Here's the video of yesterday's "At Issue" debate. Like Tom Hauser, Bluestem will let these two speak for themselves:
From the field: Parry-Quist sign war analysis
A friend who travels throughout south-central Minnesota for business emailed the following intel:
I know lawn signs don't vote but have found some interesting items amongst all of the dust...just trying to see what one can glean from them. Likely the information is quite obvious.
1. Quist has many more out than Parry in an area from St. Peter/Mankato to Marshall and down to Fairmont, but I haven't been in the very southwestern part of the district.
2. Parry's are limited to mainly Mankato and St. Peter. One by a house along 169 in St. Peter, one on the hill southwest of Mankato on 169 and all the rest at business sites in Mankato/Mapleton.
3. Quist supports are mainly at houses and hugely dominate the Watonwan County and Fairmont area.
4. Nothing much out west to Marshall when I traveled there Thursday of last week (Lyon County is Not in the district but I was traveling highways 14 and 30).
Conclusions from the signs:
1. Parry has a strong supporter(s) in the Mankato area.
2. Parry's supporters may be limited to business people.
3. Quist has more support in the more rural areas of the district....and likely the almost total backing of the leadership of the Republican Party in Watonwan and Martin (Fairmont) Counties.
4. Both campaigns have not made a significant attempt to gather in votes from the western part of the district...this is the most interesting thing to me. Nothing in western Brown County and west.
Quist did hold a town hall meeting in Worthington last week, and both candidates have been to parades and party functions in the west, but it's like they're focusing their campaign efforts in the Mankato area and eastward, since the bulk of the district's voters live in Mankato or eastward.
Update: A reader from Luverne writes that Quist signs have been up in Luverne for two weeks or so.
Ol' Mike Parry Has Some Farmers, E-I-E-I-O
Meanwhile, Parry has sent out a press release announcing his ag leadership team; most names are familiar from his campaign finance reports. Howard Swenson once served in the swing seat in Nicollet County that Quist held in the 1980s (roughly, given redistricting). The Fitzsimmons and MNGOP Treasurer Bron Scherer are all business partners; Steve Molnau farms with his wife Carol, who earlier endorsed Parry. This is mostly value-added processing of past harvest:
On the eve of FarmFest, the Parry for Congress Campaign announced "Agricultural Leaders for Parry" - leaders in the agriculture industry throughout Southern Minnesota.
Mike Parry said: "I am honored these individuals have agreed to serve as members of the Agricultural Leaders for Parry Coalition. All of them are leaders in their own right, and I look forward to working with them in addressing the diverse issues facing the agriculture sector."
"Mike Parry grew up on a dairy farm and has a keen understanding of the issues facing farmers in the 1st Congressional District" said Bill Rowekamp, a dairy farmer from Lewiston, MN. "There is no doubt that agriculture will be able to have a constructive dialogue with him when he is in Congress."
Agricultural Leaders for Parry Leadership Team:
Darrell Fischer, Lakefield
Paul FitzSimmons, Good Thunder
Bill FitzSimmons, Good Thunder
John FitzSimmons, Good Thunder
Richard FitzSimmons, Good Thunder
Duane and Marie Gran, St. Peter
David and Michelle Gran, St. Peter
Terry and Kathy King, Rochester
Ken Krenik, Madison Lake
Bill Kuisle, Rochester
Grant Larson, Stewartville
Steve Molnau, Lafayette
Terry Petterson, Madelia
Bill Rowekamp, Lewiston
Lewis Reiman , Utica
Bron Scherer, Northfield
Loren Schoenrock, New Richland
Howard and Jane Swenson, Nicollet
Ed Twohey, Stewartville
Al Wendt, Stewartville
Another pro-Quist letter
There's another primary-related letter in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Mary Allen's We need Quist's knowledgeable leadership. Allen's letter echoes arguments made by the Star Tribune in endorsing Quist, minus the part about how the Republicans should pick the candidate best able to sharpen Tim Walz's understanding of budget matters.
Allen writes in part:
With Allen as your representative in Washington, you will get two for the price of one, since his wife, Julie, works closely with him. You won't find a more intelligent, brave, honest, or patriotic couple! Allen does his own research and would know what he is voting for instead of finding out later.
On their last Almanac appearance, Parry admitted to not having read the health care bill, so that's something, although Parry claimed that Quist hadn't read it all either.