Boyce's withdrawal leaves Representative Terry Morrow (St. Peter-DFL) unopposed in an area that was historically Republican, but has been a battleground of late.
MFP political reporter Mark Fischenich reports that Boyce had second thoughts:
“I’ve withdrawn my candidacy for state representative mainly for personal reasons,” said Boyce, who graduated from Bethany Lutheran College this spring with a degree in business administration. “I just wish the other local Republican candidates the best in their races.”
Boyce declined to provide more detail about his change of heart. But he said he knew of no other Republicans who were interested in challenging Morrow and doesn’t believe his decision to file kept other potential GOP candidates from jumping into the race.
Josh Moniz's reporting at the New Ulm Journal adds:
Another source knowledgeable on the situation, who asked not to be named, said that Boyce wanted to focus on pursuing a career and felt he couldn't give the campaign the time it deserved.
The Mankato Free Press coverage focuses on the contrast for Morrow from the 2010 race, while The Journal reports that Morrow plans to campaign regardless:
Morrow said Boyce's withdrawal is good new[s], but it doesn't automatically translate into more free time.
"With redistricting, I have thousands a new people to introduce myself to. I also have a great deal of parades and door knocking that I need to do to keep in touch with my constituents," said Morrow.
Fischenich digs down into the recent past, noting that this year's race may be the first time in Minnesota history that the seat representing Nicollet County is uncontested. It's a far cry from 2010, when the Freedom Club targeted Morrow's political career for extinction:
Financed largely by wealthy Twin Cities business owners, the Freedom Club supports conservative candidates and runs attack ads against Democrats. The PAC spent more against Morrow than any other member of the House, most of it for an animated television ad that ran repeatedly on KEYC-TV showing Morrow, wearing an admiral’s hat, sailing on a yacht as average Minnesotans in a lifeboat sank in stormy seas.
The $37,000 spent by the Freedom Club PAC against Morrow was $2,000 more than his entire campaign budget and was on top of the $22,000 spent by Rebecca Peichel, his Republican opponent. Morrow still won 55 percent to 45 percent.
Having taken their best shot at Morrow and failed, it would have been a challenge for Republicans to persuade a top-notch candidate that he was beatable this year, [retired Gustavus Adolphus political science professor Don] Ostrom said.
“They spent all that money and it was a Republican year throughout the state and yet Terry still won about 55-45, so that makes it even more difficult to recruit a good candidate to run against him,” Ostrom said.
Photo: Terry Morrow, GAC prof and state representative, taking the lead on the Stadium bill. Photo by Jeffrey Thompson, MInnesota Public Radio.