Citizens file petition to remove MN State Senate candidate from ballot
(ABC 6 News) – A Minnesota State Senate candidate’s eligibility to be on the Minnesota Primary Ballot on Aug. 9 has been called into question Thursday in a petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
In February of 2022, Sen. Gene Dornink spoke with ABC 6 News about the State Senate redistricting, which placed both him and Sen. Carla Nelson in Senate District 27.
Also in that interview, Dornick said 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.
According to Dornick’s Affidavit of Candidacy, he listed his a residence in Brownsdale as his current address.
Now, 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.
If the Minnesota Supreme Court determines that Dornink did not reside in Glenville or Brownsdale on or before May 8, the petition argues he must be removed from the State Senate District 23 primary ballot.
Keith Haskell, who claims investigative research experience, says in the petition that he visited the Glenville property May 8, and described it as “a home under reconstruction with bare walls, un-taped sheetrock, empty electrical boxes, and other evidence. There was no evidence that anybody was living in the house at the Glenville Address Property or actively working on the house. The lawn was not maintained. There were no vehicles. There was a generic piece of mail in the mailbox addressed to ‘Current Resident’ postmarked April 13, 2022.”
Haskell also said on May 25 he video-taped a “residency check” in Brownsdale, which suggested the house was still unoccupied.
Judy Kay Olson, of Glenville, further claims that on July 15, she and Haskell drove by Dornink’s Hayfield address and that they saw children’s toys, a dog, and several vehicles parked out front.
On the same date, Olson, Haskell and third petitioner, Carol Linde, claim they drove by the Brownsdale address listed on Dornink’s Affidavit of Candidacy and saw “no human activity.”
Linde further alleges video proof that Dornink had not moved to Glenville by May 18.
Linde also claims that on June 16, she and Haskell “decided to see if Gene Dornink and his family was actually living at the address which was identified in his Affidavit of Candidacy” and that “It did not appear that anyone was living at the address based on the appearance of property and the clear lack of activity.”
Friday, July 29, Dornick released a statement about the residency complaint against him writing, “This is an absurd complaint. I’ve been living at the home in Brownsdale since May. Maybe these investigators didn’t see me the six times they visited because I am working during the day and campaigning in the evening. I have been getting a great reception at the doors, parades, and fairs, and I will be continuing on the campaign trail. I look forward to the prompt dismissal of the frivolous accusation.”