Election 2022: Minneapolis School Board At-Large

Well, this turned into kind of a clusterfuck of a race. Here’s who’s on the ballot:

KerryJo Felder (DFL-endorsed)
Collin Beachy (DFL-endorsed)
Sonya Emerick
Lisa Skjefte

In the primary, I said I would vote for KerryJo Felder because the school board suffers from chronic lack of institutional memory due to people rarely serving more than one term (KerryJo is not an incumbent, but served one term from 2016-2020) and Sonya Emerick because I was impressed by their responsiveness and thoughtfulness. It turned out that part of why I hadn’t heard back from Collin was because he’d had COVID — and I felt bad about that, but also, it was a primary, the DFL-endorsed candidates can be expected to sail through a primary, and so I was not super worried about it.

Lisa Skjefte has no website, although she has been coming to candidate forums.

I’m going to put a break here and FYI: this is going to get long. If you want to skip straight to who I would vote for: Collin Beachy and Sonya Emerick.

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Election 2022: Hennepin County Sheriff

During the primary, I endorsed Dawanna Witt because she struck me as a lot more likely to be able to beat Jai Hansen, who I really didn’t like. I totally assumed Jai would make it through the primary! He did not. So now the question is — absent that, do I prefer Dawanna Witt, or Joseph Banks? Despite having some doubts about Dawanna, and having taken a somewhat closer look at Joseph Banks … I’m going to say it’s still Dawanna Witt.

On the ballot:

Dawanna Witt
Joseph Banks

Dawanna Witt has worked for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office, specifically, for a really long time — mainly she runs the jail. Joseph Banks is a retired former chief of police for the Lower Sioux Community and Morton, MN. They both talk about wanting to improve public safety, transparency, and community relationships. They’re both Black, and Dawanna talks about fearing and distrusting police for years before getting an entry-level job working at the jail.

Dawanna is endorsed by the DFL and a lot of other organizations; Joseph Banks, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have any endorsements at all. (ETA: I missed that he was endorsed by the Independence-Alliance Party, aka the Jessecrats. But he doesn’t put that on his website, and given that this group also endorsed Hugh McTavish in the Governor’s race, I’m not reassured that they’re vetting people with any criteria I’d recognize as useful.)

There was a debate earlier this month and I watched the recording of it to see if I could get any better clarity than “look, Dawanna’s at least been vetted by people who know more about this job than I do, and they think she’d be OK.” The debate is online here.

One really interesting exchange took place about an hour in. (It actually starts at 57:15, if you want to watch.) Joseph said, in response to a question about tangible steps toward accountability, “Let’s be clear on this: the Sheriff department is the top cop in the county. […] It is the Sheriff’s responsibility to police the police. It is the Sheriff’s job to make sure that we’re holding law enforcement officers accountable in our county.” When Dawanna got the floor she opened with, “There is no statute that will give you the authority to tell a municipality what to do. That is not your job as a Sheriff.”

This left me really wanting to know — could the Hennepin County Sheriff’s staff go out and investigate and arrest Minneapolis police officers who commit murder or assault or whatever in their line of work? Because that’s not happening right now, but if Joseph were elected and just decided it was part of the Sheriff’s duties, could they? I asked Twitter and did not get a particularly conclusive answer. It’s not written in the statutes but it’s not forbidden by the statutes, and Sheriffs as elected officials (rather than appointed/hired staff) can in some ways kind of do what they want (see, for example, Dave Hutchinson’s refusal to resign despite wrecking a car while drunk off his ass). Also — would we want this? I mean it’s sort of tempting to say “hell, yes,” given that the cop who pepper-sprayed nonviolent protesters out his car window while driving by has to my knowledge never even been identified, never mind charged.

But … okay, so having looked at Joseph Banks’ website, he doesn’t mention this anywhere as a goal, he just pulled it out during the debate. His platform talks about better coordination with MPD and other agencies; it does not say anywhere, “by the way, we could TOTALLY go arrest Minneapolis cops for brutality, vote me in and we’ll start doing that,” which is kind of funny because that would have gotten him a lot of attention from some of the local groups, especially if he really seemed like he could make that stick.

“Does he seem like he could make that stick” is another question. In addition to “is he serious about this thing he brought up at a debate but doesn’t mention on his website,” I’m reminded of a comment someone made during the primary about Mary Moriarty vs. one of the other candidates running as a reformer — reform is extremely hard and you’re a lot less likely to succeed at it if you don’t know the existing system really well. Dawanna has worked for the Sheriff’s office (for years); Joseph Banks has not.

Joseph has worked as a chief of police, though: “In 2005, I started working for the Lower Sioux Police Department until I accepted a position as Chief of Police with the Upper Sioux Police Department. I then served as the Chief of Police for Morton, Minnesota. I then returned to the Lower Sioux Police Department where I was the Chief Investigator and the acting Chief of Police.” The Upper Sioux reservation has a population of 120. Morton, MN has a population of 411, and at the present time does not have a police department — its policing is done by the Renville County Sheriff’s Department. This is pretty standard for very small towns and honestly, I’m surprised that they ever had their own Chief of Police, with a population that small. By comparison: the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office has 800 people working for it.

So — yeah, okay, that detail all by itself makes me deeply skeptical of Joseph, even as it also explains why (in the debate) he kind of airily said that anyone who committed misconduct would be gone, he’d fire them. (It’s frequently not that simple, which is part of the problem. Dawanna said that she would fire the bad actors if she could, but if she could not, she’d put them on desk duty.) He’s been a Chief of Police, twice, but in the larger of the two places, the whole community was less than half the size of the department he’d be running as Sheriff.

In some ways, Joseph Banks presents himself as more of a reformer than Dawanna. But when someone comes in to a high-level position where they’re kind of over their head, what tends to happen is that all the people under them just kind of keep doing what they’re doing. And this is a department that was run for years by Stanek (and then for the last four by Hutch, but he’s been largely checked out for most of the last year. His car crash was in December of 2021 and he apparently spent a bunch of 2022 vindictively running up bills.) I think the changes Dawanna is proposing (things like an information dashboard, making it more efficient to check people into the jail, an expansion of education and treatment options for people who are in the jail awaiting trial) are more modest, but also she’s vastly more likely to get them done.

I would vote for Dawanna Witt.

ETA 10/25: There was a good article in the Sahan Journal about the race. Some additional details mentioned: Joseph Banks hasn’t worked in law enforcement since 2009; his job in Morton, MN only lasted four months; he was fired by the City Council in a closed session after a meeting to discuss a no-contact order filed by his former partner. The article also notes that he wants to triple the number of deputies to 2,400, hiring 500 deputies per year until they reach that number; Dawanna Witt says that’s not in the budget (even remotely) and she will hire 30 additional deputies, the number actually budgeted for by the county.

Anyway, this article confirmed my broad impression that Dawanna Witt is competent and would know what she is doing in this office and Joseph Banks is sort of a flake.

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 and the NOW REOPENED Uncle Hugo’s (it’s at 2716 E 31st St in Minneapolis, in the former Glass Endeavors.)

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.

I also went looking for some DonorsChoose fundraisers. In Minneapolis, I found a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. In St. Paul, I found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students.

Election 2022: Minnesota Attorney General

This is one of the races that’s so stark for me it almost doesn’t feel like I should need to write this. Keith Ellison is one of the DFLers who is not only better than the alternative, I’m actually extremely happy with the job he’s done, plus he’s up against a radical right-wing Republican who is smart enough to say the quiet part quietly but is nonetheless going to do anything and everything in his power to screw over LGBT people and anyone who needs an abortion while also defanging Minnesota’s consumer protections. tl;dr VOTE FOR KEITH ELLISON.

On the ballot:

Keith Ellison
Jim Schultz

At the top of my list of reasons I appreciate Keith Ellison’s work: his prosecution of Derek Chauvin. The AG’s office does not do a lot of criminal work (mostly that’s handled by the County Attorneys, more on this in a minute) but in a situation where a police officer is being prosecuted for a crime, there are significant advantages to letting a state official take the lead. (County Attorneys depend on police officers to testify in all their other criminal prosecutions; this creates a significant conflict when prosecuting police for crimes committed while on duty.) More importantly: Ellison’s office did an extremely good job prosecuting Chauvin. It is hard to get a conviction of a police officer, even when he commits cold-blooded murder in front of multiple cameras. They took nothing for granted, brought in top-notch experts, built the case, and won it.

Normally, the Attorney General is more focused on consumer and worker protection, and Ellison has also done a lot of excellent work there. He’s taken slumlords to court. He’s created a wage theft unit. He’s won debt relief for people who were conned into enrolling in fraudulent diploma-mill schools and a settlement from Navient over allegations they steered people away from the repayment plans that would have benefited the borrower. He defended the Alex Smith Insulin Affordability Act and joined a lawsuit against generic drug makers for colluding to keep costs high. He’s done a lot of really good work and I am genuinely really happy with him as AG.

Jim Schultz seems to be running on the platform of, “not Keith Ellison.” If you look at his website, it’s sort of shocking just how little information is on it. I counted, and on his issues page, he uses fewer than 100 words total. (It’s 71, to be exact.) The icons shift slightly when you mouse over them, suggesting that maybe they’re links that would go to a more detailed policy discussion, but nope. No links. Here’s one of his “issues”:

Defend the Constitution
Safeguard the constitutional rights of every Minnesotan.

He does not say which constitutional rights and we sure as hell know he doesn’t mean the right to an abortion! (I assume, after a bit of digging, that he means “the right to own guns and take them wherever the hell you want with no repercussions or inconveniences or requirements or training or whatever, at least if you’re white.”)

He’s tried repeatedly while running to claim that abortion is “settled law,” which — weirdly — is almost word-for-word what several of the Republican-nominated justices said in confirmation hearings and they went on to overturn Roe vs. Wade. His phrasing here is absolutely not a coincidence; it’s intended to reassure the right wing that he’s definitely going to do whatever’s in his power to stop people from getting abortions.

And what is in his power? Well, in the debate, he pointed out that AGs can wade in to criminal cases uninvited if they involve “racketeering.” The NLRC has been urging the passage of legislation that massively expands racketeering laws to prosecute people who provide abortions. Abortion in Minnesota is legal and protected, but that does not mean that Schultz would not be able to find loopholes to harass and prosecute people seeking or providing abortions. He served on the board of the “Human Life Alliance,” a nonprofit that says it seeks to make abortion “not only illegal, but unthinkable.”

This morning, I listened to a radio show (also a podcast) about “pill fairies,” women who provide abortion pills on demand in states where abortion is not legal. (There’s also a transcript — you can find it here.) The legal status of people who buy abortion pills over the counter and send them by mail is deeply unclear, but I am really confident that a Republican could dig up a law they could prosecute that under, whether it’s practicing medicine without a license or misuse of encryption. Racketeering laws are intended to prosecute people involved in criminal enterprise. So let’s say someone in Minnesota acts as an intermediary — buys the abortion pills via telemedicine for a friend, sends them along, and gets reimbursed the cost over Venmo. Do we really think Jim Schultz won’t try a racketeering charge for that, if it happens in Hennepin or Ramsey County and the County Attorney declines to treat this as a criminal matter?

In the piece about pill fairies, the journalist cites a Mexican activist in saying, “the bigger the movement becomes, the harder it’ll be to crack down on.” Overall, this is true. However, what I predict will happen is that right-wing prosecutors will try to make an example of anyone they happen to catch. There’s a saying popular among cops that goes, “You may beat the rap, but not the ride” — even if a jury refuses to convict, this sort of criminal prosecution can really fuck up someone’s life. And that would be the goal.

In the meantime, Jim Schultz has explicitly promised to protect the rights of people who take pharmacy jobs in order to act as the personal moralistic gatekeeper against anyone who needs medication they “disagree” with (rather than the rights of individuals who need medication) and I sure as hell don’t see him protecting the rights of same-sex married couples, never mind the rights of trans kids or their families.

He’s also a literal hedge fund lawyer and has made it thoroughly clear that his priority is not citizens that get ripped off, but businesses and their right to make as much money as possible. He wants to cut the number of consumer protection advocates in the AG’s office. He says he would hold businesses accountable for serious wrongdoing, which is a heck of a caveat. Just how serious does it have to be before he’d get involved? Does it matter if a company only stole $100 from you, rather than thousands? The Strib article also included this really classically Republican quote:

He would focus on protecting seniors in assisted living facilities from neglect and abuse, noting his late father who had dementia did not receive adequate care at one nursing home and had to be moved to another.

Seniors in assisted living facilities absolutely need protection from neglect and abuse. (This is in fact something Ellison’s office has worked on!) But it’s sure telling that the one area of consumer protection Schultz wants to talk about is the one where a family member has suffered unnecessarily. This is such a chronic Republican thing (where they suddenly recognize that something is a problem when it happens to them, their spouse, one of their parents, or one of their kids — because this is the set of people on whom they’re disinclined to blame the victim) that I thought surely there was a term for it but I’m not finding it. Maybe there isn’t! Maybe we should come up with one! Because it’s sure a thing.

Jim Schultz is not a moderate. He’s a right-wing extremist who believes all the same crap as Doug Wardlow, but said with a smile and couched in polite words. I am voting for Keith Ellison and I really hope everyone reading my blog will vote for him as well.

ETA 10/31 to add: Jim Schultz also committed massive campaign finance violations, coordinating with a Super PAC on $800,000 worth of ads. Totally fucking racist ads.

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 and the NOW REOPENED Uncle Hugo’s (it’s at 2716 E 31st St in Minneapolis, in the former Glass Endeavors.)

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.

I also went looking for some DonorsChoose fundraisers. In Minneapolis, I found a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. In St. Paul, I found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

Election 2021: Sample Ballot/Index of Posts

Saint Paul

(Saint Paul gets to be first because it’s so much less scrolling for the other city than if it’s the other way around.)

Mayor: Melvin Carter

School Board (regular term): Jim Vue, James Farnsworth, Halla Henderson (although I think Uriah Ward is also fine)

School Board (special election): Jeannie Foster (although I think Clayton Howatt is also fine)

City Question 1 (St. Paul Rent Control): No.


Mayor: Sheila Nezhad/Kate Knuth or Kate Knuth/Sheila Nezhad. Don’t rank Jacob. Info on possible third ballot choices here.

City Council Ward 1: Elliott Payne.

City Council Ward 2: #1 Cameron Gordon, #2 Robin Wonsley Worlobah.

City Council Ward 3: Steve Fletcher.

City Council Ward 4: Phillippe Cunningham.

City Council Ward 5: #1 Jeremiah Ellison, #2 Kristel Porter, #3 Suleiman Isse.

City Council Ward 6: Damned if I know.

City Council Ward 7: #1 Nick Kor, #2 Teqen Zéa-Aida.

City Council Ward 8: Andrea Jenkins.

City Council Ward 9: Jason Chavez.

City Council Ward 10: Katie Jones/Aisha Chughtai or Aisha Chughtai/Katie Jones.

City Council Ward 11: Jeremy Schroeder.

City Council Ward 12: Andrew Johnson

City Council Ward 13: #1 Mike Norton, #2 Kati Medford.

Board of Estimate and Taxation: #1 Pine Salica, #2 Samantha Pree-Stinson, #3 Steve Brandt.

Park Board At-Large: #1 Tom Olsen, #2 Londel French, #3 Alicia D. Smith.

Park Board District 1: Billy Menz.

Park Board District 2: #1 Eric Moran, #2 Mike Shelton.

Park Board District 3: Becky Alper.

Park Board District 4: Jono Cowgill.

Park Board District 5: Steffanie Musich.

Park Board District 6: #1 Risa Hustad, #2 Cathy Abene, #3 Barb Schlaefer.

City Question 1 (Strong Mayor): No.

City Question 2 (Public Safety) (second post here): Yes.

City Question 3 (Rent Control): Yes.

In addition to writing political commentary, I write science fiction and fantasy. My book that came out in April, Chaos on CatNet, takes place in a future Minneapolis (and includes scenes of my imagined future of public safety). It’s a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and signed copies of both books are usually available from Dreamhaven and from the current mail-order-only incarnation of Uncle Hugo’s.

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. Some that are worth your consideration:

In Minneapolis:

A first-year teacher at Bryn Mawr would like a variety of classroom supplies, including individual dry-erase boards, a big easel, a classroom rug, a selection of books, and some educational games.

A middle school teacher at Andersen would like to provide her students with some manga they’ve requested; they currently don’t have a media center, and students rely on classroom libraries for books.

A second-grade teacher at Folwell would like to provide her students with graphic novels in both Spanish and English. (A large percentage of her students speak Spanish at home.)

In Saint Paul:

A science teacher at Washington Technology high school in St. Paul would like to provide electronic balances and voltmeters so that his Chemistry students can see “how adding nanoparticles to a conductive solution affects voltage.”

Crossroads Elementary needs a large stock of disposable face masks. (This doesn’t seem like something you should have to fundraise for, does it? but apparently it is.)

And a Head Start teacher would like snowpants, mittens, and hats for her students to wear to play outside in the winter!

And a different kind of school fundraiser (again, in Minneapolis):

Kaytie Kamphoff is a special education resource teacher at Patrick Henry High School and the co-director/producer of Henry Drama Club. (Christopher Michael is her co-director and their full-time theater and dance teacher.) She initially asked for funds on Twitter just so the Henry Drama Club could stage a couple of plays this year. Ms. Kamphoff has now set her sights higher: she’s hoping to raise enough to run a summer theater program for Northside kids, free for participants, paid for the recent grads/Drama Club alums who work. You can donate to her by Venmo or Paypal: Venmo is Henry_DC and PayPal is Kaytie.Kamphoff@gmail.com. Note “Henry Drama Club” in the memo and if Paypal insists you need the last four digits of her phone number, it’s 5548.

Her Twitter thread is solidly worth reading if you’d like some heartwarming stories of the transformational power of theater in the lives of high school students.

Election 2020: Saint Paul School Board

This is a special election to fill the seat that was left empty by Marny Xiong’s incredibly tragic and untimely death. (She was 31 and died of COVID.)

On the ballot:

Jamila Mame
Jim Vue
James Farnsworth
Keith Hardy
Omar Syed
Charlotte “Charlie” Castro

Jim Vue was elected by the rest of the board to fill the seat until an election could be held, so he’s semi-incumbent but only barely. (Link goes to the Pioneer Press news bank; should be accessible with a St. Paul library card.) Keith Hardy previously served two terms on the Saint Paul School Board before losing his seat in 2015. (He was also a finalist for the interim position). Omar Syed and Charlie Castro both ran for school board in 2019.

One source that gives some really detailed information on each candidate is Saint Paul Federation of Teachers Questionnaire, available here.

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Election 2020: US Senate

If you’re feeling like you just voted for Tina Smith, that’s because in 2018 she was on the ballot to finish out the two remaining years of Al Franken’s term. This year she’s on the ballot for a whole six-year term.

On ballots statewide:

Tina Smith (DFL)
Jason Lewis (Republican)
Oliver Steinberg (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis)
Kevin O’Connor (Legal Marijuana Now)

For extra fun and confusion while researching this particular race, I discovered that there is a Kevin O’Connor running for US Senate in the Republican Primary in Massachusetts, and there is a Senator Jason Lewis — a Democrat — in the Massachusetts State Senate. “Not the same guy” is super duper obvious with the other Jason Lewis but I was temporarily thrown by Kevin O’Connor because, for one thing, we had a Texan running against Tina in the primary so “but he isn’t from here?” isn’t the obvious answer you might think.

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Election 2020: Let’s Do This

The candidate lists are up on the Minnesota Secretary of State site, and here are the contested national, statewide, and metro-area races plus the Minneapolis ballot questions, which unfortunately are not going to involve policing. (Fuck the charter commission.)

I’m not planning to write about all the legislative races because there are 36 of them, most are only barely contested, and for fuck’s sake, people, it tells you on the ballot which one’s the Democrat! Just vote for the Democrat! (There is one Green running, I’ll try to do that race. There are also a few races with candidates from the two (two!) Yay Weed parties. You’ll get my rant on that at the end.)

I’m going to try to get these done a lot earlier than I did with the primary races, because I know a lot of people are planning to vote early. (As happened with the primary races, this plan may get pre-empted by edits arriving from my publisher.)

The Presidential ballot is not actually available yet on the My Ballot site — I assume because there isn’t officially a Republican candidate yet (and possibly because whether Kanye gets on our ballot is still up in the air). I’ll write about it at some point, mostly just because researching all the weirdos like Kanye is entertaining. But, that’s why I’m not listing that race on this post.

US Senate

Tina Smith (DFL)
Jason Lewis (GOP)
Oliver Steinberg (WEED)
Kevin O’Connor (WEED)

US House – District 4

Betty McCollum (DFL)
Gene Rechtzigel (GOP)
Susan Sindt (WEED)

US House – District 5

Ilhan Omar (DFL)
Lacy Johnson (GOP)
Michael Moore (WEED)

Minneapolis: City Question 1

Redistricting of Wards and Park Districts

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to allow ward and park district boundaries to be reestablished in a year ending in 1 and to allow the use of those new boundaries for elections in that same year; to allow ward and park district boundaries to be modified after the legislature has been redistricted to establish City precinct boundaries; to provide that an election for a Council Member office required by Minnesota law in a year ending in 2 or 3 after a redistricting shall be for a single 2-year term; and to clarify that a regular election means a regular general election?

Minneapolis: City Question 2

Special Municipal Elections

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to comply with Minnesota election law related to uniform dates for special municipal elections and to provide that a special election be held on a legal election day under Minnesota law that is more than 90 days from a vacancy in the office of Mayor or Council Member?

Minneapolis School Board At-Large

Michael Dueñes
Kim Ellison

Minneapolis School Board District 2

KerryJo Felder (Incumbent)
Sharon El-Amin

Minneapolis School Board District 4

Adriana Cerrillo
Christa Mims

Saint Paul School Board

Jamila Mame
Jim Vue
James Farnsworth
Keith Hardy
Omar Syed
Charlotte “Charlie” Castro

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (Statewide)

Paul Thissen
Michelle MacDonald

2nd District (Ramsey County) Court 8

Ngozi Akubuike
Pat Diamond


Senate District 59

Bobby Joe Champion (DFL)
Paul Anderson (GOP)

House District 59A

Fue Lee (DFL)
Marcus Harcus (WEED)

House District 59B

Esther Agbaje (DFL)
Alan Shilepsky (GOP)
Lisa Neal-Delgado (GREEN)

Senate District 60

Kari Dziedzic (DFL)
Mary Holmberg (GOP)

House District 60A

Sydney Jordan (DFL)
John Holmberg (GOP)
Calvin Lee Carpenter (Veteran’s Party of America)

House District 60B

Mohammed Noor (DFL) (Unopposed)

Senate District 61

Scott Dibble (DFL)
Jennifer Zielinski (GOP)

House District 61A

Frank Hornstein (DFL)
Kurtis Fechtmeyer (GOP)

House District 61B

Jamie Long (DFL)
Lisa Pohlman (GOP)

Senate District 62

Omar Fateh (DFL)
Bruce Lundeen (GOP)

House District 62A

Hodan Hassan (DFL)
Arjun Kataria (GOP)

House District 62B

Aisha Gomez (DFL)
Ross Tenneson (GOP)

Senate District 63

Patricia Torres Ray (DFL)
Diane Napper (GOP)
Chris Wright (WEED)

House District 63A

Jim Davnie (DFL)
Penny Arcos (GOP)
David Wiester (WEED)

House District 63B

Emma Greenman (DFL)
Frank Pafko (GOP)
Dennis Schuller (WEED)

Senate District 64

Erin Murphy (DFL)
Sharon Anderson (GOP)
Patricia Jirovec McArdell (WEED)

House District 64A

Kaohly Her (DFL)
Sherry Schack (GOP)

House District 64B

Dave Pinto (DFL)
Georgia Dietz (GOP)

Senate District 65

Sandra Pappas (DFL)
Paul Holmgren (GOP)

House District 65A

Rena Moran (DFL)
Amy Anderson (GOP)

House District 65B

Carlos Mariani (DFL)
Margaret Mary Stokely (GOP)

Senate District 66

John Marty (DFL)
Greg Copeland (GOP)

House District 66A

Alice Hausman (DFL)
Brett Rose (GOP)

House District 66B

Athena Hollins (DFL)
Mikki Murray (GOP)

Senate District 67

Foung Hawj (DFL)
Alexander Deputie (GOP)

House District 67A

John Thompson (DFL)
John Stromenger (GOP)

House District 67B

Jay Xiong (DFL)
Fred Turk (GOP)

Regarding the YAY WEED parties:

There are two weed parties, the “Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis” and the “Legal Marijuana Now” parties. They are, under state law, “Major” parties in the State of Minnesota. Would you believe that as of August 23rd, neither one has a working website?

There are, I am sure, differences between the two parties — for example, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis party is at least willing to acknowledge that if marijuana legalization is actually something they care about, they should be concerned about the obvious Republicans hopping onto tickets in swing Senate districts to try to swing the race to the Republicans, since if the DFL has a pretty goddamn great marijuana legalization bill in the House and what’s going to keep that from becoming state law is the CURRENT REPUBLICAN CONTROL OF THE STATE SENATE. Also, the Legal Marijuana Party has a candidate whose slogan includes the phrase “No Whores.”

But, fundamentally, the complete inability of both of these two “major parties” to so much as have a functioning website for their party and their candidates makes me want to note, for the record, that they are both embodying every stereotype of the stoners I remember from high school.

Dear organizers for the “Legal Marijuana Now” party and the “Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis” party: the State of Minnesota may be required by state law to engage in the pretense that you are “major” parties, but I am not.

And hey, for everyone else who’s read to the bottom:

I took the time to look over on Donors Choose for some Minneapolis public school teachers who could use some financial help during These Difficult Times and in particularly with distance learning. I’ve got three small projects, and one big project, to point everyone to.

  1. Ms. Stenzel, a teacher at Lucy Laney (an elementary school in North Minneapolis), is thinking about ways to doing distance learning with her students and would like a rock tumbler to get them interested in geology. She needs $167.
  2. Ms. Stenzel would also like some books for herself to help her improve her teaching. Titles include books on teaching kids mindfulness and self-calming strategies, and also books on anti-racism. She needs $326.
  3. Ms. Stephanie, who teaches autistic and developmentally disabled students at Andersen United School, would like materials that she can send to her students’ homes to help them engage with distance learning. She needs $581.
  4. Finally: Ms. Stone is a teacher at Cityview Elementary in North Minneapolis. She will be teaching third graders this year, and to help them succeed with distance learning, she is requesting a set of Chromebooks for her class. To equip this class of children with the basic technology they will need for distance learning will require another $8,456 to be raised by October 3rd. Can my readers raise that much? If not, can they at least get it to within sight of the finish line so a corporation or foundation will be inspired to swoop in and match our donations? I think it’s worth trying.

(I don’t have a patreon or a ko-fi but I take a lot of satisfaction from seeing projects fund after I point people at them. Please donate!)