• Aurora native a former highway superintendent
BROOKINGS – A former county highway employee has filed to run for the Brookings County Commission, making him the fourth candidate to seek one of the two open seats.
Larry Jensen, an Aurora resident and a 23-year veteran of the Brookings County Highway Department, filed earlier this month as an Independent candidate and made his official announcement Friday.
He joins incumbent Alan L. Gregg, Ryan Krogman and Tom K. Yseth in the race. Gregg and Krogman are running as Republicans, Yseth as an Independent.
The general election is Nov. 6.
The commission race this year will be for two positions: Gregg’s seat, which he is seeking to reclaim, and the chair now occupied by Deanna Santema, who after a decade on the county board has opted not to seek re-election.
Candidates chosen by the voters will take office in January 2013 and will serve four-year terms.
Jensen, who was highway superintendent for the last three years of his service with the county, said he was encouraged to run for commission by friends and neighbors.
“I feel that, after working for the county for 23 years, I can bring an in-depth knowledge of road and bridge systems to this position,” Jensen said. “I’d like to do what I can to provide safe and reliable roads and bridges for the county.”
Jensen, who runs a cow-calf operation, was born on the family farm west of Aurora, the only son of longtime area farmers Carl and Norma Jensen.
Jensen is married, and he and his wife, Georgia, have two sons, Jacob, 19, a student at Lake Area Technical Institute; and Tyler, 17, who will be a senior at Deubrook High School.
Jensen himself is a 1981 graduate of Brookings High School and attended both Dakota State University and South Dakota State University before joining the county highway department in 1988.
He worked as an equipment operator for nine years, then served as an assistant under former highway superintendent Ted Eggebraaten. On Eggebraaten’s retirement, Jensen was interim director of the county road operations for a year, and then served three years as superintendent. He resigned in September 2011 for personal reasons.
Jensen said he enjoys working with the public, and he’s developed good working relationships with all the county department heads. He says he also maintains strong ties with leaders in the county’s towns and townships.
The Aurora cattleman has been active in both community and professional organizations. A former White resident, he served on the city council there and was a member of the White Community Club.
He is a member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, the White Volunteer Fire Department and the South Dakota Firefighters Association.
During his years with the highway department, Jensen was a member of the executive board of the South Dakota Association of County Highway Superintendents and the Brookings City and County Highway Traffic Study Group.
In addition to operating his own farm business, Jensen works with a local building contractor and as an applicator for a Bruce dust control company.
Contact Ken Curley at firstname.lastname@example.org.