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Political campaigns march and schmooze in parade season

Political campaigns are heading into the busy parade season — which may be even more important this year with the early Aug.

Political campaigns are heading into the busy parade season — which may be even more important this year with the early Aug. 10 primary in Minnesota — and many got a good workout Friday night in White Bear Lake at Manitou Days parade.

Tom Emmer, the GOP-endorsed gubetrnatorial candidate, and his supporters were on hand. While we didn’t see any of the three leading DFLers  or endorsed IP candidates for governor, all had lots of their supporters marching with signs and bright T-shirts, handing out campaign materials.

Candidates (or their entourages) for Congress — in the host 4th District and nearby 6th District — and state legislative  hopefuls, along with a few judicial candidates, walked the route. One candidate with arguably little chance of winning blared the song “Don’t Stop Believing” from a boom box on the back of a vehicle.

The three major candidates for Ramsey County Attorney — John Choi, Tammy Pust and David Schultz — all showed up in person.

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Apparently candidates themselves cannot hand out candy or goods — must be a concern over bribing voters — but they stopped to say their names to as many voting-age spectators as possible, while their supporters gave the candy to kids.

It was interesting in the Ramsey County sheriff’s race: incumbent Bob Fletcher was very visible early in the parade with a delegation from the sheriff’s office. Then, near the end, Fletcher popped up again, walking with a delegation of “Fletcher for Sheriff” supporters. He’d circled around to start the nearly two-mile route all over again.

A little behind the Fletcher campaign unit came St. Paul Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom, who’s challenging Fletcher, and a big group of his supporters.

Appropriately, the parade was led by two folks who often interview political candidates: Grand Marshal Cathy Wurzer and her husband and “Almanac” co-host, Eric Eskola. Wurzer’s book, “Tales of the Road: Hwy. 61,” is the official White Bear book of the year.