Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The lesser races

I have written little about Joel Spoonhiem, John James, or Lucy Gerold. Part of it is that those races are tough to get a feel for, and also I haven't had an opportunity to see them in action. I can't say to much about those candidates beyond what I already have, so instead I'll take a closer look at those three races.

Of course last week the media focused in on the Attorney General race but only on the DFL side. I personally like my attorney generals to be those focused on law before politics, and I think that might become a factor in the race if Steve Kelley is the nominee. There is a feel that this is the DFL's race to lose, but I'm not so certain, Jeff Johnson and John James aren't household names, but neither is Steve Kelley this race will come down to the campaigns the candidates run, and the overall trends.

The race for secretary of state is one that begs for Instant run off voting, as I'm guessing more then 50% of the voters are ready to throw Mary Kiffmeyer out, but I'm guessing the vote between Bruce Kennedy, Joel Spoonhiem, and Mark Ritchie is split just enough to keep Kiffmeyer around. The good news is the challenge those three opponents give her will be a very public review of the job she has done, and will really strike people as typical Democrat and Republican politics especially if Ritchie falls into her trap and starts making partisan promises.

State Auditor, this is the race that typically has people saying what the heck does this person do. Pat Anderson will have a difficult time getting over the local government aid issue, and will be lucky to be reelected. Lucy Gerold and Rebecca Otto are fairly well known and should both do well. Again this is a race that will be about the campaign they run and the overall trends, I would expect the #'s to fall closely in line with the #'s in the governors race.

The team concept that Peter Hutchinson is using was great for candidate recruitment, I don't think we could have gotten the candidates we did without the team concept. It remains to be seen if it's a good way to run a campaign.


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