Looks like our Messenger website is down, so I’ll report here that Betsy Wergin, state senator for Mille Lacs County and the rest of District 16, was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission by Governor Pawlenty on July 11. It’s been in all the state papers, so it’s hardly news at this point.
Wergin replaces Leroy Koppendrayer, who is her brother. Koppendrayer, who was a state representative from the area, was appointed to the PUC by Governor Arne Carlson in 1997. It was one of the first stories I wrote for the Messenger. When Koppendrayer was appointed, Carlson called a special election, which resulted in a victory for Sondra Erickson.
Wergin won after Senator Dan Stevens decided not to run. The Pioneer Press said she became Senator in 2003, which would mean she won in 2002.
No word yet on Democratic or Republican candidates to replace Wergin, but we’ll let you know as soon as the hats are in the ring.