolin was active with the College Republicans chapter at the University of Minnesota, where he completed degrees in biochemistry and physiology before graduating from medical school at the University of Illinois in 2011.
Delegates in Buffalo were receptive to the statements from both Republican candidates. Among them, David Dayon, a horse farmer from St. Michael, told the Star News: “I applaud Paul for his youth and sincerity in what he spoke about, his core values.”
But Dayon said he knew of FitzSimmons before the convention and trusted he would make a strong candidate. “David has the political background,” Dayon said.
“I’m going to make sure Wright County continues to present that conservative voice in St. Paul,” said FitzSimmons. “It’s been an intense few weeks here. I’ll take a day off to rest, and get right back to it on Monday (March 12).”
FitzSimmons said he was offered support on policy development from delegates who are employed in education and health care. “I thank all of the delegates for their support,” he said.
Bolin wrote in an email to the Star News that he has informed supporters he is now backing FitzSimmons in his run for office. Prior to the convention, Bolin said he planned to pursue his doctoral residency in 2013. He hopes to establish a career in internal medicine, specifically gastroenterology.
“I plan on recommitting myself to my medical career and spending time with my family,” Bolin told the Star News this week. “I will keep my eyes open to other ways I can serve the community, and I do intend on running again for office in 2014, whether it be for state House again or something different.”