- The group of caucus-goers was significantly smaller than 2012, which is not surprising in a non-presidential election year. I didn't see what was going on in the other precincts, but our group (New Brighton Precinct 1) had about 20 people in the room. It's a start, I suppose.
- Our straw poll heavily favored State Senator Dave Thompson. I understand that Marty Seifert might have led statewide. I haven't written much about the race yet, because I'm still not 100% sure what to think about it. I tend to prefer Thompson, who is principled, an excellent communicator and a thoroughly decent man, but I think Jeff Johnson is potentially a good candidate as well. Seifert has some fences to mend after he took his ball and went home in 2010. I can tell you that, at least in our caucus room, people remember that and it could cost him down the line. If I ran the world, I'd have Seifert take on Collin Peterson for the CD-7 race. I suspect Seifert could win that pretty easily, but apparently he's got other ideas. Thompson has money problems, which might be his undoing.
- At this point, the Senate race is pretty amorphous and that came out in our voting. Jim Abeler won narrowly in our precinct, but there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for him. Mike McFadden, who has the money to run a statewide race, needs to get his name out there a bit more and sharpen his views a bit. At least in our precinct, there wasn't much support for Julianne Ortman, although she apparently ran better statewide.
- SD41 is tough territory for Republicans. The political power in the district resides in Columbia Heights, which is reliable DFL territory. While there are more people in New Brighton than in the Heights, New Brighton (and St. Anthony, which is also in the district) tends to be purplish, while the Heights is probably 65-35 DFL. The current roster of politicians representing the district is not especially impressive, but finding good candidates has proven difficult in this cycle. At this point there is no Republican candidate to run in 41B against Carolyn Laine, who despite a singularly undistinguished record has firm control over her seat.
- The BPOU for the district will take place on March 8. We'll likely know a little more then.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Caucus Night, as seen from a classroom at Columbia Heights High School
SD41 Republicans were there and I was, too. A few thoughts: