District 1 County Commissioner: Ken Jude

I am 54 years old. My wife, Myrna and I have been married 31 years. We have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. I am a member of the Bethlehem United Church of Christ, Maple Lake. My residence in Maple Lake for 50 years and the last four years in Corinna Township make me a lifetime resident of District 1.      I have had a varied employment background as a Sewer/Water/Natural gas construction foreman and superintendent, a dairy and crop farmer, and business owner of Ken Jude Trucking, Inc. Since 1993, I have been the District 1 Wright County Commissioner.   My involvement in the following helped to qualify me for the position of Wright County Commissioner: 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserves; 4 terms on the Maple Lake School Board with 4 years as the Chairman; a member of the American Legion Post 131 and a past Commander; an alumni member of the Blandin Leadership School; current Chairman of an eleven county Workforce Development Joint Powers Board; current member and past Chairman of the Central Minnesota Council on Aging; on the Board of Directors for the Annandale Care Center.  Since becoming a County Commissioner I have always tried to use a ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with government issues.

I have supported purchases of park property and the development of trail systems. While working with cities and townships, they have come together to plan for future growth. The county board has worked together to monitor finances and has been able to improve the bond rating for Wright County.

I have also been honored to receive the following awards for my involvement with communities and organizations: 2002 National Distinguished Service Award for Workforce Development; 2002 William Konlarski Transportation Advocate Award; 2002 Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore’s Award; 2002 Minnesota Workforce Council Association award.

Why I have chosen to re-run for this office:  I want to continue to make myself available to the citizens when they need assistance, and to serve the citizens of Wright County with the same integrity and common sense as I have for the past 10 years. While continuing to monitor growth within the county, I will help to keep it a safe place to raise a family and maintain a high quality standard of life for Wright County residents.

What are the most important issues facing the person elected to this position:  Balancing economic development while monitoring growth within the county; State legislatures current budget deficit and dealing with the cut-backs that will be passed on to the county; Transportation issues – roads to accommodate the rapid growth and safety for a growing commuter population; Continuing to keep Wright County a rural atmosphere while balancing needs of all citizens; Keeping a qualified staff and the ability to pay a fare wage to service the people of Wright County. The County is often faced with State and Federal mandates that may be unfunded and need to be implemented with local tax dollars.