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Anoka County’s Sivarajah takes on Emmer for GOP endorsement in 6th District

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
“I think I certainly have a history of accomplishment,” Sivarajah said. “I have been able to take what people would think of as nearly impossible, coming on the county board as a minority of one and I’ve been able to successfully turn that around, have a conservative majority, then implement various changes throughout the county.”

Another county is heard from in the contest to represent the sprawling and heavily GOP 6th Congressional District, an open seat following Michele Bachmann’s decision not to seek another term.

Anoka County Board Chair Rhonda Sivarajah on Wednesday announced her candidacy for the Republican endorsement, saying that she is “uniquely qualified to get the job done.” 

Sivarajah becomes the second Republican candidate for the seat, joining former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer of Delano, in Wright County. Republican state Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud, in Stearns County, has said he intends to file as a candidate by the end of the month.

Sivarajah has faced Emmer before in an endorsement contest, competing as the lieutenant-governor running mate of Marty Seifert, who lost the GOP nomination to Emmer in 2010.  She did not refer to that experience in her announcement, instead touting her track record on the Anoka County Board.

At an auto repair shop in Ham Lake owned by one of her supporters, Sivarajah noted that she has “delivered conservative results.”

Under her tenure, she said, Anoka County lowered property taxes, privatized a county job training center and ended the prevailing-wage requirement for taxpayer-funded projects.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin, in a statement, described Sivarajah as “a voice of dissent in efforts to move Anoka county forward.”

Sivarajah, though, is forceful in claiming successes.

“I think I certainly have a history of accomplishment,” she said. “I have been able to take what people would think of as nearly impossible, coming on the county board as a minority of one and I’ve been able to successfully turn that around, have a conservative majority, then implement various changes throughout the county.”

Sivarajah quickly scooped up an endorsement from Voices of Conservative Women. “Rhonda blazed a trail as chairwoman of the Anoka County Board and we are looking forward to seeing great things from her as she moves her campaign forward,” said Voices President Jennifer DeJournett in an email statement.

Fellow county board members, several area state legislators, political activist and attorney John Gilmore and former Republican Party chair Pat Shortridge attended the announcement.  

Shortridge said he was there as “a friend” and has not committed to supporting any candidate.  He also said he hasn’t ruled out running for the seat himself.

Gilmore predicted a primary contest, saying  that in a district as solidly Republican as the 6th, “Voters should be given a variety of candidates to choose from.”

Sivarajah acknowledged the possibility of a primary. “I plan to seek the endorsement,” she said, “and I’ve not made a decision” on whether to run if not endorsed.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/12/2013 - 12:43 pm.

    Just a thought

    If 6th District Republicans accept what appears to be a contest to see who can be the most “right-wing reactionary” as the standard for endorsement, the eventual winner may well have not only the party’s endorsement, but might well win the district fairly handily. Should that be the case, voters in the district will merely have replaced one embarrassment with another.

    I continue to be puzzled by the enthusiasm with which people whose hostility to government is almost palpable, and who claim “government is the problem” seek to be part of that same government. Mr. Emmer is a case in point, but it sounds like Ms. Sivarajah may be cut from the same cloth.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/12/2013 - 06:37 pm.

      And More Than That

      They also claim that government screws up everything, and they want government entwined with religion.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/13/2013 - 08:47 am.

    ….privatized a county job training center….

    What the heck is that?

    I don’t see any record of Anoka County turning over job training to a private contractor..

  3. Submitted by David Frenkel on 06/18/2013 - 03:04 pm.

    pay raise

    for many people politics is a career path and a Congresswomen makes a healthy paycheck although living in DC is expensive. The real paycheck is leaving politics after making a name for yourself like Pawlenty and probably Bachman and getting the really big paycheck. Is there any company in MN that would pay TPaw over $1 million salary like he is getting in DC?
    The one positive thing about having even a right wing conservative female politician like Bachman in office is they usually don’t make gaffes about how female reproductive organs work and don’t make comments regarding how a woman might deserve to be assaulted.

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