Thursday, June 13, 2013

Help Me Rhonda

Tom Emmer has an opponent in CD6:
Anoka County Board chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah launched her congressional campaign Wednesday, saying she is “uniquely qualified” to take the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

“Washington is full of people who talk and talk and talk,” said Sivarajah, who announced her candidacy in an auto body shop repair bay, flanked by family, friends, flags and a pickup truck hoisted aloft in the background.” We need to send people there who will actually deliver real results.”
If the name sounds familiar, it's possible that you remember that Sivarajah was also planning a run for lieutenant governor in 2010, alongside Emmer's opponent in the 2010 gubernatorial cycle, Marty Seifert.

Brad Carlson, who lives in CD6 and understands the political terrain well, thinks the challenge is useful:
I've said from the outset that it's a very good thing for frontrunner Emmer to be pushed a bit. And given that CD6 is an R +10 district, both candidates will try to outflank each other on the political right.
I agree. We've talked about Emmer's lackluster 2010 campaign before and his penchant for coasting at times. Sivarajah has a fair amount of support in Anoka County, which comprises a significant portion of the CD6 electorate, while Emmer's base is Wright County. To win the district, a candidate has to be able to understand the electorate in both Anoka and Wright counties, but also Washington County (where the incumbent Michele Bachmann lives) and the St. Cloud area as well. While there's a common bond of conservatism generally in the district, these are all very different places. A good campaign will only help the candidate who emerges from the process.


First Ringer said...

Speaking with an old connected friend of mine on Tuesday, I doubt Sivarajah will find the waters as welcoming (at least among the contributory class) as she'll require to run for Congress.

It sounded like the Freedom Club/Bob Cummins/et al have rallied around the bloody Emmer banner and are determined to back his candidacy to the hilt. Why is an entirely separate issue which I can't fully fathom.

This doesn't mean Sivarajah can't win the nomination, but since she seemed to suggest a primary, she'd need significant resources to beat an endorsement Republican. I know a few GOP contributors were encouraging her candidacy, but I seriously question her odds if the "smart" money (tongue firmly in cheek) is backing Emmer.

Mr. D said...


I don't have a dog in the fight and I keep a safe distance from the movers and shakers, so I wouldn't be able to figure out the motivation for backing Emmer to the hilt.

My only guess is that they see him as a wronged figure and that a successful candidacy would provide some form of redemption.

Sivarajah's biggest problem is that she's not well known outside of Anoka County. For good and ill, just about everyone in Minnesota knows who Tom Emmer is.