Monday, October 08, 2007

Jim Huhtala to Lead Bob Olson's Campaign

Yeah, that's me quoted in the press release.

Jim's a great guy and the right fit for the campaign. It reaffirms Olson's commitment to winning this race by engaging activists and citizens alike in the 6th, and not relying solely upon outsiders who know nothing about Greater Minnesota and the small farm communities that make up the northern and western 6th CD.

ANOKA – Longtime DFL activist Jim Huhtala has been tapped to lead Bob Olson's campaign in the 6th Congressional District.

Huhtala served 12 years on the Becker School Board and was twice the DFL-endorsed candidate in State House District 16B.

"What happens in Washington matters here locally," Huhtala said. "But for too long we've had representatives who seem more concerned about playing Washington political games than focusing on what's happening in places like Bayport, Ramsey or Becker. Bob Olson will change that, absolutely."

In 2002, Huhtala retired from UPS, where he was a member of the Teamsters. He first met Olson this summer after being invited by local campaign volunteers to discuss labor-related issues with the candidate. The two hit it off from the start.

"I'm very pleased Jim was willing to accept this position," Olson said. "I've been nothing but impressed with his knowledge of the district and the issues we face. I have no doubt he's the right man to lead a campaign in the 6 th District."

In addition to launching strong challenges to now-embattled state Rep. Mark Olson, Huhtala has worked on numerous campaigns in the 6th District, served as the Sherburne County DFL chairman and been a delegate to the state DFL convention and the DFL State Central Committee.

"Jim brings to this race strong local experience that you're not going to get from some St. Paul- or Washington-based consultant," said Jerry Hiniker of Blaine. "If we're going to beat Michele Bachmann we can't just play politics as usual. That's her game. We need a strong grassroots effort and that's what Jim will deliver."

Hal Kimball agreed.

"Jim's a coalition builder," said Kimball, an Annandale resident who was the DFL-endorsed candidate last year in Senate District 18. "He'll bring party volunteers and people concerned about a variety of issues together to win this race. Everyone will have a seat at the table."

Olson launched his congressional campaign in July. He's running to redeploy American troops out of Iraq's civil war, break our dependence on foreign oil and give Middle Class Americans the fair shake they deserve on issues like taxation, health care, job creation and education.

Olson is the owner of St. Stephen State Bank, a tax lawyer and the founder of the American Sustainable Energy Council.

FYI, Minnesota Monitor and Minnesota Campaign Report have the scoop as well.

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