In his December article in The Hill, Minnesota Democrats target rural vote for 2016 state legislative fights, Matt Barron reported:
"Some of the strategies that work in the Twin Cities don't work out here," Simpkins said. The rural political landscape is also less partisan and Simpkins said folks look to rural legislators to deliver meat-and potato-services, as in "how are you going to get this road fixed, get us broadband?" Added [Rep. Paul] Marquart, "it starts with good candidates; you have to get great candidates who fit the values of the district and will work hard. It's OK to be pro-life and pro-gun."
We're not close enough to the DFL to know if Marquart's "Minnesota Rural Initiative" recruited Dustin Simmonds, a University of Minnesota senior who is Second Vice Chair of the College Democrats/MYDFL, but the young Democrat who registered his campaign committee with the Campaign Finance board last Friday definitely believes that it's "OK to be pro-life."
In August, Simmonds wrote in Now is the time to defund Planned Parenthood, a letter to the editors of the Morrison County Record in Little Falls:
. . .Today, our eyes are wide open and after the more than 40 years of Roe v. Wade, the year 2015 will be remembered generations from now as a turning point. Once again, we found our humanity and stood for what is right.
We need strong leadership to fight for the values of life. Too long have we stayed quiet, too afraid we may unintentionally offend someone, but our passion is stronger than ever. We have a new generation joining in the struggle, a “pro-life generation.”
We must be resolute in our commitment to ending the horrors of abortion and welcome all those who have the fight in their heart to join us and make it a thing of the past. By the time this appears in the paper, Congress may already be in recess for August but we are still working and will show just how determined we are, and how badly we want to see this injustice corrected.
Contact your representatives and senators to encourage them to fight for the right to life.
Rural areas of central Minnesota have elected pro-life Democrats to the House in this century, as the legacy of Al Doty (Little Falls), the late Mary Ellen Otremba (Long Prairie), and Larry Hosch (St. Joseph) demonstrate. MN09B is in Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District, represented by pro-life, social conservative Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson. We reported on his most recent anti-choice actions in Monday's post Collin Peterson joins over 200 GOP colleagues in signing amicus brief in HHS mandate case.
He's not a one-trick pony, however. Simmonds's bio on the MYDFL site notes his civic engagement in Little Falls:
Dustin Simmonds was raised in central Minnesota in the city of Little Falls. From a young age, Dustin has had a thirst for public service. Starting small with community clean up, Dustin became involved in city government. During his senior year, Dustin became the chairman of the Mayors Youth Task force and lobbied the city on behalf of Little Falls youth. After high school Dustin attended Central Lakes College where he became involved in the Morrison County DFL. Now attending the University of Minnesota, Dustin intends to graduate with a BA in Urban Studies and Political Science in the spring of 2016.
The Morrison County Record reports on the task force's efforts in Council gives its blessing to splash pad, skate park project in Little Falls and other articles.
Should Simmonds get the DFL endorsement, his youth should take some of the steam out of Kresha's bloviating about his daughter's cell phone as the future of broadband in rural Minnesota.
Photo: Dustin Simmonds (far right, front) at the 2014 Morrison County DFL precinct caucuses. Via Morrison County Record.
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