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Rep. Nick Zerwas to resign from Legislature

Plus: U research reveals people of color in rural areas receive less medical care; the crowded race in Minnesota’s Seventh District; CWD threatens Minnesota game industry; and more.

State Rep. Nick Zerwas
State Rep. Nick Zerwas, center, speaking at a press conference in October 2018.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Setting up a special election. WCCO reports: “Republican state Rep. Nick Zerwas, a fourth-term lawmaker from Elk River, will resign from his seat in the state House of Representatives early next month. … Zerwas announced Monday that he will resign effective Dec. 6 to spend more time with family following his recent heart surgery. Zerwas currently serves as the Republican lead on the House Government Operations Committee.”

An unhealthy pattern. The Minnesota Daily’s Natalie Cierzan reports: “University of Minnesota research shows that in rural areas, people of color receive less preventative health care than others. … The study is part of a larger project looking at health care access and health status by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center. It found that Hispanic rural residents have typically lower vaccination and cancer screening rates compared to other races in the study. These lower rates of two of the most popular preventative care types could be because of demographic factors or financial access barriers, according to the study.”

On the crowded race in CD7. The Pioneer Press’ Dana Ferguson reports: “Longtime U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Minn., says he’s holding out until next year to decide whether he’ll seek another term representing Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, a move aimed at deterring a bruising campaign a while longer. … But that hasn’t stopped possible GOP challengers from entering the fray and setting up a deep bench of possible opponents to take on Peterson, one of the first Blue Dog Democrats, in the 2020 contest. … So far, five Republican candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to take on the 28-year incumbent.

What CWD threatens. The Star Tribune’s Tony Kennedy reports: “Thor, a spectacularly antlered whitetail buck, lives only in the fevered imaginations of most of the 450,000 Minnesota hunters who have ventured afield this deer season in search of a trophy. … But to a select band of hunters willing to pay money, everything about Thor is real. … The 5-year-old buck is a genetically engineered wonder. His monstrous, knotty, bulging rack of antlers would measure more than 280 inches. He reigns supreme in the breeding pens at Autumn Antlers, a 400-acre hunting preserve that features more than 100 bucks with traits rarely seen by hunters in the wild. … Like Thor, they all live behind an 8-foot-high fence. And for the right price — $3,000 to $30,000 — customers can bag the buck of their dreams. While clients are not guaranteed a shot at their favorite deer during a typical three- or four-day hunt, no one has left yet without a trophy, co-owner John Monson said.”

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