Election 2020: DFL Primary, State District 63A

I have been pushing off election blogging because I have a novel rewrite due, but an e-mail asking me for my thoughts on this races reminded me that some of these are actually really fast to write.

Jim Davnie
April Kane

Jim Davnie is a long-time member of the Minnesota House. I have known him since back when he first got elected and I like him a lot. I lived in his district for years and I found him responsive, smart, and thoughtful.

April Kane is a one-issue candidate who is on the ballot entirely as a way of bringing attention to something called “Erin’s Law,” which would require schools to spend 1 hour per year teaching the kids about sexual abuse. Which … might be a good idea? Maybe? (I would much rather see the state pass some sort of decent standards for medically-accurate consent-based sex education, and the fact that April emphasizes that this is not sex education makes me extra dubious about it.) If you do think it’s a good idea, you should e-mail Jim Davnie and ask him to support it rather than voting for April Kane. (April ran for City Council in 2017 and I wrote about her then, too. At least this time she’s running for the right office, but still, I really do not recommend voting for her.)

OMG THIS TOOK ME LESS THAN TEN MINUTES. ::heads back to novel grindstone::


I woke up this morning to four e-mail messages from April Kane, who apparently thought my information here was incomplete. She linked me to her Facebook page with the statement “if you look at my facebook you will see that I have been an activist for 30 years.” I looked (again) at her Facebook and saw nothing about her history of activism because Facebook was instead providing me with 36 different iterations of an event she’d held two days ago (“Create Art” by the George Floyd memorial.) Slightly more usefully she included a link to an election info page where she and Jim Davnie both sent in info about their campaigns.

She also wanted to tell me about a book she wrote and self-published, and sent me one e-mail linking to her Smashwords listing, and another linking not to the actual Amazon page for her book but to the search for it on Amazon. Here it is on Amazon. It’s called “How to Protect, Defend, Save, Heal and Strengthen Your Life,” and I pulled up and skimmed the excerpt. She has bold-faced headings with short essays explaining the importance of looking both ways before you cross the street; slowing down for turns when driving, especially if it’s wet; not swimming alone; and not participating in amateur rodeo without a helmet. These insights are mixed with stories of various horrifying mishaps, most of which apparently happened to friends of friends, like someone who was going to try to thaw the ice off the windshield of her car with a jar of warm water but while walking to her car, she slipped on the ice, dropped the jar, broke it, and then cut herself so badly she bled to death.

I have to say, having read the excerpt of her book, I would not want to send to the legislature someone who thinks adults need entire paragraphs explaining to them that they should look both ways while crossing streets, nor someone who thinks that absolute freak accidents (or urban legends) are the sort of real and serious risks we need to spend a lot of time and energy worrying about preventing. 

Also, let me just add to this: if you’re a candidate for any office, and there is important information that you think people should know about you, your history, your work, whatever, it should be on your website. With one exception (the guy who used his campaign website to share revenge porn), if I am aware of a candidate’s website, I will include a link to it. E-mailing me to complain about the stuff I left out is vastly less effective than including important information on your website in the first place. If you’re going to use Facebook for this, learn the features of campaign sites and take advantage of them so that important information doesn’t get buried. (Or at least doesn’t get buried as much. Facebook is really not a great option for a campaign site, because it’s randomly selective about what it shows visitors.) If you set up a website before you file, you can include the URL and it will appear on the Secretary of State’s website.

ETA 2: Coming back to this again after another round of e-mails from April, this time about something called “Jake’s Bill” that would mandate opiate-addiction-prevention curricula that apparently Davnie did not support. (She wants me to call the person who proposed this bill, and initially told me just to contact them, and then e-mailed separately to give me a telephone number for this person but not their name, if you want to know how my day is going.)

Having seen the sample of her book, it’s pretty clear that she believes wholeheartedly that huge amounts of suffering is caused by people just never having been told, carefully and clearly and in detail, about the importance of various safety precautions. Based on my own experiences as a teenager and as a parent: that’s not how it works, and I’m not going to hold it against Davnie that he didn’t prioritize this.


6 thoughts on “Election 2020: DFL Primary, State District 63A

  1. Jim Davnie is awesome. As you said, he is responsive and very engaged in the district. He was totally on the ground working on local concerns and communicating with neighborhoods during the rioting. I have always gotten swift and personalized responses from him when I’ve contacted his office about issues.

  2. I love your election blogging – it’s been so helpful to me in getting more involved in local elections. Do you think you’ll cover district 67A? Both candidates seem competent, but I’m always curious about your thoughts.

  3. My primary ballot was 75% female. It could have been 100% female if I’d voted for April, but that would have been dumb. Jim is excellent – smart and responsive.

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