Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tis the season for political announcements

- Given that caucus night is upon us, public declarations of running (or not running) for political office are sure to be plentiful.

MN State Senator (and friend of the Northern Alliance Radio Network) Karin Housley has been mulling running for governor of Minnesota for 2-3 months now. Because I do consider her a friend, I have been waiting with bated breath as to her intentions.

Housley made it official on Tuesday.

There has been a number of people encouraging me to run for Governor and I want to thank them for all they have said and done, and frankly I was a bit overwhelmed by the people who called, wrote and encouraged me. But after thinking about it, talking to my family and the constituents of the 39th Senate District, I felt that this is not the right time for me.

I was elected in 2012 to the State Senate and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people, getting a better feel for the challenges they face and working to provide solutions to those challenges.

I want to stay in the senate, continue to work for the people who elected me and work to make this state a better place and for that reason I will not seek office in 2014.

In talking to Housley last month on my radio program, I got a sense that the timing was not great from a family standpoint. Her husband Phil is currently an assistant coach with the NHL's Nashville Predators, so he has been on the road since late last fall and will be through April. In addition to that, Housley's eldest daughter is getting married this summer. Knowing the tremendous energy she possesses (she is also very active in her real estate business), I believe Housley still could have run a solid statewide campaign despite all that is taking place in her life currently. However, I know for a fact she loves serving the constituents in SD 39, so her focus can now shift to the legislative session beginning in a few weeks.

- Mark Korin, a local businessman and mayor of rural Oak Grove, MN, recently declared he would challenge MN House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt in HD 31A. I've met Mr. Korin once and found him to be an affable gent, but I don't see him being a formidable challenger to a well liked and much respected political leader like Daudt.

If Korin is willing to abide by the BPOU's endorsement even if he does not receive it, no harm done. However, if he chooses to go to a primary if not endorsed, this could loom troublesome for a Minority Leader who is attempting to assist his caucus back to a majority. Daudt could hardly go out and work on behalf of GOP challengers in swing districts if he is bogged down in a primary campaign, with the primary election scheduled for August.

I guess I have some calls to make.

- My friend Jeff Kolb said it best:

Since the current crop of gubernatorial candidates are pretty well aligned ideologically, GOP activists/delegates are looking to who can not only carry an effective message statewide but also have the means to deliver it. I was impressed with the message of U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills in 2012. Unfortunately, he had so little money that not nearly enough of the citizenry was able to be reached by his campaign. Even though there are a few GOP gov candidates in decent financial shape, the above graphic is a stark reminder of the challenging (though far from impossible) task ahead of us.

And guess what, fellow Minnesota Republicans? It all starts tonight at your precinct caucus. Click here to find the location of your gathering.


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