Governor Mark Dayton will headline a rally today sponsored by the Bemidji State University College Democrats Wednesday, October 24, at 1 pm. at Lower Hobson Memorial Union, BSU, 15th St NE in Bemidji.
Senator Tom Saxhaug (SD5), Representative John Persell (HD 5A), and Roger Erickson (HD2A) will also urge students to get to the polls on Election Day.
The governor's visit to campus underscores what Politics in Minnesota staff writer Briana Bierschbach reported in Both sides go all out in Saxhaug-Carlson SD 5 duel:
The reelection bids facing six legislative candidates in Minnesota’s new Senate District 5 are unlike any other across the state this election cycle.
The shrinking population in the north central region of the state left the area with one less Senate district after the state’s redistricting maps landed in February. Thanks to that change, six incumbents from opposite parties found themselves paired up in the new Senate District 5. When the dust settled, they all opted to stay in the race and will now face each other on the November ballot.
One of the most-watched and telling of those races, operatives say, is the contest between freshman incumbent Republican Sen. John Carlson and 10-year incumbent Democrat Tom Saxhaug. Despite their differing party affiliations, the two candidates have surprisingly similar profiles. Both are or were insurance agents, both have been strong supporters of rural legislation and both describe the other as a “pretty nice guy.” What it’ll come down to, some say, is pure campaign politics. “I think, much like any other district, this is really a referendum on the last two years of Republican control,” said Mike Kennedy, Senate DFL elections staffer.
Unsurprisingly, the race has been targeted by Senate Democrats, who are hungry to reclaim the nearly 40-year majority status they lost in 2010. A victory in the district means protecting an incumbent while at the same time gaining a seat picked up by Republicans in 2010. Conversely, Republicans and business groups are working to protect Carlson as they aim to keep their majority in the Senate.
As those reading the Bierschbach article might guess, the handful of businessmen who contribute to Minnesota's Future have sent their cookie-cutter attack mailers to Senate District 5. The flyer is the same piece of junk mail delivered in southwest Minnesota's SD22 and southeast central SD24.
And, for that matter, to HD5B to go after the DFL incumbent there. Bluestem supposes that we should grant them points for persistence though not for creativity. Nor for subtlety in singling out public employees.
On the other hand, maybe Vern Swedin can make it.
Images: The Bemidji State mascot (top); same old, same old from MN's Future.