A couple of newsworthy items from the day:
- Kurt Daudt. who is the sitting Speaker of the MN House, is receiving a challenge from Alan Duff in the Republican primary.
To say it's unlikely that an unknown challenger will defeat a sitting House Speaker in a primary election is a massive understatement. But I found it rather telling regarding whom Duff is associating himself with as he begins this run.
The challenger to speaker @kdaudt is being backed by the MN Tea Party Alliance aka Action4Liberty #mnleg pic.twitter.com/6PAwzv6fl7— Bryan Strawser (@bryanstrawser) May 31, 2016
The points of contact on Duff's press release include Daudt's 2014 opponent for the GOP endorsement in HD 31A (Korin) and one of the co-founders of the MN Tea Party Alliance (Duesenberg). The other co-founder of the TPA, Jack Rogers, lives in Daudt's district and revels any opportunity to rip the Speaker at any venue. I recall last November when Rogers was asked to speak on behalf of one the candidates in the MN GOP endorsement battle for the Senate District 35 special election. Rogers spent a good amount of that time slamming Daudt as opposed to touting the credentials of the candidate he supported.
Don't misunderstand me here. I do not believe any elected official is above criticism, especially those in leadership. But this idea that Daudt should implement every item on the Tea Party agenda and thus it would magically be acceptable to a DFL Senate and DFL governor is beyond delusional. Then again, I shouldn't be too critical of the TeaParty.MN guys. After all, I imagine it's more fun to engage in hyperbole and silly theatrics than attempt to move the needle forward in divided government.
- With Rep. John Kline not seeking reelection in MN Congressional District Two, Democrats have united behind one candidate (Angie Craig) in an effort to flip this seat from "R" to "D." Since it's merely an R+2 district (and President Obama won there in both 2008 and 2012), the Dems are justifiably optimistic.
On the GOP side, there will be multiple candidates vying in this August's primary election. Jason Lewis (who was endorsed by CD2 Republicans), businesswoman Darlene Miller, former state senator and Red Wing mayor John Howe and activist Matt Erickson.
Those who follow the happenings in CD2 recall Erickson's obnoxious behavior at the 2015 Congressional District Two convention. With that in mind, should it shock anyone that he has been an avid Donald Trump supporter since before the March 1 MN caucus? Speaking of pre-caucus, Erickson appeared on the local television program Almanac in late February to tout Trump's candidacy. My friend John Rouleau caught an interesting admission from Mr. Erickson:
Donald Trump's Minnesota volunteer coordinator tonight: "I don't really identify as a republican anymore" pic.twitter.com/qGJY9U9MtV— John Rouleau (@John_Rouleau) February 27, 2016
So in late February, Erickson said he doesn't really "identify as a Republican anymore." I'm assuming he's changed that stance since in the past three months now that he is running as a Republican in this year's primary.
Alas, I don't really think Erickson's candidacy is all that serious. I know he has previously supported the more libertarian David Gerson (who lost to both Kline for endorsement in 2014 and Lewis this year) in CD2, which would give us pretty good insight into his ideological bent. And given his penchant for frat boy antics, let's just hope Mr. Erickson doesn't emulate the theatrics put on display by his fellow libertarians this past weekend.