So I know I said I was just going to leave this for later but I did the thing where I e-mailed a bunch of candidates (in other races, not this one) and now feel duty-bound to actually wait until they’ve had a reasonable amount of time to get back to me (especially the one whose campaign manager e-mailed me back and said he’s out of town) and anyway, this one is straightforward and I can feel like I’m accomplishing something because I’ll have another post up.
In the Governor’s race, there are contests on the ballot for Republicans, Democrats, and both weed parties. Here’s how primaries work in Minnesota: you get a ballot and it’s divided up into sections by party, and you have to pick a party to vote in. You can vote in all the Republican primaries, or all the DFL primaries, or all the Grassroots primaries (there’s only one), or all the Legal Marijuana Now primaries (again, there’s only one). You can also vote in all the nonpartisan primaries regardless — those are typically on the other side of the ballot. If you vote in multiple party primaries (even if you pick different races) you have spoiled your ballot and it will not be counted. (If you’re voting in person, the machine will spit your ballot out and you can trade it in for a fresh ballot and try again.)
DFL: Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan vs. Ole Savior and Julia M Parker.
You know who Tim Walz is and you probably know if you’re happy with him or not. But even if you’re not happy with him, your alternative on the primary ballot is Ole Savior, this guy whose long-time hobby is running in elections. He ran for governor, also in the DFL primary, in 2018, when I described him as the “quintessential flake candidate.”
Here’s the thing that’s kind of weird: I swear I remember that he died. Like I saw a news story about Ole Savior, long-time perennial candidate, dying, and thinking, “gosh, one fewer person on the ballot next time!” and … apparently I hallucinated this? Or dreamed it? It only counts as the Mandela Effect if other people remember it (like the Berenst
eain Bears) but seriously Ole turning up on the ballot felt like a glitch in the Matrix. I am going to vote for Tim, because there’s an actual primary in the DFL congressional race in 4 and so I’m voting in the Democratic races, and I’m not unhappy enough with Tim to risk even the narrow possibility of an Ole win. (It’s a very, very, very narrow possibility but you never know.)
GOP: Scott Jensen and Matt Birk vs. Joyce Lynne Lacey and Kent Edwards vs. Bob “Again” Carney Jr and Captain Jack Sparrow
Scott Jensen is the right-wing ghoul, forced birther, antivaxxer, ivermectin promoter and provider who got the GOP endorsement. He’s probably going to win the primary.
Joyce Lacey has an impressively pointless website. She has a section labeled “blog” and if you go there, you’ll see a photo of her with a sign saying “viruses come and go, loss of freedom is forever” and the post title “Defending our Freedom” and a photo of her with a sign saying “Life Is For Everyone” with the post title “Defending the Right to Life for All Ages.” If you click on either post, you will find that neither post has any text — they’re just the photo. She does have a Twitter on which she mentions some activism around abuse of guardianship, but her website doesn’t mention it.
BobAgain is another perennial candidate, as is Jack Sparrow, and I’m amused by the team-up. Bob is also running in the First District congressional district special election primary (because of course, this means he can run for two things back to back! presumably if he wins that one he’ll withdraw from the gubernatorial primary but the risk here is not high.)
My favorite bit of Bob’s website is that he has a secret plan for a Viking Super Bowl victory. (This is from his application form for a running mate, which is still up):
Dr. Scott Jensen, one of the GOP candidates, has selected former Viking Matt Birk as his running mate. If they’re endorsed, I’d like to be able to roll out a plan for the Vikings to win the Super Bowl by 2025 – if you know a lot about football, I’ll give your candidacy preferential consideration. To be blunt – winning the Super Bowl is something a lot of Minnesota voters may be more interested in than anything some politico says! This is all part of a general effort to encourage people to think differently – and to begin talking when that otherwise might not happen. (I actually do have a “secret plan” for how to do this – if Jensen/Birk is nominated at the convention it could be rolled out in book form during the campaign – you could possibly help write it and be a co-author. There is an admittedly lighthearted aspect to this. There would be some “serious side effects” from following the plan – that would be worth discussing too – but… bottom line… it could be done.)
If I were voting in the Republican races, I would absolutely vote for Bobagain to be the Republican gubernatorial candidate.
Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis: Darrell Paulsen and Ed Engelmann vs. Steve Patterson and Matt Huff.
It took a lot of digging to find Darrel Paulsen’s website. Googling got me to his LinkedIn, which pointed me to the Facebook of his company, Paulsen and Company, which had a link to his Twitter, which when I scrolled down a bit had a link to his website. He’s a disability advocate and wheelchair user (his website had a link to this really interesting article from a few years ago about his and his wife’s parenting experiences). Anyway, he came to cannabis legalization via disability advocacy, I think.
Steve Patterson’s issues page starts out with a whine about the COVID lockdown (“My business partner Brian Miller and I were on pace to open Prime Stein Brewery in Rochester in June of 2020. That plan was derailed by Governor Walz and he created his first of several overly aggressive executive orders stating that no one could leave their home unless they were going to work.”) Moves on to the statement “I also do not believe in free healthcare as I think if it was free it should be abused” and wraps up with him wanting to enact the “Castle Doctrine” in Minnesota. Whee. I look at people like this and wonder why they’re not running as Libertarians? I assume it’s because the Libertarians aren’t a major party and Grassroots is at the moment.
If I were voting in this primary, which to be honest I have no idea why anyone would, I would vote for Darrel Paulsen.
Legal Marijuana Now Party: Chris Wright and L.C. Lawrence Converse vs. James McCaskel and David Sandbeck.
Chris Wright is one of the founders of the Grassroots party so I find it very funny he’s now running in the LMP primary. His issues page is a mix of “sure, that DFL proposal sounds great” and “I don’t know enough about monetary policy to truly evaluate your proposal but I’m pretty sure you don’t either.” He doesn’t comment on the accidental legalization of THC (none of the weed candidates do, that I saw) but he does have a long rant about why the other legalization bill proposed by the DFL and shot down by the Republicans is basically just as bad as keeping weed criminalized (because there’s a licensing requirement and taxes and stuff.)
Much like how Patterson is a Libertarian running on a weed party ticket because it’s a major party, James McCaskel is a Green running on a weed party ticket because it’s a major party. The text on his Platform page is bold, underlined, and centered, and thus really difficult to read, but they’re basically the Green Party’s Ten Key Values.
If forced to choose between these two people, I guess I would go with Chris Wright on the grounds that at least with him, weed is genuinely central to his political philosophy, he’s not a Green who’s hitchhiking on the LMP because they’re a major party right now and the Greens aren’t.
Honestly, for anyone who’s embracing chaos in their approach to the partisan primaries, you’re not going to beat Bob Again as an option.
In addition to writing political commentary, I write science fiction and fantasy. My book that came out in April 2021, Chaos on CatNet, takes place in a future Minneapolis. It’s a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and signed copies of both books are usually available from Dreamhaven. You will also be able to get them from Uncle Hugo’s when it reopens at 2716 E 31st St! (and maybe by mail order now? I’m not sure how much mail order Don is doing while getting ready to re-open.)
I do not have a Patreon or Ko-Fi, but you can make a donation to encourage my work! I get a lot of satisfaction watching fundraisers I highlight getting funded (or, in the case of the Movement Voter fundraiser, continuing to raise money past their goal). I explained back in May why I’m fundraising for the Movement Voter PAC and that fundraiser is still active. (Also, I owe some embarrassing readings of my juvenalia to the Internet.)
I also went looking and found two DonorsChoose fundraisers for classrooms at Bethune Community School in North Minneapolis: math manipulatives for pre-K students (this is such a good idea) and a nice book organizer for a first-grade classroom where the shelving is coming apart.
Hey, Naomi – sorry for such a late response, but I suspect you may have read about perennial candidate Gregg Iverson’s passing and misremembered him as Ole later. Gregg and I had a great long conversation back in 2013 while we were both ostensibly running for mayor of Minneapolis and I’ll never forget it…or him.