As I started up a video to watch Jennifer Zielinski talk at the State Fair along with Greg Ryan, it occurred to me that I could maybe devote a little less perfectionistic attention to the races where (a) nothing I find is going to change who I’d vote for and (b) nothing I write is going to change who wins.
This seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1962. Keith Ellison’s lowest total was 56% the first time he ran, when the Republican and the Independence candidate more or less tied with 21%. The most impressively unbalanced result was in 2012, when Keith got 75% to the Republican’s 25%.
Given this, I’m sure it was a huge relief to the Republicans that Jennifer Zielinski stepped forward to run and the Republican slot didn’t go to Bob “Again” Carney, who published a book calling for Trump to be impeached, or Chris Chamberlin, who ran for President in 2016 under the name Vlad Draculea. Their best case in a race like this is a friendly, hardworking, basically normal person who will campaign and turn out the vote because it’ll help them in statewide races.
On the ballot:
Ilhan Omar (DFL)
Ilhan Omar is young, energetic, progressive, exciting, and she will make right-wing heads explode just by being who she is. You will never have to call Ilhan to beg her to do the right thing on health care laws, abortion, etc. She’s going to be awesome; I can’t wait to see her in the House.
Jennifer Zielinski (Republican)
Jennifer is taking the “I’m a moderate Republican” angle. She says she won’t be a rubber stamp (unlike Karin Housley, who actually said that she’d be Trump’s rubber stamp — that’s not something you usually say about yourself). She wants marijuana legalized and she wants a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.
However, she doesn’t believe climate change was caused by people (“I believe in climate has the ability to change as it has done since the earth was formed, but the U.S. should not rejoin Paris climate accords”); she’s anti-gun-control; and asked about Trump’s family separation policy, she focused first on optics:
She has gotten better at talking about her beliefs than she did when she ran for Park Board last year and showed you pictures of herself dropping lit but nothing at all about the contents of the lit she was dropping.
Anyway, you probably didn’t need me to tell you who to vote for in this race, but I am EXCITED to see Ilhan Omar go to Washington.