Election 2018: Ramsey County Judge, Court 11

“Court 11” seems to refer to the seat that’s open, but I can’t figure out which judge is in it right now. That person is apparently not running for re-election as the seat seems to be wide open. There are four people running, two of whom will progress to the November ballot.

I just want to note for the record that I think this is a bad way to choose a judge. Even more than any other elective seat, I’m not in a good position to decide whether someone’s going to be good at the job. The Committee on Judicial Selection, which you apply to and which recommends appointments to the governor, and which was handling two seats this year, seems genuinely more qualified to me. (I have no idea why this seat wasn’t filled that way!)

(I’d also prefer retention elections to the system we’ve got now. In a retention election, you vote “should we keep this person, Y/N” when their term expires, and if people vote N, a new person gets appointed.)

The vast majority of what judges do isn’t partisan. “Did this person steal a car?” is not a particularly political question. But of course, politics leak in in all sorts of ways. I don’t want a judge who’s going to discriminate against a gay parent in a child custody case. I don’t want a judge who doesn’t take violence against women seriously. I don’t want a judge who assumes that police officers are always telling the truth. Etc.

Anyway — somewhat frustratingly, I’m going to note — all four of the candidates for this open seat appear to be basically fine and decent people who’d probably be good judges. Here they are:

Scott Michael Flaherty
Adam Yang
Jeffry Martin
Gregory J. Egan IV

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Elections 2018: US Representative, District 5

This race abruptly got more interesting during the DFL State Convention, when Keith Ellison decided to run for Attorney General, opening up this seat. There was a mad dash to file; a bunch of the filers then withdrew after seeing someone they liked and respected (or didn’t think they could reasonably beat) in the contest. The 5th district DFL reconvened and held an endorsing convention, which I thought was an absolutely terrible idea under the circumstances. Anyway, it’s been an interesting year.

The good news: this is a very, very, very, very blue district. In 2016, Keith Ellison won with 69.1% of the vote (and the “Legal Marijuana Now” person got 8% of what was left.) If this is your district, you can vote your heart in the primary without asking yourself, “but will this person win in the general?” Also, if you want any input on your next congressional rep, you will definitely want to show up on August 14th.

The candidates running:

Frank Nelson Drake
Bobby Joe Champion
Jamal Abdi Abdulahi
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Patricia Torres Ray
Ilhan Omar

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Elections 2018: US Senator (partial term)

We have two Senate races this year. Amy Klobuchar is running for a regular six-year term. Tina Smith is running to finish out Al Franken’s term. This is the Tina race. Not surprisingly, it’s more hotly contested.

Whoever wins this election will serve for two years, instead of six, and will run for re-election (or, I guess, decide they’re sick of the job) in 2020.

Running in the DFL primary for this Senate seat:

Nick Leonard
Ali Chehem Ali
Richard Painter
Tina Smith

Greg Iverson
Christopher Lovell Seymore Sr.

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Elections 2018: US Senator (regular term)

We have two Senate races this year. Amy Klobuchar is running for a regular six-year term. Tina Smith is running to finish out Al Franken’s term. This is the Amy race, rather than the Tina race.

Running in the DFL primary for this Senate seat:

Steve Carlson
Stephen A. Emery
David Robert Groves
Leonard J. Richards
Amy Klobuchar

The quick, easy tl;dr answer here is to vote for Amy Klobuchar, but that’s not what you people come here for, so read on to find out, among other things, who Leonard J. Richards is.

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Welcome to the 2018 Elections!

We have primaries in a month so I should really get started with this.

Here’s how Minnesota primaries work: you get a ballot. One page is the partisan page, and it is divided in half. There is a DFL side, and there is a Republican side. You pick the party you want to vote in and vote in only that party’s races. You cannot vote in the Republican race for Governor and the DFL race for Senator. You definitely cannot vote in both. If you try, your ballot will get rejected as a spoiled ballot and nothing will get counted. (If you’re at a polling place, you can turn in your ballot for a fresh ballot and try again.)

There is also a page of nonpartisan races. You can vote in all of these regardless of whether you voted on the DFL side or the Republican side of the main ballot.

The primary is August 14th and there are a whole lot of primary races this year so I am going to prioritize the DFL side of the ballot, probably to the exclusion of the Republicans. You’ll get my opinion of the Republican primary winners when I blog the general. Spoiler: they all suck.

In Minnesota, you can find your own ballot by plugging your address into the Secretary of State “My Ballot” site, here: https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/

And you can register to vote here:  https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationMain.aspx