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Grey Eagle retiree to run as independent for Collin Peterson's seat

Gene Waldorf

Gene Waldorf, a retired engineer and former state senator, announced Monday that he will seek election to the United States Congress in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.

Waldorf said he will file as an independent.

The position is currently held by DFLer Collin Peterson.

Waldorf, who has been active in local government and community volunteer activities, said he's concerned about the lack of integrity of the federal government and Congress. He said that recent actions of the Obama administration and Congress during the health care reform deliberations raise questions about the honesty of elected representatives.

"Recently, it has become obvious that the focus of our federal government has been on maintaining partisan political power," Waldorf stated in a news release announcing his candidacy. "I believe our two party system now puts party power ahead of doing what is good for the country."

Four Republicans have said they will run this year in the 7th District - Lee Byberg of Willmar, Karen Nelson of Spicer, Melva Larson of Bagley and Glen Menze of Starbuck, who ran against Peterson in 2008 and 2000.

The 7th District stretches from Minnesota's northwest corner to Marshall in the southwest and includes Douglas County.

Waldorf said a strong independent movement would force political parties to recognize their primary role as servants of the people.

Waldorf said he believes that government has grown far beyond what is required for a strong defense and robust free-market economy. He hopes to help set a standard for congressional service based only on what is good for the people, not on party influence or chances for re-election.

During the past year, Waldorf said that the current administration, with the support of Congress, has carelessly spent economic resources.

"Unless something changes to reduce spending, our enormous public debt will soon rob us of our standard of living by forcing us to pay a large part of our gross domestic product to foreign countries as debt service," Waldorf said.

Waldorf is married to Bernie (Riemer), has six adult children and lives in Grey Eagle, a rural town near Sauk Centre.

For more information, go to the website He can be contacted via e-mail, or by phone at (320) 285-8867 or by writing to Waldorf for Congress, P.O. Box 364, Grey Eagle, MN 56336.