I’ve started getting e-mails asking if I’m going to write about the primaries, so it’s probably time to write about the primaries. Minnesota’s primary election this year will be on August 9th.
On everyone’s ballot in the state of Minnesota:
Secretary of State
In addition to multiple DFL and Republican candidates for Governor, AG, and SoS, there’s a contested primary in the governor’s race for both weed parties. In Minnesota, you can vote in whichever party primary you want — but you have to pick one and stick with it in all the partisan races on that year’s ballot. If you vote for Ole Savior for governor in the DFL primary, you can’t then vote for Sharon Anderson for AG in the Republican primary.
Both US House MN-04 (the seat currently held by Betty McCollum) and US House MN-05 (the seat currently held by Ilhan Omar) are having primaries — again, both DFL and Republican candidates are on the ballot. (There are primaries in lots of other districts but I only write about the races people vote on in Minneapolis and St. Paul, so like, local to us + statewide.)
In Hennepin County, there is a primary for County Attorney and one for County Sherriff. (This is a non-partisan primary: the top two vote-getters in each race advance.)
In Minneapolis, there is a primary for School Board At-Large and also for Minneapolis School Board District 5. The other Minneapolis school board seats up for election this year aren’t having primaries because not enough people are running to require them. These are also non-partisan and the top vote-getters advance (but it’s the top 4 for School Board At-Large because there are two open seats).
The following metro-area State House seats are contested, I think:
62A: Aisha Gomez (incumbent)
65B: Anna Botz
Maria Isa Pérez-Hedges
66A: Leigh Finke
67A: John Thompson (incumbent)
And the following metro-area State Senate seats are contested, I think:
62: Omar Fateh (incumbent)
63: Zaynab Mohamed
65: Sandra Pappas (incumbent)
And there’s a Ramsey County Board race. At least one.
I’m starting out this year already tired (I mean, have you seen a newspaper this week?) so I’m going to prioritize the downticket races and save the top for the end or if I’m feeling burned out and need a break. I mean, you know I’m going to say to vote for Tim Walz, Steve Simon, and Keith Ellison — Tim’s DFL opponent is Ole Savior! Steve’s being challenged in the DFL primary by a Republican! Keith’s opponent hasn’t got an actual website! — you don’t actually NEED my help there.
Walz and Ellison are not polling well right now. My nightmare is that not enough metro DFL voters bother to vote for them and they don’t get re-elected. I’m starting my “yes you need to vote, please, if only to stop me bugging you” campaign early this year.
A few comments on contested state legislature DFL primaries is below. Please check out your county’s League of Women Voters Youtube page — there should be some candidate forums online by now! (For example, I just listened to most of Dakota County Attorney and although I’m still mulling over my favorites, I’m happy to report none of the filed candidates sound like nutjobs and all sound at least “fine.”)
– House District 8B (north of Duluth)
- House District 48A (Waconia-ish)
- House District 50B (Bloomington-ish)
- House District 52A (Eagan/Burnsville-ish)
- House District 62A (Minneapolis, no other parties on the ballot)
- House District 65B (St. Paul / West St. Paul-ish)
- House District 66A (U of M / Roseville / Falcon Heights-ish)
- House District 67A (St. Paul / Oakdale-ish)
- Senate District 7 (Hibbing / Grand Rapids / Virginia / west of Duluth-ish)
- Senate District 11 (Moose Lake / southwest of Duluth-ish)
- Senate District 33 (Stillwater-ish)
- Senate District 38 (Brooklyn Park/Center-ish)
- Senate District 44 (Maplewood / N St. Paul-ish)
- Senate District 48 (Waconia / Chanhassen / Chaska-ish)
- Senate District 56 (Apple Valley / Rosemount-ish) Erin Maye Quade! Her DFL opponent seems … fine … but WE COULD HAVE ERIN MAYE QUADE BACK IN ST PAUL AND THAT’D BE EVEN COOLER!
- Senate District 62 (Minneapolis)
- Senate District 63 (Minneapolis)
- Senate District 65 (St. Paul / West St. Paul-ish)
If you have an UNCONTESTED DFL primary in a place where the DFL is not guaranteed to win: START DOOR-KNOCKING NOW! Raise “household name”-ness of their name!
If you are a city-dweller: please see what suburbs you can help raise awareness in! Who can you door-knock or phonebank-from-home for? Start raising awareness of their name now! Help at their district picnics and 4th of July parades & county fair booths & such! Or just phonebank, phonebank, phonebank. (Note that you probably have to reach out to each campaign individually … it’s not as easy to just click-and-join in a centralized fashion as, say, phonebanking for governor or president is. Sorry.)
Finally, don’t cry over spilt milk if start to look into things and notice some disappointing uncontested races (e.g. Dakota/Ramsey). Filing’s over, nothing you can do about it. Instead, look at the opportunity it presents — arguably, the bases of candidates you might be disappointed by will be less riled up and you have a better chance to help fantastic, caring County Commissioner, School Board, County Attorney, State House, & State Senate candidates in those counties.
Down-ballot races in the suburbs and outstate literally come down to hundreds, or thousands, of votes (not necessarily tens of thousands), and a single volunteer can usually knock 100 doors in a couple of few-hour sessions in your average suburb. You can call lots of houses then, too. And note that you don’t even have to do “persuasion” work that might feel icky — most volunteer-work for newbies is “turnout” work where all you do is visit/call someone known to have engaged with the party before and give them a friendly reminder that they’re needed again this year and check in whether they need a ride or directions to their polling place. It’s astoundingly easy, low-pressure, dare I say almost boring, and … important! Thanks all who read this!
I’m interested to hear your opinion on Betty McCollum vs Amane Badhasso. I was intrigued by Ms. Badhasso’s positions in the “Democracy” section on her campaign page: https://www.amaneforcongress.com/blank-1-1-1
Expanding the number of Supreme Court Justices
Abolishing the Electoral College
Abolishing the filibuster
Federally banning gerrymandering
D.C. and Puerto Rican statehood
I’ve tried twice now to ask Congresswoman McCollum’s campaign if she has positions on these topics – which she would support, vs. oppose as going too far. I emailed email@example.com and identified myself as a constituent. So far, no replies in about a week!
Found a cool link from the St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce: http://www.eastmetrovoterguide.com/
Questions and context are very corporatist, so it can be hard to tell candidates apart, but for example I couldn’t find a League of Women Voters forum for Dakota County Commissioner district 4 yet, so it’s a better place to read between the lines for that primary than nothing! My main concern is getting people through the primaries in Dakota County Commissioner races who will undo the recent negative changes to ease of voting (ballot drop boxes) and ballot counting (mandatory partisan election judges instead of county employees as a way to get potential harassers in the door). I’ll try to call around and ask candidates.