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Candidate's view: Experience vital for secretary of state

On May 25, 1990, I retired after 20 years of service from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The highest grade I attained was GM-13, Step 3, chief appraiser of the San Francisco regional office, which has jurisdiction over northern California and northern Nevada. I supervised 157 professional appraisers and a staff of 10 employees during my tenure.

Having a bachelor of arts degree in public administration, having been schooled in land surveying and highway construction, and having more than 40 years of experience in politics, government, engineering, administration, sales, construction and the military gives me a vast background in a variety of areas. I believe my experience, knowledge and education would make me a real asset to the citizens of Minnesota and to the nation.

Born in 1929 in Little Falls, Minn., I graduated from Minneapolis Central High School in 1947. Since 1950, I have been associated with local, county, state and federal government agencies and functions. In 1963, I was elected 12th Ward alderman in Minneapolis. During my two years in office, my primary responsibility was as administrator and legislator. As a member of the City Council, I served as chairman of the streets and utilities committee, on the public grounds and building committee and on the claims committee.

I have 17 years of experience as an appraiser and construction analyst, including for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I have 20 years of experience in engineering, including four years as excavating estimator and grade foreman and 16 years as land and construction surveyor. I have seven years of experience in administration, including as chief appraiser for the VA, with the Bureau of Land Management, as a Minneapolis city councilor, and as a career counselor for the U.S. Army Reserve. I have eight years of experience in sales, including in real estate, as a U.S. Army Reserve recruiter for two years, and as a dairy industry representative for four years. And I have 23 years of military experience, including five years active duty with the U.S. Navy Seabees and U.S. Army and 18 years with the Army Reserve.

Many of my experiences were gained concurrently.

This was just a brief summary of my lifetime of experiences. Since I have more than 40 years of government service, it is my hope I can continue to serve my country in some capacity.

If elected, I will reorganize the secretary of state office into nine divisions and sections to better serve all Minnesotans.

Dick Franson of Minneapolis is one of three DFL candidates for secretary of state in the Aug. 12 primary election.