I was ambushed by the August primary and failed to post anything.
I also, for the first time in many years, failed to vote in the election — I was out of town that week, and by the time it dawned on me that the primary was going to be in freaking AUGUST, it was too late to get an absentee ballot.
Fortunately, the only actual contest happening on the DFL side of the ballot was for State Auditor. For reasons that in retrospect only seem even more mystifying, former State Rep Matt Entenza ran against the endorsed incumbent, Rebecca Otto, on a platform that seemed to suggest that he didn’t really understand the job functions.
I’ll note that a former State Auditor race is one of the handful of times I’ve voted for a Republican. I voted for Judi Dutcher against a DFL incumbent — although Judi had switched parties before the next election, which I thought vindicated me rather thoroughly.
Anyway, Matt spent busloads of money in order to get about 324 votes total. (OK, I am overstating things, but only slightly; Rebecca got 80% of the vote. Though in an August primary with no real headliner races, only the party diehards are even paying attention.) Over on the Republican side, the endorsed candidates for Governor and Senator took it. I’d say the early evidence suggests that moving the primary back a month has made the party endorsements significantly more important.
I’ve been thinking I should get started with my election blogging; I’ll probably go top to bottom. The thing about starting early is that there’s less information available. “Less” in the context of the U.S. Senate race is not a problem given that there’s no shortage of data out there about Al Franken and McWhat’shisname, the Republican running against him. (I’m not being snarky here, I am legitimately having trouble remember his name. I got a push poll the other day and they asked me what I thought of McWhat’shisname and I said, “um, I’m not sure who that is. Is that the guy running against Al Franken?” Yes. And now I’ve forgotten it again. McConnell, maybe?) ANYWAY. Down-ticket races, “less” sometimes means “none.” There are apparently some competitive judge races this time, though, so I’ll definitely try to get to those.
In Minnesota this time around, we are voting for a U.S. Senator, a Governor, all the big state offices (people! pay attention to these! it really does actually matter who our Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General are!), all our U.S. Congressional Representatives, all our State Senators, and all our State Reps. Also a bunch of judges, and Minneapolis is having a school board race, and we have County Commissioners and County Sheriffs and (naturally!) Soil & Water Commissioners. AND, for your additional reading pleasure, Minneapolis has TWO yes/no ballot questions — one that’s hoping to solve the Mayoral Clown Car problem for future years, and one that seeks to make it easier for wine bars to operate, I think. (“REMOVE MANDATORY FOOD REQUIREMENTS FOR WINE LICENSES. Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the requirement that businesses holding on-sale wine licenses in the City must serve food with every order of wine or beer and to remove mandatory food to wine and beer sales ratios?”)
If any city resident outside either my St. Paul precinct or my old Minneapolis precinct has a special request for a race for me to cover, let me know via e-mail or comment. (I don’t generally do anything outside the core cities, because I am inadequately informed on the crucial issues. It just takes me a long time to get up to speed on what people are talking about, in the local races. It’s been hard enough getting up to speed in St. Paul — in Minneapolis, I could look at the people endorsing someone and know a bunch of things right off, whereas in St. Paul I totally lack that knowledge base. But I LIVE here now, so I’m actually motivated to acquire it — whereas for New Hope or Eagan, that’s just never going to happen.)
And for new readers who don’t know how this works: I research the candidates, make fun of them, and do endorsements. Most people actually reading these for information are here for the down-ticket writeups; there are very few sources for information about the down-ticket races like Soil & Water Commissioners. (Okay, and last year, I had the distinction of being one of the ONLY one-stop sources for ALL the Minneapolis mayoral candidates.)
For candidates who want to make a case for my endorsement (which you totally should; I am pretty sure I swing DOZENS of votes) or anyone else who wants to get in touch with me about this, my e-mail is totally not a secret. My username is naomi dot kritzer, and I use Gmail. You can also find me on Facebook, and I know about the Other message folder now so I will probably see your message within a day or two.