Thursday, March 13, 2014

Everything in moderation

I was honored Thursday to have had the opportunity to moderate a GOP candidate forum for a local legislative race.


Minnesota House District 34B (which covers 60% of Maple Grove and all of Osseo) has an open seat thanks to current representative Kurt Zellers running for governor. The two Republican candidates participating were Dean Henke, currently an Osseo School Board member, and Dennis Smith, an attorney out of Maple Grove.

There were questions submitted in advance by a committee within Senate District 34, which was made up of folks not tied to either campaign. As the forum was in progress, members of the audience submitted additional questions in hopes they would be addressed within the one hour. While each candidate was given two minutes to answer a question asked (with an option of a 1-minute rebuttal), rarely did either gentleman come close to going over time. Since that was the case, several questions were able to be asked before the candidates gave their respective closing statements.

As the forum wrapped up, I emphasized to the audience that they had a difficult choice to make at their endorsing convention on Saturday, March 22 (both candidates have committed to abide by the GOP endorsement). That's actually a good thing. I also pointed out that the Republicans need to flip a total of seven House seats to regain a majority in that legislative body. However, that's only if the current crop of 61 seats held by Republicans remain in GOP hands. And that includes 34B.

Overall I was pleased with the turnout. Republican activists know full well that all of state government can not remain in DFL hands, so many are doing their due diligence in vetting the candidates.

My sincere thanks to Kelly Eull of SD34 for asking me to participate in this event.


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