Linda Flanders for District 1 County Commissioner
An Innovative Voice for Goodhue County

Meet Linda Flanders

Linda grew up on the harsh edge of Minnesota’s middle class and became a police officer, program designer and business owner because she believed in protecting and serving through innovation.

Linda and her older sister grew up in a single-parent home. Her father was a soldier who landed on Anzio Beach during WWII and didn’t come back from war the same man. Extended family helped to support the family and get her mom back to college to become a teacher. 

When Linda was seventeen she went to live with a great aunt in rural Minnetonka where she developed a love of nature and the outdoors. An emergency ride to the hospital by law enforcement officers instilled in her a deep appreciation for first responders and a desire to serve and protect others.

Linda married at 19, traveled far while her husband was in the Navy, had a son, and settled in California. She earned a degree in Criminal Justice and was on the front edge of women in law enforcement in the 1970’s. She was a police officer and detective for 17 years, specializing in child sex abuse. 

In 1993 Linda and her son returned to this area and spent three years building their own home.  “I learned how to be innovative and creatively save money, plus how essential it is to not cut corners on the foundation and infrastructure if I wanted my investment to last.” 

Using innovation and scientific research, Linda went into business and developed a program for young children, teaching self-awareness and self-control to alter aggressive and self-destructive behaviors. This specialized media-arts program was nominated to SAMHSA’s Science-to-Service Academy as one of the most promising in the Midwest. Linda filmed local community movies about methamphetamine, sexual assault and addiction and was one of the winners of PBS’s NOVA on-line film festival in 2009 (Linda’s home and business were lost during the financial crisis of 2008. She repaid debts and started over).

Linda’s commitment to improved mental health expanded to teaching crisis intervention de-escalation skills to first responders and publishing the book, Crisis Intervention 101 and the cinematherapy book, Hollywood Endings. She volunteered for many years at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Red Wing and won the Meredith Jeurs Award for volunteerism in 2007. 




Linda is a member of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America® and AAUW Red Wing Area Branch. She’s the great-great granddaughter of John J. Richter, one of Red Wing’s early settlers in 1853 and lives with her sister and blind dog named Rosie in one of Red Wing’s historical houses.


“If our children and grandchildren are going to keep my generation accountable for what we did, I hope we make the right choices now and in the future.”