Election 2020: Minnesota Primaries

So hey, for those who started following this blog because I’m a science fiction writer, just a heads up for you, I also write an election guide for my local elections. My vague apologies to those who were not expecting to be inundated with Minneapolis and Saint Paul election stuff.

Anyway. Primary elections in Minnesota will be held August 11th. The presidential primary was back in March; these are the primaries for everything else. Information on voting by mail can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State site.

A note on how the primary elections work: everyone gets the same ballot. The front of the ballot is divided down the middle. On one side are the Republican primaries; on the other are the DFL primaries. You pick one party. If you cast votes on both sides, you’ll spoil your ballot and none of your votes will be counted, in any race. You will spoil your ballot even if you stick to one party for each race (like if you vote in the Republican primary for US Senate, the Democratic primary for US House). Pick one. You only get to vote in one party’s primaries. Edited to add: And then, if you’re in Minneapolis, you’ll also have a nonpartisan race on the back of the ballot. You can vote in that one regardless. (Someone pointed out that “vote on only one side!” was actually a bad way to phrase this and they were right. You can vote both front and back! You can’t vote both DFL and GOP, though.)

If you’re voting in person, and try to vote in both party primaries, the machine will reject your ballot, and you can trade it in for a fresh ballot and try again. If you’re voting by mail … I am not sure if there’s any mechanism to notify you that you fucked up your ballot but my guess would be no.

Primary races happening this year:

US Senate. Incumbent Senator Tina Smith is running for a six-year term as Senator. She has opponents in the primary. There’s also a Republican primary. Unless something very strange happens, it’s going to be Tina Smith vs. Jason “Unfamiliar With the Concept of Animal Control” Lewis in November.

US House. In MN-04, Betty McCollum has four opponents challenging her for the nomination; there are also two Republicans running for the opportunity to lose in November. In MN-05, Ilhan Omar has four opponents in the primary (at least one of whom, Antone Melton-Meaux, is being taken seriously and supported by people I know). Three Republicans are running for the opportunity to lose in November, one of whom has been banned from Twitter and has an active arrest warrant for felony shoplifting, or did back in February, anyway.

Minnesota Senate. Every seat in the State Senate will be up for election in November. In August, Senator Bobby Joe Champion (MN-59) is being challenged by Suielman Isse; Jeff Hayden (MN-62) is being challenged by Omar Fateh; and Sandy Pappas (MN-65) is being challenged by Laverne McCartney Knighton. (You can see the full rundown of challenges in this very helpful MPR article.)

Minnesota House. Every seat in the State House will be up for election in November. In August, Rep Raymond Dehn (MN-59B) is being challenged by Isaiah Whitmore and Esther Agbaje; Rep Jim Davnie (MN-63A) is being challenged by April Kane; and Rep. John Lesch (MN-66B) is being challenged by Athena Hollins.

Also, in House District 63B, Rep Jean Wagenius is retiring and Emma Greenman, Husniyah Dent Bradle, and Jerome T Evans are running in the primary to fill her seat; In House District 67A, Rep Tim Mahoney is retiring and John Thompson and Hoang Murphy are running to fill his seat.

(For the full rundown, including a list of legislative candidates who will have no opponent in either the primary or the general election, see the MPR article here.)

Minneapolis School Board. Minneapolis is also electing several school board members. The at-large race will appear on the Primary ballot; you can vote for one of the five people running. (The incumbent is Kim Ellison.) In District 2, incumbent Kerry Jo Felder has one opponent, which I think means this race won’t show up on the primary ballot. In District 4, Bob Walser is not running again, and there are three people running, which I think means the race will show up on the primary ballot (for people in District 4.)

I think that’s it for the primary races, but if you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul and I missed a race you see on your primary ballot, please drop me a comment and let me know.

And don’t forget that Minnesota makes it easy to vote by mail!

Election 2019: St. Paul City Council, Ward 2

This is a relatively easy one because there’s an incumbent and then four candidates who range from “meh” to “under no circumstances ever.”

Running for this seat:

Rebecca Noecker (incumbent)
Sharon Anderson
Lindsey Ferris Martin
Bill Hosko
Helen Meyers (link just goes to The Militant, not an actual site for Helen Meyers.)

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Election 2019: St. Paul City Council, Ward 1

Ward 1 is currently represented by Dai Thao. He was endorsed by the DFL at the convention. On the ballot:

Dai Thao
Abu Nayeem “Frogtown Crusader”
Liz De La Torre
Anika Bowie

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Election 2019: St. Paul trash referendum

I have been having a really hard time motivating myself to do these writeups this year — no idea why. I mean, I’ve done the basic necessary research for the races on my actual ballot, but sitting down and actually researching the rest feels overwhelming, which is sort of odd given that there aren’t all that many races to do. I think it’s probably a sense of perfectionism, like I can’t possibly weigh in unless I’ve watched all the forums (video is hard, it’s just a lot more time-consuming and you can’t skim).

Anyway, I’m going to note before I do my trash referendum write-up that if you value my work and would like to help me feel more motivated, I’ve got two options for you this year. I have a novel coming out in November, CATFISHING ON CATNET, which you can pre-order. Also, you may remember that last year I linked people to a couple of fundraisers on DonorsChoose for Minneapolis teachers — there was one, in particular, who was raising money to take fifth-grade students at Green Central Park School to Wolf Ridge Environmental Center. My readers really came through for her, and her students were able to make the trip, which is amazing. She has another class of fifth graders, and is fundraising again for another trip. It would make me very happy if my readers supported this project. Even if you disagree with me on everything and you drop by to find out who not to vote for, I’m clearly useful to you, so donate to let a bunch of kids go to Wolf Ridge, people.

SO HEY, ON TO TRASH. Here’s the question on the ballet:

CITY QUESTION 1 (St. Paul)
Referendum on whether Ordinance ORD 18-39 should remain in effect.
Should Ordinance ROD 18-39, entitled “Residential Coordinated Collection”, remain in effect for residential trash collection in St. Paul? Ordinance 18-39 creates new rules for the collection and disposal of trash and payment for trash service; and requires that certain residential dwellings have trash collected by a designated trash hauler. A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of keeping Ordinance ORD 18-39. A “No” vote is a vote to get rid of Ordinance ORD 18-39.

If you’d like to read the actual ordinance as written, it’s here (or, hey, the anti’s have it on their site in PDF form.)

YES
NO

Short answer: I’m voting yes.

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Welcome to the 2018 Elections!

We have primaries in a month so I should really get started with this.

Here’s how Minnesota primaries work: you get a ballot. One page is the partisan page, and it is divided in half. There is a DFL side, and there is a Republican side. You pick the party you want to vote in and vote in only that party’s races. You cannot vote in the Republican race for Governor and the DFL race for Senator. You definitely cannot vote in both. If you try, your ballot will get rejected as a spoiled ballot and nothing will get counted. (If you’re at a polling place, you can turn in your ballot for a fresh ballot and try again.)

There is also a page of nonpartisan races. You can vote in all of these regardless of whether you voted on the DFL side or the Republican side of the main ballot.

The primary is August 14th and there are a whole lot of primary races this year so I am going to prioritize the DFL side of the ballot, probably to the exclusion of the Republicans. You’ll get my opinion of the Republican primary winners when I blog the general. Spoiler: they all suck.

In Minnesota, you can find your own ballot by plugging your address into the Secretary of State “My Ballot” site, here: https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/

And you can register to vote here:  https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationMain.aspx

 

Mpls Mayoral Race: Rosenfeld, Simpson, Sparrow, Wilson

You get two batches in one day because this last batch, well, yeah. This is the last four! For anyone who’s seeing just this post, I’m doing the Minneapolis mayoral candidates in batches of four, alphabetically. (Mostly. I screwed up the order in one post.)

David Rosenfeld SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY
Ian Simpson THE IDEA PARTY
Captain Jack Sparrow BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE
David John Wilson RAINBOWS BUTTERFLIES UNICORNS

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Mpls Mayoral Race: Levy-Pounds, Lischeid, Nik, Rahman

Reminder: I’m writing about these candidates in batches, alphabetically. So if your fave isn’t in this batch, check the other posts.

Nekima Levy-Pounds DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Ronald Lischeid PEOPLE OVER POLITICS
L.A. Nik INDEPENDENT
Aswar Rahman DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

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Mpls Mayoral Race: Gers, Hoch, Hodges, Iverson

On to the next four candidates! (Just to reiterate: I’m profiling candidates four to a post. I’m going in alphabetical order. If you’re looking for Frey, he was in the last post. If you’re looking for Levy-Pounds, she’ll be in the next post.)

Charlie Gers LIBERTARIAN PARTY
Tom Hoch DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Betsy Hodges DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Gregg A. Iverson DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

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Mpls Mayoral Race: Benjegerdes, Dehn, Frey, Flowers

OKAY. ::cracks knuckles:: Let’s get this election-blogging-show on the road. The first set of four (edited to note: these are the first four alphabetically, I will be covering all sixteen candidates):

Troy Benjegerdes FARMER LABOR
Raymond Dehn DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Jacob Frey DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Al Flowers DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

Four years ago, I suggested that when picking three candidates (out of 35) to rank, the two most basic questions are, “who here could plausibly do the job?” and “who here could plausibly win?”

Occasionally, candidates show up really mad when I say they’re not a serious candidate. Here’s how I know that you are definitely not a serious candidate for a job like “mayor” — if you have no campaign manager, no fundraising link, no way for interested people to volunteer, no one who appears to be volunteering for you, and no one who’s endorsed you. (If I can’t even figure any of that out because you have no website, then you definitely are not a serious candidate.) Even if all your ideas are perfectly sensible, if you’re not doing this fairly basic stuff, you’re not a serious candidate.

In most cases, not all their ideas are perfectly sensible. They’re a crank. Or they have no actual ideas. Or they’re running 100% on platitudes. (There are serious candidates who run 100% on platitudes, but they also have high-powered endorsements. This might seem unfair; you can take comfort from the fact that I, for one, do notice when someone’s running 100% on platitudes.)

Anyway, on to the first set of candidates!

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Minneapolis Mayoral Race, 2017

Here’s the list of everyone running for Mayor of Minneapolis, broken up into convenient chunks of four because I’m thinking I’ll do four people per post.

Troy Benjegerdes FARMER LABOR
Raymond Dehn DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Jacob Frey DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Al Flowers DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

Charlie Gers LIBERTARIAN PARTY
Tom Hoch DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Betsy Hodges DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Gregg A. Iverson DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

Nekima Levy-Pounds DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR
Ronald Lischeid PEOPLE OVER POLITICS
L.A. Nik INDEPENDENT
Aswar Rahman DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR

David Rosenfeld SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY
Ian Simpson THE IDEA PARTY
Captain Jack Sparrow BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE
David John Wilson RAINBOWS BUTTERFLIES UNICORNS

Some of these people have web pages that are linked from the MyBallot site. Of those, some of them also work. (John David Wilson’s site has not yet loaded for me, which is very disappointing as I’d like to know what the principals of the Rainbows Butterflies Unicorns party are.)