Update: For those who've found their way here via Minnesota Conservatives, we recommend that you check out our response to one of Gilmore's peculiar claims about Jenifer Loon's legislative record. [end update].
One of the fascinating developments in the David Fitzsimmons-Eric Lucero endorsement battle earlier in the spring was VOICES of Conservative Women stepping in to endorse FitzSimmons, who lost the nod to the anti-marriage equality candidate in Minnesota HD 30B.
Now Lucero is doing a bit of informal endorsing of his own of conservative women running for office, and while it's likely that he and VOICES will concur on two (Mandy Benz's website lists VOICES as an endorser) of the three, one disagreement is already in the mix.
Update: VOICES's chair tells us via twitter that's a 2012 endorsement and that the group expects to announce in July endorsements of additional candidates for this cycle. The group's focus now is candidates facing primary challenges. [end update]
VOICES of Conservative Women (VOICESPAC) announces their endorsement and strong support of Representative Jenifer Loon for State Representative (48B).
“VOICES of Conservative Women proudly endorses Jenifer Loon for MN State Representative. Jenifer has been a tireless advocate of fiscal restraint on behalf of her constituents, an advocate for small business, and a leader,” said Jennifer DeJournett, President of VOICES of Conservative Women.
Representative Jenifer Loon has been an exemplary leader in the Minnesota House. She is a leader who not only is principled but also is willing to go above and beyond to support those around her. She is a mentor to many women who hope to follow in her footsteps. . .
Lucero is having none of it. On his Facebook page, he shared this status on the same day:
Sheila Kihne is running largely for the same reason Lucero is: removing pro-marriage equality Republicans from office. FitzSimmons had offered an amendment to Minnesota's marriage bill to clarify that it applied only to civil marriage, then voted for the final bill, as did Loon, Pat Garfalo (Farmington) and Andrea Kieffer (Woodbury). Kieffer is retiring because her daughter's medical condition demands more of her time, while Garofalo was endorsed without opposition.
However, voters in HD48B turned down the anti-marriage equality bill by nearly 60 percent, so Kihne's outrage at Loon's support of the freedom to marry might not carry the day for Kihne as it did for Lucero in a conservative Wright County district where the anti-same-sex marriage measure captured 53.09 percent of the vote.
The other women that the endorsed Republican for 30B supports are equally anti-marriage equality as Lucero is, though not as hyper-focused as he and Kihne.
Whelan, who is running for 35A (now held by Jim Abeler, who is running for U.S. Senate), has posted a website short of details, but clear about being "pro-life and marriage" with her "morals and perspectives built upon a solid faith in God." The district voted for the marriage amendment by 51.39 percent.
She faces a primary opponent in Justin Boals, who received 7.83 percent of the vote running as an IP candidate in 2012. Among other things, he's calling on his website for the full legalization of marijuana.
The endorsed DFL candidate is Peter Perovich, who is running on bread-and-butter DFL issues of job creation, property tax reduction and infrastructure. Given that Abeler was one of two Republican state representatives to survive his party's outrage over a vote to override Governor Pawlenty's veto of a gas tax hike, focusing on transportation is a solid choice for connecting with voters in the suburban Anoka County district.
Mandy Benz is trying again to unseat Jerry Newton (who lost the swing seat himself in the 2010 Republican wave election). Like Loon's district, HD37A helped vote down the anti-marriage equality amendment, though by a far smaller margin than in HD48B. Benz fared even worse, losing to Newton in a 42.64 to 57.18 percent split.
Will the ladies experience a Lucero bump in August and November?
We can't say, although some Republican stalwarts are already liking and sharing Kihne's filing phot. Talk radio host Sue Jeffers shared the photo, noting that Kihne is a candidate for whom she can drop lit, while Seifert for Minnesota political director Tim Gould, the Minnesota Family Council's Autumn Leva and 16 others liked it. Meanwhile, Republican power players have lined up behind Loon.
Photo: Eric Lucero, a bellwether for a social issue shift to the right for Republican women?
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