Thoughts on the 2018 DFL Primary

August 13, 2018, By JT Haines

It’s finally primary day tomorrow. Here’s who I’m voting for, and a few reasons why.

1. ** Erin Murphy for Governor **. She’s the best candidate in the race. She’s positive and charismatic and energizing a diverse coalition. If you’ve met her, you probably like her. She and her team were stellar at the DFL convention (and smart and respectful). She has prioritized Greater Minnesota, and any suggestions otherwise are a smear. Erin Maye Quade on the ticket is a strength and I celebrate the choice. She is the obvious choice on single payer health care, and has the support of the nurses (when in doubt, stick with the nurses). I haven’t been able to promote formal endorsement of Murphy in Duluth because she’s not publicly there on Glencore/PolyMet, but I will be voting for her as the best candidate, and count on her promise at the convention to work with us on that absolutely fundamental issue. https://murphyformn.com/

Honorable mention to Peggy Flanagan. Her running mate has some serious work to do if he’s to mobilize progressive voters in this area. He has rested on advice from Rick Nolan, and that has not served him well. If he prevails tomorrow, we hope to see better from him. The Swanson/Nolan ticket, meanwhile, is just historically awful and cynical, on all the levels. If those two come through tomorrow with Golden Retriever ads, we are going to be in a seriously bad way this Fall. C’mon Dems.

2. ** Michelle Lee for Congress -MN **. This is the easiest race for me up here in Minnesota’s 8th. Not only is Michelle Lee best on the issues, she also gives Democrats the best and maybe only chance to win in November. She draws the right contrast with Stauber (who will be strong), unlike the glossy Super PAC veneer of her primary opponent. Michelle has done the most work to build bridges and relationships around the entire district, and can help forge a better path forward. She has name recognition and people like her. Just this morning, the front desk attendant at my local USPS beamed at the sight of my Lee sticker. People LIKE her. She has evolved as a campaigner, she stands for the right things, and the 8th will be a better, more local, more Minnesotan, and more positive place this Fall if she’s our candidate. Lee is Duluth for Clean Water endorsed. https://www.michellelee.org/ 

3. ** Richard Painter **, US Senate. Richard is principled, bold, and he has the ability and willingness to fight. His (appointed) opponent refuses to debate, is corporate-backed and corporate-tied, and has subverted downstream issues and demoralized progressive voters. Richard draws the best contrast with the Republican. He will be our best advocate in the Senate. He’s solid on the issues, including on single payer health care, and calling out the real reasons we don’t have it yet. His former party affiliation does not (overly) concern me, especially in light of his opponent’s corporate backing. The Party Boss’s smear that Painter previously gave 14 grand to the GOP is, frankly, sad, and won’t play well in the long term. Elizabeth Warren was a Republican, and they’re both consistent on the issues. Painter says a woman’s body and whom one chooses to love is none of the government’s business and I believe him. He knows more about the Supreme Court and what it will take to neutralize it than the rest of us combined. His quarter million bucks is an asset in the context of his opponent’s six million — I just refuse to believe that MN Dems cannot overcome “coffee and donut” ads. Larry Jacobs, no radical himself, called this race a tossup on CBS in the Twin Cities yesterday. It’s time for a new course, not the old course. Painter is Duluth for Clean Water endorsed. https://www.painterminnesota.com/ 

4. ** Matt Pelikan for Attorney General.** Keith Ellison has been an amazing congressperson and boldly supportive on all the issues I care about. There’s no way to summarize my feeling’s about Keith’s choice to enter this race, his dancing on core enviro issues, his endorsements, and now the extremely disturbing allegations against him in a few words. So instead I will just say, Matt Pelikan was amazing at the DFL convention, is excellent on the issues, is positive and even funny. He was willing to do the dirty and necessary work of challenging Lori S. when no one else was, and earned an endorsement. I think he’d be a really refreshing change in the AG office, and have no doubt that even with his somewhat limited experience he would be a dramatic upgrade. I’m going to vote for him. I hope that if the allegations are true, Keith withdraws. https://mattpelikan.com/

There you have it. Happy voting, good people.

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