Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CXLVII

- Now we're up to four candidates who are vying to be the Democrat nominee in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial race.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democratic survivor in Trump territory, dove Monday into a race for governor that will also put a Minnesota seat in Congress up for grabs.

Walz, who lives in Mankato and has represented southern Minnesota for the past decade, is the first Democratic entrant from beyond the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the fourth from his party overall to announce a run. Two-term DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will not seek re-election next year.

Walz launched his campaign with a "One Minnesota" theme, pledging to bridge geographical splits on issues facing the state, from transportation to guns.

"I think I'm the one who can unify folks to see a bigger picture, to make sure it isn't this divide we've had and to bring a little different perspective to this race," he said.

Walz is definitely a more ideologically diverse candidate than the other DFLers in the race thus far. You don't often find a political candidate today who is supported by both Planned Parenthood and the National Rifle Association. Walz is also the highest ranking military official in Congress, having reached the level of Sergeant Major during his 24-year stint in the Army.

After unseating Congressional District One incumbent Gil Gutknecht in 2006, Walz never had less than a 5-point margin of victory the following four re-election bids. However, his fifth re-election victory this past November was a scant 0.76% win over Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn.

With MN CD1 an R+1 district and now an open seat, the GOP naturally smells the proverbial blood in the water.

National Republicans have already indicated they would invest in flipping a seat the party once held. Hagedorn has already announced his intention to run again and other Republicans could get in, too.

"Running in an open seat only increases my will to work exceptionally hard and personally engage southern Minnesotans in one-to-one conversations to earn their trust and votes," Hagedorn said in a statement.

This will be Hagedorn's third attempt at this seat. In addition to his razor thin loss last November, he was defeated by 8.5% in 2014.

- Ummmm......I'll just leave this here.

- Today marks the 25th anniversary of "the shot." For those of you who are fans of the Men's NCAA basketball tournament (aka "March Madness"), you pretty much know which "shot" I'm referencing.

That win put Duke into the Final Four where they would go on to win their second consecutive national title.

If Kentucky fans still aren't over the heartache from that one, they sure as heck are still smarting over this past weekend's regional final loss to North Carolina.

Leave it to Christian Laettner, the central figure in UK's 1992 anguish, to meld these devastating moments together.

How bad do you wanna troll a fan base that you're willing to use a great moment by your alma mater's most bitter rival? I'm no Laettner fan, but even I have to rate his trolling skills at the "Master" level.


No comments: