Editor's note: The due date for nominating petitions has been corrected in this story.
A veteran Brown County politician is contemplating which office to run for this year.
State Rep. Paul Dennert, D-Aberdeen, said he will either run for Brown County Commission or the District 3 senate seat.
Dennert has served in the Legislature for the past 20 years. Because of term limits, he cannot run for re-election as a member of the House of Representatives. And were he to run for senate in District 3, he would have to change his address.
Through the upcoming legislative session, Dennert will continue to represent District 2, which includes part of Aberdeen, most of rural Brown County and Spink County. However, new district boundaries have been approved as they are after every census. As the result of redistricting, Dennert lives in District 1, which includes northern Brown County and Day, Marshall and Roberts counties. The new District 3 includes most of Aberdeen.
The new District 2 includes much of rural Brown County, most of Spink County and Clark and Hamlin counties.
To run in new District 3, Dennert would have to get an Aberdeen address and register to vote at that address. The address can't be a post office box. Now 74, Dennert said he and his wife have contemplated moving to Aberdeen, but don't have specific plans to do so.
Dennert admits that getting an Aberdeen address to challenge Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, in District 3 would be a political move. But, he said, it wouldn't be any more political than the way the new legislative boundaries were drawn to include five incumbent Democrats in the new District 1. He said he knows that, should he run in District 3, he will likely be criticized by Republicans. But he doesn't think it would be improper.
Because they hold majorities in both the Senate and House, state Republicans controlled last year's redistricting process.
Dennert said he will not challenge incumbent Sen. Jason Frerichs, a fellow Democrat from Wilmot, in a primary for the new District 1.
Burt Elliott, a Democrat from Aberdeen, has announced he will not seek re-election to the Brown County Commission, so there will be at least one opening on the board.
Candidates can take out and circulate nominating petitions for more than one office, but can only submit one. The deadline for petitions is March 27.