Brick City blogger Sean Olsen tweeted earlier today that it "Looks like David FitzSimmons (GOP Y on marriage equality) is getting a primary challenger."
FitzSimmons provided a key amendment to Karen Clark's marriage equality bill, inserting the phrase "civil marriage" into the bill in order to clarify protections related to religious liberty.
Who is Eric Lucero?
Dayton City Council member Eric Lucero, whose new committee registered with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on September 5, sought Republican endorsement for the 30B seat in 2012, according to the Wright County Blues blog:
Paul Bolin of Otsego was the first Republican to announce for this open seat, although he has not yet registered a campaign committee, followed closely by David FitzSimmons, who recently moved to Albertville, and Eric Lucero of Dayton. Lucero lives in a tiny section of Dayton in Wright county.
Lucero did not file for office with the Minnesota Secretary of State's election division in 2012, according to Politics In Minnesota and does not appeared to have stayed in the contest for party endorsement. FitzSimmons was endorsed by the district's Republicans on the first ballot over Bolin, receiving over 76 percent of the ballots, the Star News reported. Lucero opted to run for Dayton City Council; he took first in a four-way race for two seats.
From the looks of the campaign committee website, Lucero has migrated the contents of his city council campaign site to the new URL. It's curious how none of the uber-social, Christian conservative content on both sites comes through in newspaper coverage of his campaigning or his career on the city council. His Linked In profile does say that he enjoys Biblical studies, and he's the contact person for a Ham Lake Baptist Church's affiliate study group for an Old Testament course offered by the Koinonia Institute of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Following a brief career as a driver for McGlynn's Bakeries, Lucera studied IT and IT security before earning an MBA. He pitches himself as a GCIH,CCE,CISSP,CISM,CISA,MBA Innovative Technology, Digital Security, and Business Thought Leader in his Linked In profile. (Bluestem can sense Minnesota Conservative tweep John Gilmore shudder over the use of the term "Thought Leader" even from our distant prairie redoubt).
The man who would challenge FitzSimmons over the marriage equality vote doesn't emerge anywhere online other than Lucero's campaign sites. That listed onthe campaign finance site committee registration is chockful of gems such as this "On The Issues" discussion of Strength of Family:
The healthiest family environment consists of one Father and one Mother honoring vows to each other. To this end, government policies must be architected to promote and support the healthiest form of the family unit. However, government policies of the last several decades have instead been leading the assault against the family unit with the following attacks:
- Gay marriage and the homosexual lifestyle
- Blending the gender distinctions such as women in combat and homosexuals openly serving in the military
- Tax dollars funding groups which actively promote and perform abortions
- Welfare system encouraging out-of-wedlock births
- Usurping of parental authority such as allowing girls of any age to buy the morning after pill without a prescription and without parental permission or knowledge
This is a gay and out-of wedlock births brew Glenn Gruenhagen would be comfortable with, although how the Dayton (MN) City Council or the Minnesota House would have authority over Department of Defense decisions about women in combat escapes Bluestem.
Examining the new Republican candidate's committee members, it appears that some constituents were not reassured by FitzSimmons' compromise, including one who earlier supported a DFL state senate candidate. Judy Beaudry of Albertville, treasurer of The Friends of Eric Lucero, serves as the President of the Northwest Deanery of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. Beaudry is staunchily pro-life, a fact she stressed in a 2000 letter to the editor supporting DFL state senate candidate Ross Bennett. Bennett served as press secretary to former congressman David Minge from July 1997 through October 1999.
FitzSimmons hasn't been a slouch about defending his vote, as a bid like this was anticipated. MinnPost columnist Cyndy Brucato reported in GOP freshman Rep. FitzSimmons spending summer explaining his gay-marriage votes:
FitzSimmons is now paying the price in his House district in Wright County, perhaps the most conservative county in Minnesota, as he is forced to defend his vote and his political turf.
FitzSimmons says the reaction in his district is mixed.
“I think like most things dealing with the electorate, it’s a wide variety of viewpoints,” he said. “Everything from people who are upset with the results, upset with me — and people who are sympathetic to the situation and knew I was trying to get something out of the legislation.” . . .
. . .He is the former Republican chair of Wright County and former chair of the 6th Congressional District, represented by Michele Bachmann, whom he has supported. He managed, briefly, Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign and volunteered at the media event where Emmer announced his campaign for the Bachmann seat.
FitzSimmons may get some help from Minnesotans United, the group that lobbied for gay marriage and promised campaign help for supportive lawmakers from socially conservative districts. Fitzsimmons didn’t make the first cut of names that Minnesotans United mentioned in a recent fundraising email.
Minnesota Public Radio reported later in PAC to back 15 Minn. legislators who supported same-sex marriage:
The group is also supporting all five Republicans who voted for the marriage bill, including state Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover, who doesn't face re-election until 2016. GOP state Reps. David FitzSimmons of Albertville, Pat Garofalo of Farmington, Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury and Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie also are listed.
Will Lucero be able to mount a successful challenge to FitzSimmons? Stay tuned.
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