The Itchy & Scratchy Show that is the First Congressional District Republican primary wearing thin with other Republicans. The Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson writes in a Political Notebook item, Gutknecht has some advice for Parry, Quist:
Former 1st District Rep. Gil Gutknecht knows what it's like to face a primary challenge and has some advice for fellow Republicans Mike Parry and Allen Quist.
When Gutknecht first ran for Congress in 1994, he faced a challenge from former Rep. Arlen Erdahl. . . .
"Whenever you have a primary, I think the first thing you have to do is get both sides to agree to run clean campaigns as much as possible," he said.
It's that last piece of advice that the Parry and Quist campaigns are having trouble following. The two are fighting for the chance to take on 1st District Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in November. During a mini-debate on TPT's Almanac show on Friday night, Parry blasted his opponent's record. . . .
And Our Lady of ALEC, former state representative Laura Brod, puts in a cameo appearance:
. . .Former state representative and current University of Minnesota regent Laura Brod sent out the following tweet last week: "Candidates for #MNCD1 please focus on policy differences, your vision, why you can win rather than personal attacks."
Read the entire post at the PB.
We'll have to take Carlson's word for it about the cordial nature of the Erdahl-Gutknecht race, since there's not a lot about the race in Nexis.
There's some morsels, though. Bluestem noticed a couple of other differences between this primary and that in 1994. Unlike Quist and Parry, who are trying to out-flank each other to the right, Gutknecht and Erdahl tried masquerading as retiring Congressman Tim Penny. The Hotline reported on September 9, 1994:
MN 01: Rochester POST-BULLETIN writes, as ex-Rep. Arlen Erdahl (R) seeks to reclaim his old seat, facing state Rep./'88 Kemp campaign chair Gil Gutknecht (R) in the primary, "both candidates are wearing their (incumbent Dem Rep.) Tim Penny masks." Both candidates "claim to be heirs to Penny's legacy of dogged fiscal conservatism and moderate, compassionate firmness on other issues" -- even though Penny has endorsed state Sen. John Hottinger (D). The POST-BULLETIN "declined" to endorse, commenting that "neither would be a bad choice" (9/2). Penny is not seeking re-election. (Nexis All news, accessed July 30, 2012)
That was a pivot from an earlier Hotline report on August 30, 1994, which stressed two other differences: Erdahl's absence from Minnesota for many years and Gutknecht's endorsed status. Neither Parry nor Quist is endorsed. The August 1994 Hotline item, "OPEN: WILL GOP CHASM ONCE AGAIN COST THEM IN MN 1ST?:"
MN 01: In 1982, an ideologically divisive battle in the GOP caused by redistricting between moderate Rep. Arlen Erdahl and conservative Rep. Tom Hagedorn helped give the seat to a political "upstart" named Tim Penny, the first Dem in nearly a century to win here. With Penny (D) retiring, another GOP chasm has resulted. Ex-Rep. Erdahl is seeking a comeback, but he is thought to be less formidable now, having spent "more than a decade" outside MN, "mostly" in DC. The party favorite is state Sen. Gil Gutknecht, a "staunch conservative" who has the IR endorsement. Gutknecht, who sees himself as a "Reagan Republican," is pro-life, opposes gay rights and gun control, and supports term limits. Gutknecht: "I'd like to see myself as another Newt Gingrich" (Baden, Mnpls. STAR TRIBUNE, 8/29). Dem: State Sen. John Hottinger, who has been endorsed by Penny. (Nexis All news, accessed July 30, 2012)
Erdahl celebrated his 80th birthday with his twin Lowell in 2011, the Faribault County Register reported. The retired lawmaker said:
Arlen didn’t believe in – or practice – negative campaigning. His mantra was “mud thrown, is ground lost,” which followed his farming background.
His campaign style was to get his name known, present his record and qualifications and take a stand on the issues.
Photo: Tim Penny, the very model of a southern Minnesota legislator. Neither Quist nor Parry have taken up that mask.