by Jim Boyle
Eric Lucero, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Minnesota House District 30B, has fended off a GOP challenge by Kevin Kasel in Tuesday’s primary election.
With all eight precincts reporting, Lucero won with 1,363 votes over Kevin Kasel’s 767 votes.
“The key to our success has been the incredible hard work from my team and our message,” Lucero told the Star News Tuesday night.
Lucero, 36, said his campaign’s message has been about trust and accountability and that he is focused on equity in education funding, transportation, economic growth and job creation.
“That has resonated all throughout the district,” Lucero said.
The Dayton City Council member works as a computer/Internet security specialist, college teacher and small business owner. He is married to Erum, his wife of 16 years. He is also a licensed real estate agent and a licensed general contractor.
He got the Republican endorsement after challenging Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville announced at the Feb. 22 endorsing convention he would not seek re-election. The first-term lawmaker was being scrutinized by members of his own party after he helped secure passage of an amendment to the gay marriage bill and then voted for it. Lucero won the endorsement on the first ballot with 74 percent of the vote.
Kasel, a St. Michael City Council member, decided to take on Lucero.
“It’s clear that he got people out to vote for him,” Kasel said. “I just hope that the issues he talked about when he was after the (Republican endorsement) aren’t the issues he’s going to concentrate at the legislature.”
Kasel, 55, said Lucero seemed to re-focus his campaign after the endorsing convention on equity funding in educaiton and transportation.
“These are two areas where we do need a state representative stand down there,” Kasel said. “If he goes in and he can do a good job on that and be effective on that then more power to him.”
Lucero, who said he was out door-knocking until 7:53 p.m. on the night of the primary, will now face DFLer Sharon Shimek in the Nov. 4 general election.
“We’ll work just as hard and the message will be the same,” Lucero said. “It’s just a new opponent.”