Sen. Dornink’s residency petition dismissed by MN Supreme court

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a petition against Senator Gene Dornink on a residency challenge.

The petition was filed on July 30, 2022 claiming that District 23 Sen. Dornink does not live in the district he represents. The petition claims the senator lives in Hayfield, which would not make him eligible to file in this district.

In February of 2022, Sen. Gene Dornink spoke with ABC 6 News about the State Senate redistricting, and that he intended to move to a home in Glenville in order to live within State Senate District 23.

It is a state requirement that a candidate must be a resident of their district for at least six months before the general election.

RELATED STORY: Sen. Dornink speaks on redistricting maps, move to Freeborn County

According to Dornick’s Affidavit of Candidacy, he listed a residence in Brownsdale as his current address.

A group of Freeborn and Fillmore County citizens claim they have evidence that as of July 15 Dornink has not resided in either Brownsdale or Glenville.

Instead, the group filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota claiming Dornink lives in Hayfield, located in Dodge County.

RELATED STORY: Citizens file petition to remove MN State Senate candidate from ballot

ABC 6 News talked to Keith Haskell, one of the people who filed the petition, and he says Sen. Dornink doesn’t actually live in Brownsdale. But, Dornink claims he moved to Brownsdale in May because Hayfield is no longer part of District 23.

Nikki Phillips, one of Dornink’s neighbors in Brownsdale, supports that claim. "I see him there in the mornings. I’ll go for a run in the mornings or a walk and wave. it’s like 630 in the morning and he’s coming out getting in his car to go to work," neighbor Nikki Phillips said. "So, I’ve seen him lots of times there. I’ve stopped by in the evenings and chatted. my family helped them move in, in early May."

The people who filed the petition said when they stopped by his Brownsdale address there was no sign of anyone living there. But, Phillips claims that they probably stopped by at the wrong time of day and Dornink was either working or campaigning.

RELATED STORY: Sen. Dornink’s neighbor speaks out against petition