Terry Hendriksen, Ramsey

Background: Born and raised in St. Paul. High-school graduate plus computer-related education and decades in the industry. I founded ECI [Enterprise Communications]; providing computer networking jobs in Anoka County since 1993. Fourteen years on Ramsey's Planning Commission and four years on City Council augmented (not tainted) my business background.

Most important issue: "Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives" -- President Reagan. I moved to Anoka County 32 years ago for the rural lifestyle, anticipating change. But citizens shouldn't need to worry about change that extinguishes their lifestyle. I will control waste and error as I have in 13 years of running my business; and I will listen and serve without cronyism or big-time mistakes. I have the record. I have no personal agenda or ambitions beyond representing District 1. A vote for me is a vote to support your lifestyle not someone else's plan for you.

Andy Hillebregt, Ramsey

Background: President of Everyday Tax and Accounting Service Inc.; office manager of Liberty Tax (Monticello); charter driver for Vision Transportation of Elk River; self-employed lawn maintenance and landscaper; own a small poultry hobby farm; all-natural soap maker; married, three sons.

Most important issue: The most important issue that Anoka County must face is dealing with revenue uncertainties. I define revenue uncertainty as not knowing what our tax base will be due to declining property values and state subsidies. Anoka County needs to find ways of overcoming revenue uncertainties without hurting our residents and infrastructure. I want to find ways to stabilize Anoka County's tax base through better planning of future retail/commercial, industrial, and residential developments. Our aging population needs to be protected from losing their personal residences to an overwhelming property tax burden. This must be done without losing our diversified community.

Matt Look, Ramsey

Background: Lifelong District 1 resident. Married. Father. Business owner. Member, First Baptist Church of Anoka. B.A., Bethel University. Outdoorsman. Ramsey at-large Council Member. Mayor pro tem. Finance Committee chair. Housing and Redevelopment Authority commissioner. Economic Development Authority member. Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization alternate.

Most important issue: Government must govern reasonably without exploiting people's assets. Current county policies ignore economic conditions by increasing taxes while citizens lose jobs and homes. Government must use limited resources on needs not wants, taking less from struggling taxpayers. I reversed business fees, rental licenses, and eminent domain proceedings in Ramsey. I fought to protect residents from abuse including Met Council who tried to rezone personal property. I fought to protect businesses from county roadway changes that remove access, causing business closure. Cities and citizens are battling with overreaching government. I promote changing this adversarial relationship to collaboration, always representing the citizens.

Natalie Steffen, Ramsey

Background: Member of Met Council. Former member, Ramsey City Council and Anoka County Board of Commissioners, and former commissioner, Minnesota Dept. of Human Services. President, Achieve Services board of directors. Past president, Anoka-Ramsey Foundation Board. Anoka Legion Auxiliary. Life Leadership Award, Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Missionary work, Mongolia, 2005-2007.

Most important issue: We can provide economic growth, jobs and infrastructure improvements while holding the line on property taxes. Working together, we can build on the best of what our communities have to offer. The county can do more to assist with economic development in Anoka, Andover, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey, and St. Francis. For example, the successful Northstar Commuter Rail Line offers unique opportunities for the cities of Ramsey and Anoka that should be aggressively pursued. I pledge to maintain the county's hard-earned AAA bond rating. Residents and businesspeople will have peace of mind knowing their county finances are secure.

Five of the seven seats on the Anoka County board are up for election this year. Three races involve contested primaries, in which the top two vote-getters on Aug. 10 will advance to the Nov. 2 general election. Four candidates are running in District 1 for the seat held by Board Chairman Dennis Berg, who is retiring at the end of his current four-year term. Five people are running in District 2, where Commissioner Dick Lang also is retiring, and five are running in District 5, which Scott LeDoux resigned in May because of illness; two years remain in that term.

Here is information provided by the candidates to the Star Tribune for the primary Voter's Guide that is posted online at For space, the candidates' endorsements have not been included.

To see these and entries for other races, go to and scroll down to "Who's running in the Aug. 10 primary."


Becky Fink, Coon Rapids

Background: Lifetime service in Anoka County. Director, Nucleus Clinic; former COO, Rise Mental Health and Housing; director of community relations and advocacy at Mary T. Inc.; a member of the boards of leading statewide and local organizations. Nationally experienced disability and housing advocate. Husband, Don Sommer; son, Michael Sommer.

Most important issue: Transparent local government, ethical leadership; fair taxes. Seven commissioners are responsible for $260 million to fund: law enforcement, health, roads, bridges, parks, human services, libraries. Three commissioners have or are retiring. We deserve experienced leadership to manage priorities for taxes and cuts without irreparable harm to our citizens. Leaders need a head, heart and soul for ethical public service and be ready to lead day one. I am that candidate. Our quality of life and reputation are on the line. Ethical leadership starts with a clean campaign. I ask each of the candidates to publicly commit to a clean campaign. Citizen taxpayers deserve no less.

Carol LeDoux, Coon Rapids

Background: Married to Scott LeDoux, three children, three grandchildren. Licensed Realtor; owned/managed eight small businesses; two large company trainer-consultant. Music ed-theatre major: management degree; Boulder Philharmonic Society (president); Delta Gamma Advisory Board (financial); Make A Wish, Wishes & More, Alexandra House, church's worship ministry.

Most important issue: The Fifth District needs someone to continue to represent them without partisan bias. Continuing the goals and priorities to keep Anoka County moving forward, focusing on the need to do more with less just makes sense. Anoka County is a great place to live and raise a family; we value that. My priorities are simple; they are yours. We must keep you safe, our schools top notch, improve our roads, transit, and work hard to bring new jobs to Anoka County, while holding the line on taxes. Is this too much? I think not.

Daniel A. Nelson, Coon Rapids

Background: I'm a longtime resident of Anoka County and a retired teacher. My wife, Beth, and I have three grown children. I have bachelor's degrees from Bethel University and the University of Minnesota. My master's degree was earned at St. Mary's University.

Most important issue: Our government is a representative democracy. We depend on our elected officials to represent us. In order to accomplish this, the elected representatives must communicate with their constituents. If elected I will make a sincere effort to keep the citizens of Coon Rapids and Andover (District 5) aware of the issues that concern them. The input of District 5 citizens should be considered when major issues present themselves. It is my intent to give citizens the opportunity to be informed through available communication tools and personal contact.

Michael Rohricht, Andover

Background: Program and project manager, MBA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 1998; BEE, University of Minnesota, 1974; MSCS, University of St. Thomas, 1996. Partial list of past employers: 3M engineering, consulting, St. Paul Police Department and city of Minneapolis.

Most important issue: If I am given the opportunity to represent the citizens of Anoka County, I propose to work with the citizens of Anoka County to define needs to formulate policy and programs for initiatives within the county. We should be investing taxpayer dollars in efforts and programs with proven records of success and reallocating or cutting programs that do not work or whose benefits are not worth their cost. Programs should be cut that do not have measurable goals with outputs aligned with targeted objectives. If we invest in programs that support economic activity within the county, prosperity and growth will result.

Julie Trude, Andover

Background: Andover City Council, 2000-present; Mounds View Council, mid-90s; vice mayor; vice chair, Economic Development Authority; chair, Anoka-Hennepin Community Education Council; Minnesota, Anoka County bar associations; University of Minnesota Law School; St. Olaf College (economics); League of Women Voters; volunteer -- Grace Lutheran, Boy Scouts, schools.

Most important issue: As commissioner, I would advocate for quality road projects. First, I would work with area legislators to change formulas that send more state road funds elsewhere, so we can reduce reliance on county property taxes for upgrades to Highway 10. Second, I would advocate for my constituents as county roads are rebuilt. Their viewpoints and concerns should be fairly addressed; creative solutions should be sought. A quality road should serve commuters, neighborhoods and businesses. As cities recruit new business to expand the tax base, good planning should put the county road division on the same page; supporting economic development.


Jolynn (Joey) Erikson, Oak Grove

Background: Business owner, tax accountant, licensed insurance; married, three children; B.A., accounting, College of St. Catherine; elected Ham Lake City Council member, 2004; Ham Lake Planning and Zoning Commission, 2002-04; board treasurer, Anoka County Community Action Program; board member, Mercy Unity Hospital Community Board; Blaine/Ham Lake Rotary Club; Ham Lake Area Chamber

Most important issue: It is an honor to be a public servant! My primary focus will be to create permanent jobs by developing a solid economic plan to expand, attract and retain business in Anoka County. I will identify and eliminate wasteful government spending. I am comfortable sharing new ideas and solutions that reflect a fresh perspective. While serving on the Ham Lake City Council I fought against wasteful spending, pushed for smaller, more efficient government and demanded accountability and transparency. My promise to you is that I will restore your confidence in government. We will protect our children's future!

Erik Ronald Evenson, Ham Lake

Background: National stone sales rep for eight stone quarries in Wisconsin. Blaine H.S. graduate, Hennepin Community College. Fourth-generation family mason; married, two children, two stepchildren. Hobbies include boating, fishing, travel. Family man, working man

Most important issue: There is room for improvement in all levels of government. It is time to see positive results for issues that affect my community, its citizens, and small business. I would like to see less government control in the small-business arena. These businesses are the "backbone" of America, and changes in government need to be implemented in order to help them survive and grow. This is only one of many issues that I consider important in my campaign. My objective is to expand the opportunities of growth and success of my district for each family, business, school, and working person.

Debbie Johnson, Ham Lake

Background: Forty-three-year Anoka County resident, former chamber of commerce administrator; small-business owner; state senator with 10 years of experience on the Senate Tax Committee. Former member Anoka Technical College Foundation Board and state's Major Transportation Projects Commission

Most important issue: I have the experience to work effectively across party lines to address local needs and reintroduce fiscal responsibility to the county board. We need to take a serious look at county spending when it comes to roads vs. transit. As you drive around District 2 there is one thing everybody notices, and that is the extreme state of disrepair in our country roads. Our county board has been directing available dollars to subsidize transit projects. What we need are better roads that we can traverse safely. As your next county commissioner, I will work to make that happen.

Gary W. Kirkeide, Ham Lake

Background: I am running for this office because I believe I am the most qualified candidate. • Ten years, Ham Lake mayor. • four years, City Council. • U.S. Army veteran. • business background. • fiscal conservative. • business degree • Anoka County resident since 1958.

Most important issue: The economy. The most important issue facing the Anoka County board is prioritizing the needs of the county, and providing the services needed by residents. I ran a business during the tough economic times of the early 80s and 90s. I know how to budget for results. I have done so in Ham Lake. The county portion of property taxes has continued to rise, even as property values fall. This is bad for citizens, and bad for businesses. I would work to reverse this trend. Anoka County needs a board that will work for residents, not against them.

Andy Westerberg, Blaine

Background: Self-employed agent 30 years. A.A. degree, Anoka-Ramsey Community College; CLU designation, American College; current MAC commissioner; former legislator, eight years; past Amateur Sports Commissioner; past president, North-Metro Association of Life Underwriters; former volunteer firefighter, SLP LIONS. Former chairman, Fellowship of Christian Golfers; married, four children.

Most important issue: We must control costs in government. Most people feel taxes are too high and want their tax burden lowered. In the face of rising expenses and growing infrastructure needs, our elected officials must think outside the box, look for new technology and methods of doing business that are more efficient and cost effective. Budget items and programs must be reviewed to determine value, while eliminating or improving the ones that do not perform. I believe my experience and service will guide me toward fiscally conservative solutions for our county, making sure we get the best value for our tax dollar.