Two days before the showdown with Norseland-area farmer and retired college professor Allen Quist, a certain retiring state senator told voters at a meet-and-greet in Albert Lea:
Stopping in Albert Lea Sunday on a whirlwind visit before the primary election, 1st Congressional District candidate Mike Parry said he’s confident he will win the Tuesday primary election, calling it simply “a bump in the road.”
Two days later he was political roadkill, having lost decisively to Quist in a contest that generated a lot of rancor and low turnout at the polls.
But like the Wile E. Coyote of cartoon fame, Parry isn't going away, anymore than he disappeared after voters in Waseca sent him packing the first chance they got (his one-term on the Waseca City Council came after he ran without opposition).
The Owatonna People's Press has published part 1 of a two-part series about Parry, because there's nothing more newsworthy than a guy who lost a primary three weeks ago. Or because the savvy editors realise that blog readers never get enough Emo Senator. We're not sure.
In today's segment, District 26 state Sen. Mike Parry discusses election loss, his future, the Belle of Waseca County insists that he's still the better candidate to run against Walz this year, while dissing his homies. He also stops to blame Democrats voting for Quist in the open primary for the loss.
Despite a election night promise to campaign for Quist, he doesn't seem to be doing so--contradicting the glowing "unity" headlines that peppered the newsfeed on August 15.
Parry tells OPP staff writer Derek Sullivan:
Does Parry believe Quist is a viable candidate to challenge Walz?
“He’s the candidate the citizens have picked,” was all Parry would say. “And he’s the candidate that will have to beat Tim Walz.
“I still stand by what I said during the campaign. Who has the best chance to beat Tim Walz? I still believe I’m that candidate.”
And those people in Waseca? Pack of dirty hippies:
“I never did think I would do well (in Waseca County). You never win your hometown, knowing the people of Waseca, and the people that vote in Waseca,” Parry said. “You have some strong liberals. Even the independents like Mayor Roy Srp lean to the left. It is what it is. It would have been nice to win Waseca, but it didn’t happen. “
Before the election, Parry sang a different tune about the homies. In Owatonna, Waseca GOP voters could be active on primary day, Sullivan reported on August 6:
“During my two winning campaigns for state senate, the voters in Owatonna and Waseca responded to our common-sense message — holding the line on taxes, reducing spending, and growing the economy to help improve the job climate,” Parry said.
Not that that was necessarily true, of course. In the 2010 special election, Mayor Roy Srp, running as a pro-life Independence Party candidate, took Waseca.
In today's interview, Parry alleges that Democrats voting in the Republican primary (Minnesota has open primaries, but voters can pick to vote for only one party in the partisan races) put Quist over the top:
Parry also believes there were a lot of Democrats who voted in the Minnesota primary for Quist in the hopes of putting up a weaker candidate against Walz.
“There were some crossover votes. In a primary, that can be tough to overcome when the other party votes for your opponent. We know that happened throughout the congressional district,” Parry said.
And those grapes were sour after all.
The article also demonstrates that Quist might have more political acumen than his running against the Farm Bill in a heavily agricultural district suggests. Sullivan reports:
Parry ran into Quist in late August in Morristown at the Ahlman’s Shooters Roundup.
“I spoke with Allen and shook his hand,” Parry said. “I told him, ‘Don’t forget I’m here. Let me know what I can do.’ He thanked me again for offering my help. I don’t know if he will ask for my help. I know he has his own people.”
Also: a campaign manager with some common sense.
Parry also intimates that he'll run for the legislature again if DFLers win and that he's being courted by the MNGOP for "interesting" offices:
“Now, I’m in this window of unbelievable opportunity,” he said. “I’m not where I’m going to go. I have had people come to me and ask me to run for some very interesting positions.
Given the time he's demogogued on voter suppression, could that "interest" be a bid for secretary of state?
Cartoon: Another bump in the road.