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Former guardsman will seek 57A seat

A Cottage Grove man who lost his legs in Iraq will seek a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

John Kriesel, a former Minnesota National Guard member, said he will run as a Republican for the District 57A seat now held by Karla Bigham, who announced she won't seek re-election this fall.

"I figured that it's a good opportunity to make some changes," said Kriesel, 28. "I'm not a politician; I've never been one, but I think that's probably the kind of person that should run."

Education is the most important issue to Kriesel, whose two sons are in second and third grade at Cottage Grove Elementary School.

Kriesel, who spent 10 years in the military, now works for a private company that does marketing and advertising for the Minnesota National Guard.

He was injured in December of 2006 after a roadside bomb went off near his Humvee. He now has prosthetic legs, and a suitably accessible Highland Hills home built in 2007 with supplies donated by a local construction company.

"I live about as normal a life as I'm ever going to live," he said.

Cottage Grove City Council member and DFLer Jen Peterson has also announced she will run for the seat this fall.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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