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GOP House candidate who ousted incumbent gets primary challenge

Posted by: Patrick Condon under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, Republicans Updated: April 22, 2014 - 1:25 PM

A city councilman from St. Michael is running in the August primary for a Wright County-area House seat against a fellow Republican who snatched the party's endorsement from a sitting lawmaker.

Kevin Kasel launched his campaign Tuesday. He will run in the Republican primary for the House District 30B seat against Eric Lucero, a city councilman in nearby Dayton who in February won the GOP endorsement for the seat over state Rep. David FitzSimmons.

Lucero was critical of FitzSimmons' vote last year to legalize gay marriage. FitzSimmons was one of only four House Republicans to back the bill. FitzSimmons briefly considered a primary challenge but opted against it. The primary is on August 12. 

Kasel says he supported FitzSimmons for the endorsement and only decided to run in the primary once the incumbent decided not to. He described himself as a solid conservative, but suggested he'd be more effective at getting things done at the Capitol than Lucero. 

Lucero did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. 

In addition to serving on the St. Michael City Council since 2007, Kasel has worked for Best Buy and other companies as a process management consultant. Lucero, besides his service on the Dayton City Council, is an IT manager at an information security firm. 

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