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Willmar executive will challenge for Peterson's Congressional seat

Lee Byberg, Vice President of Operations of Life Science Innovations, Inc. (LSI) and a resident of Willmar will register to run for Collin Peterson's 7th Congressional District seat.

Byberg, a Republican, is married and has three boys.

"My life experience having lived in three continents has forged my belief that the principles of liberty, limited government and pursuit of happiness are most relevant for every generation," Byberg said in a press release. "Twenty years of business experience, including leading a substantial Minnesota agricultural company, coupled with my love for freedom and personal background has qualified me for this representative position."

In October 2009, Byberg was named Vice President of Operations of Life-Science Innovations, the parent company of Willmar Poultry Company and other affiliated companies such as MinnWest Technology Campus and Epitopix, a vaccine company.

Byberg was General Manager of WPC in Willmar from 2003 until his move to the VP position at LSI, and he was Director of Planning and Economics for WPC from 1996 to 2003.

He was Senior Economics Consultant for Phillips Petroleum Company, in Stavanger, Norway, from 1993 to 1996, and he was an Associate at Coopers & Lybrand, an accounting firm in Minneapolis, from 1990 to 1993.

Byberg sits on the MinnWest Technology Campus board of directors and is co-founder of Citizens Energy Plan, a Kandiyohi County citizen grassroots organization that is pursuing a national energy plan.

Byberg is the second Republican to announce a challenge to Peterson. Glen Menze, a Starbuck accountant, announced last week that he will again run for the 7th District seat. Menze challenged Peterson, a 10-term incumbent, in 2008.