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Jeff Anderson’s abiding dilemma

Completing the small mess I created by not talking to candidate Jeff Anderson before posting my Tarryl Clark piece this morning

Completing the small mess I created by not talking to candidate Jeff Anderson before posting my Tarryl Clark piece this morning, here’s the situation.

Anderson, a Duluth City Council member who is also a candidate for the DFL nomination in the 8th District congressional race, is still seeking the party endorsement but has not committed to abide by endorsement. He has said for some time that he would abide if everyone in the race committed to abide.

Now that Clark has dropped out of the endorsement process and announced that she will run in a primary, Anderson feels free to do the same. He will announce his intentions soon, in advance of the May 5 convention at which the endorsement will be decided.

Because of Clark’s decision “there is going to be a DFL primary now in August” and “there’s a much better chance today than before Tarryl made this announcement” that he will also run in the primary.

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I tried get Anderson (as I had with Clark) to discuss whether his decision would fundamentally be based on whether he thinks he has a good chance of winning the endorsement. He wouldn’t bluntly answer the question, but he made clear that that calculation is an important part of the decision process. At one point he told me: “If I get the endorsement, I will abide by the endorsement,” but I assume that was a sort of joke, and a sort of answer to my question.

Like Clark, Anderson expressed concern about the small number of DFLers who are involved in the endorsement process and also about the possibility that that small group holds some views that are not representative of the district as a whole.

“I feel as though there are some folks within the DFL Party who are abandoning that L component.” The L stands for Labor.

Specifically, Anderson said that he is “pro-mining, pro-using our natural resources” to provide employment in the district, but that the endorsement process is dominated by environmentalists and that he believes his position on mining is costing him support.

I apologize again for mischaracterizing Anderson’s position in the original version of the Clark post, which has now been updated and corrected.