A Democrat, a Republican and someone who appears to be a very atypical Democrat have become the latest to file for the special congressional election in southern Minnesota.
Sarah Brakebill-Hacke, who rose from homelessness at Yale University in Cambridge, is running as a Democrat in the growing field of candidates seeking to finish the term of the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn.
Eyota’s Brakebill-Hacke hopes to be a human rights lawyer and work to make access to food, shelter and medicine a basic human right around the world, according to media over her first 35 years hectic lives.
Fridley’s Roger Ungemach became the sixth Republican to file a nomination for Minnesota’s secretary of state. A seventh Republican, State Rep. Jeremy Munson of Lake Crystal, has announced a campaign but not yet filed.
Ungemach does not have a campaign website and appears to have a limited social media presence, although he has established a campaign committee for fundraising purposes with the Federal Election Commission. In his LinkedIn account, he describes himself as an engineer and business analyst who worked for Medtronic from 1991 to 2015.
Ungemach also doesn’t appear to have a long history of public political activism, though he shared his thoughts with the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission in December on a proposal that would have shortened some sentences for convicted felons: unprecedented crime wave , the last thing we should be doing is letting violent offenders get out of jail early. This proposal is contrary to the primary mission of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, which is to protect public safety.
The other candidate to run as a Democrat in the Aug. 9 special election in the 1st District on Wednesday was George H. Kalberer, who did not set up a campaign website or fundraising committee with the FEC, which is legally required for any candidate. who intends to raise and spend $5,000 or more for a federal campaign.
In his filings with the Secretary of State, Kalberer listed his residence at 320 4th St. Northwest, Faribault, which is a strip mall that houses a UPS store.
A man named George H. Kalberer, who lists his home as Northfield — just up Interstate 35 from Faribault — has had a keen interest in federal politics for many years, based on social media posts. But those positions don’t particularly fit a run for the U.S. House as a Democrat.
A LinkedIn account lists Northfield Kalberer as CEO and Chairman of Kalberer Financial Management and describes the company as one that changed direction in even-numbered years: Republican Religious Right (RRR) and Ronald Reagan Republicans (RRR) and aggressively supports the Trump/Pence team to make America great.
A Facebook page associated with Northfield’s George Kalberer has remained silent for the past six years, but his most recent post from 2015 is titled ‘BAN ISLAM FROM AMERICA’ and states that ‘Islam is a cult, not a religion’ . Other posts are fiercely anti-gay and many praise Republicans while condemning Democrats as “secular socialists”, at one point stating, “Michele Bachmann and I believe in GOD and the Ten (10) Commandments that are a JOKE to secular socialists in Minnesota.”
George H. Kalberer is the third candidate to run as a Democrat, joining Brakebill-Hacke and Richard Painter, a Republican until 2018 who lives in Mendota Heights.
Brakebill-Hacke doesn’t appear to have a campaign website, but her biography has been covered everywhere from the Star Tribune to Rochester-area media.
Yale News profiled her shortly before her graduation last May. Pregnant at 16, Brakehill-Hacke was left homeless and spent years living on the road.
“At that time, I didn’t realize that I could change anything. So I started hitchhiking and traded work for room and board,” she told the University publication.
She eventually returned to Rochester to earn an associate’s degree at the local technical college, which led to enrollment at Yale in a program for non-traditional students. This was followed by a master’s program in Cambridge, England with the intention of obtaining a law degree from Stanford.
With multiple candidates for Democrats and Republicans, a special primary election on May 24 will decide which candidate will represent each party in the August 9 special election.
The August 9 winner will serve the remaining months of the term won by Hagedorn, R-Blue Earth, in 2020. All special election candidates are also free to file in May for the November 8 general election, which will determine the winner of the next two-year term representing the 1st District in the United States House – a term that will begin in early January.