This is the Betty McCollum seat and not the Ilhan Omar seat, which has a much more competitive primary; I’ll be writing about that before the primary, but the more complex races tend to take me more time. My next post is going to be about the Minneapolis school board primary, since I’ve had multiple people ask about it already.
To remind people again how this works: you can pick one party for all your partisan races. If you vote in both the Republican and the DFL primary, even if you’re voting in the Republican race for Senate and the DFL for House, your ballot is spoiled and your votes will not be counted. In person, the machine will spit out your ballot and you can go back for a fresh ballot and a re-do, but if you vote by mail, you are SOL because your ballot is separated from the envelope before being put through the machine, and they have no way of knowing whose ballot it was.
Here’s what I wrote about these three people two years ago. It basically all still applies except that this year, Susan Sindt has a campaign Facebook page instead of no web page at all. It is 99% posts about weed, re-shared from other Facebook pages. It has no link to donate or volunteer so she still flunks my “is this person actually running for this office” test. (To recap: if you are actually running for office, you will, at the bare minimum, have a web page with a way to donate to your campaign and volunteer.) She also did fill out a questionnaire from WCCO — she didn’t take them up on the invitation to write essay-type answers, but McCollum and Ryan apparently didn’t fill it out at all! (WTF, Betty!)
This is a safe Democratic seat so if you really want to vote for the Legal Marijuana lady, I don’t think you need to worry about throwing the seat to the Republicans, but I don’t know why you would, since in general having third-party candidates running from the left helps Republicans and hurts Democrats, and Minnesotan Democrats increasingly support legalizing marijuana. Including Betty McCollum.
This race abruptly got more interesting during the DFL State Convention, when Keith Ellison decided to run for Attorney General, opening up this seat. There was a mad dash to file; a bunch of the filers then withdrew after seeing someone they liked and respected (or didn’t think they could reasonably beat) in the contest. The 5th district DFL reconvened and held an endorsing convention, which I thought was an absolutely terrible idea under the circumstances. Anyway, it’s been an interesting year.
The good news: this is a very, very, very, very blue district. In 2016, Keith Ellison won with 69.1% of the vote (and the “Legal Marijuana Now” person got 8% of what was left.) If this is your district, you can vote your heart in the primary without asking yourself, “but will this person win in the general?” Also, if you want any input on your next congressional rep, you will definitely want to show up on August 14th.