Candidates break loose on Minnesota Secretary of State race

Earlier I reported that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (DFL) would not seek re-election in 2014. I speculated that because this is one of the few open statewide races and one that doesn’t cost a ton of campaign cash, we could see a lot of candidates. Well, that was true:

DFL:
First out the gate was longtime SOS administrator and former Anoka County elections official Rachel Larson Bohman. She announced her campaign and launched a pretty nice Facebook page just minutes after the news broke.

Former State Rep. Jeremy Kalin (DFL-Pine City North Branch) announced a run. He retired in 2010 and has since started a new career in the Twin Cities.

Rep. Steve Simon (St. Louis Park) is considering a run. He is a mover and shaker in the DFL House caucus and could draw key support there.

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) said he’s giving the matter some serious thought. He’s shown ambition to run for office, even considering a move up to MN-8 for a congressional run just two years ago (He’s from Bemidji originally).

And a big one, I just heard from a friend in Duluth that State Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) is considering a run. Reinert, as a senator, isn’t up for re-election in 2014 so he’d have a free shot at this one. He’d have a big base of support in Duluth.

Moreover, I don’t think this list is complete yet. I also get a strong sense that political alliances will be all over the place.

GOP:
Same on the GOP side, though the only two names I gleaned from the Twitter scrum were Rep. Joyce Peppin and Sen. Warren Limmer. Peppin is a five-term state rep and Limmer sought the GOP endorsement for this office in 1998.

UPDATE: Add Rep. Pat Garafalo (R-Farmington) to that list. He’s thinking about it, per Mary Lahammer on Twitter. Garafolo is a well known conservative voice on the House floor, who most recently made waves by backing marriage equality.

By all means, keep me informed of any names you hear!

I’d also keep your eye on the Independence Party for this one. A candidate with some name recognition could seriously impact the race.

This post was written by Aaron J. Brown and originally published on Minnesota Brown. Follow Aaron on Twitter: @minnesotabrown

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