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:

  • 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. 

4 comments:

Brad said...

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.

About a month or two ago, I asked Seifert directly about prospects of him running in CD7. Before I could even finish the question he stated he has absolutely zero interest in working in D.C. He left no wiggle room.

While I understand why caucus turnout would be lower than a Presidential election year, it was off about 4-5,000 from 2010. That's a little concerning, especially when you consider there are key races for Gov and Senate, as well as important U.S. House contests.

Mr. D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. D said...

About a month or two ago, I asked Seifert directly about prospects of him running in CD7. Before I could even finish the question he stated he has absolutely zero interest in working in D.C. He left no wiggle room.

Too bad -- he's missing a bet, I think. I also suspect he'll be disappointed in what happens at State Central this year.

I agree about the turnout, Brad -- my subprecinct was allotted 20 delegates to the BPOU and we only had about 10 people show up. There were about 20 people in the room, as I'd mentioned in the post; the other side of the precinct was allotted 7 delegates and they had more people that we did on our side.

R.A. Crankbait said...

My precinct caucus had 12 people, and we were allotted 12 delegates. The convener was trying to fill all those slots, but I was having none of it. "Don't you want to participate?" she asked. Heh. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt (all the way to the State convention, in fact). Never again.

I'd catalog last night as a pretty much useless experience, but it was kind of interesting to have David Gerson join us for a few minutes to say why he is challenging Kline - while the front room of the room was wearing Kline stickers.