Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Taking a pass

One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes is the following:

 “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”

Unfortunately Republicans in the suburbs just west of Minneapolis did not take that to heart.

Democrat Peggy Flanagan is facing no opposition in her bid to replace state Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley.

Flanagan was the only candidate to file by yesterday’s deadline to run in the special election for Minnesota House District 46A. Winkler announced this month that he’s retiring from the Legislature. He’s moving to Belgium after his wife accepted a job with a hotel group there.

Flanagan has been racking up plenty of endorsements to run for the seat, which represents St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Plymouth and Medicine Lake. She received endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the SEIU and from Winkler himself.

It would be an understatement to say a Republican would have an uphill battle in a legislative district within the bluest Congressional District in Minnesota. Heck, a DFL politician in HD 46A could refer to a black Supreme Court justice as an "Uncle Thomas" and still win reelection in  a walk. But if the GOP is ever going to make hay in the Twin Cities metro area, they can't just kiss off chances to engage voters. This particular special election would have provided ample opportunity since both Golden Valley and St Louis Park (which makes up more than 75% of 46A) run on odd year elections. As such, this special election will occur the same day as mayoral and city council races, a fact not lost on my pal Jeff Kolb.

Odd year elections have a tendency to produce absurdly low turnout. If there was ever a chance a Republican could put up a formidable challenge in 46A, this year would seem to be a logical time frame. I guess we'll never know for sure.


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