Update: If you’re looking for this kind of information for the general election, please see this post.
If you live in Minnesota, you’re used to primary elections happening in September. Not this year. The primary is tomorrow. Surprise!
They’ve also moved some polling places. I don’t vote in my usual spot tomorrow. You may not either. Check at the Secretary of State’s polling place finder. This site will also give you a sample ballot for your district and links to candidate websites, where you see what they stand for. As usual, I’m posting my choices, so those who trust me and/or feel we share the same politics have a starting place for their own choices.
Before I get to those, if you are a liberal or progressive in the Fifth Congressional District, please make a point of voting tomorrow. This is the election in which this seat will be settled. Two years ago, conservatives finally figured out that this is a liberal enough area that they have no chance in a general election. They’ve started running in the DFL primary instead.
This year’s stealth candidate? He has a picture of fetus at the top of his website, right below the words “under God”. He claims to believe Keith Ellison is dedicated to Sharia law for all. He’s a nasty piece of work who could never get elected running honestly, so he’s trying to sneak in while people aren’t paying attention. Don’t let this happen. Show up tomorrow.
Now for my choices.
U.S. Senator: Amy Klobuchar
Why: Klobuchar isn’t my favorite senator, but that’s because I have the privilege of comparing her to Al Franken. She’s a moderate without being particularly centrist, and she concentrates on getting things done where she can find the political will.
Her opponents, on the other hand, are another stealth pro-life, anti-government candidate; someone who lists running for office as experience; and a candidate who lists things like “ending hunger and reducing poverty” as part of his plan for governing.
U.S. Representative: Keith Ellison
Why: I frequently list Ellison as one of the reasons I’m not jaded about politics. He works hard for progressive causes. He meets with, listens to, and educates his constituents. He uses his speaking platform eloquently and passionately to promote the public interest. Given any option at all, I’ll choose Ellison to represent me.
I’ve already mentioned one of his opponents. His other is running for the second time and still hasn’t put enough work into his campaign to have a website. A bare-bones profile shows no governing experience.
School District: Carla Bates
Why: Bates is the incumbent. She had far and away the best performance at the candidate forum held last week. She presented specific plans for dealing with the district’s challenges.
State Supreme Court Chief Justice: Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Why: As is fairly typical in high-profile Minnesota judicial elections, all the candidates except the incumbent (Gildea) appear to be running, not to become a judge, but to provide themselves a platform for talking about the process by which judges are appointed in Minnesota. While both are attorneys, neither Jill Clark nor Dan Griffith has any experience as a judge in a lower court. Neither is either of them the sort of judicial scholar who might usefully substitute study for experience. Griffith has, however, received Tea Party endorsements.
State Supreme Associate Justice 4: David Stras
Why: Once again, Stras is the incumbent. He’s one of those justices who came from a background of scholarship instead of being a judge in a lower court first. You can contrast that with the relatively naive topical statements of opponent Alan Nelson. And Tim Tinglestad, who has a page dedicated to arguing against the current judicial understanding of the First Amendment, is terrifying.
4th District Court 22 Judge: Liz Cutter
Why: There are no bad candidates running for this position. I chose Cutter for the breadth of her experience, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if any of these candidates were elected. Check them all out for yourselves:
We canvass for president here rather than voting in the primary, so that’s it for this election. If you live in a different precinct and have done the research on your candidates, feel free to add your picks and your reasoning in the comments.