Allen Quist may finally get the chance to prove that while he believes that people and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time, he's no dinosaur himself.
With Terry Morrow's resignation from the state representative seat that he won without opposition in last month's election, there's going to be a special election in Minnesota House District 19A.
How special? New Ulm Journal staff writer Josh Moniz reports in Quist considers running for 19A seat:
Former State Rep. Allen Quist, who lost in his bid for Minnesota's First Congressional District last November, is seriously considering running for a vacancy in House District 19A left by the sudden resignation of Rep. Terry Morrow on Wednesday. . . .
Quist argued that he would have a very strong ability to run for the seat. He said he could bring to bear the infrastructure and supporters from his congressional campaign that ended a month ago.
Quist also touted his ability to be effective if elected, citing his three terms in the Minnesota Legislature during the 1980s.
"I have a wealth of experience in government. I can hit the ground running. I don't need one or two terms to find my way," said Quist.
He said he was not intimidated by the concept of working under DFL governor Mark Dayton and the DFL controlled Legislature. . . .
Bluestem suspects that Governor Dayton and Speaker Thissen will not be intimidated by the prospect of Quist seeking the seat. Given Quist's famed undercover investigations into the gay sections of Mankato's "Adult Book and Cinema" store in the late 1980s, he'll add a certain vintage flair to the marriage equality debate.
Moniz points out that "the Morrow's district voted 52 percent for President Obama and 44 percent for Mitt Romney in the election." There isn't comparable data for state representative races because there weren't any: both Terry Morrow and state senator Kathy Sheran ran unopposed.
In House district returns for the congressional race, Quist received 37.05 percent of the votes cast, or 7959 voters, with Walz receiving 62.76 percent. While that doesn't exactly make Quist Mr. Popular in a presidential year, it does give him something of a base; Quist took 58.41 percent of the vote in the Republican primary in August.
Special elections in Minnesota tend to have very low turnout, especially in areas dominated by one party. In last year's legislative special elections in Hennepin County, about 15 percent came out to vote; primary turnout was half that.
Southern Minnesota DFL activist Jacob Grippen looks at the district in Special Election Coming soon to HD19A in South Central Minnesota at the Minnesota Progressive Project. Grippen notes that the college student vote will be important for the race because the district includes Gustavus and parts of Mankato. The students might not be happy when they learn what Quist's congressional campaign manager had to say about them. Bluestem reported in Julie Quist blames those pesky amendments for bringing meddling kids out to vote:
We have received numerous reports of people going to the polls, especially college students, just to vote against one or both of the amendments. This resulted in a Democratic turnout in Minnesota that was far greater than the turnout nationwide and is one of the biggest reasons so many Minnesota Republican and conservative candidates lost their races or fell below expectations.
Darn liberal kids!
Given Quist's view that government policy (like that for food stamps) causes divorce--and the deterioration of the family causes mass shootings, Bluestem is curious to see whether Quist goes so far as a recent letter writer in St. Cloud who blamed the Newtown shooting on "entitlements." Ok then.
A professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, Morrow has resigned to take a job in Chicago in the Uniform Law Commission.
Image: Cartoonist Ken Avidor thought Allen Quist was going to ride off into the sunset on a bronto, but maybe not.
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