Hot political action and attractions at the State Fair

Do you hate to miss all the political action at the State Fair but worry that it’s too hot to traipse around the grounds?

Never fear: MinnPost made the sweaty trek and offers a glimpse of many of the political attractions at this year’s fair.

So take a gander at some of the hot politics taking place through Labor Day in Falcon Heights.

It may be an off-year for most local politicians — although there are contested races (highly) in Minneapolis and (not so highly) in St. Paul — but for many politicians, it’s never too early to campaign and the State Fair is a place to find voters from all around the state.

MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Minnesota Republican Party booth, always festive with balloons and free water. Politicians often stop by for handshakes and smiles and vote requests.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe DFL Party booth offers shade and dogma, and you can usually find an office holder or seeker. For photo opportunities, the booth has life-size cutouts of President and Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Minnesota Majority managed to raise an emergency $20K this summer to stay in business, and used some to pay for booth space up near the old Machinery Hill. Folks to the left of the booth aren’t looking for money from heaven: they’re taking photos of friends riding the Sky Glider, which runs directly over the booth.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballGetting to the Green Party of Minnesota, on the second floor inside the Grandstand building, takes some effort, but, it’s ecologically correct to climb the stairs. And you probably won’t have to wait in line to chat.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Libertarian Party‘s banana-like banner brightens up the landscape near the DNR building.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Independence Party of Minnesota booth attracts a fair amount of attention because of the long lines waiting nearby for deep-fried cheese curds. The KQ92 radio host’s name is misspelled, so we’re pretty sure he didn’t write in his own name.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Minnesota Tea Party Alliance booth exudes a friendly, folksy presence — and takes some shots at the DFL.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe Constitution Party booth has a cozy veranda where you can sit and discuss the founding fathers until the cows come home.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballIt’s five more years until Sen. Amy Klobuchar has to run again (for Senate) but she makes appearances at her home cabin-like booth across from the Dairy Building. The flowers growing in the window box certainly look nice for Iowans visiting the fair.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThere’s nothing funny about this stolid, unpretentious booth. Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for election until 2014, but his opponents already are gathering, so a fair presence is a must.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballGov. Mark Dayton, also up for re-election next year, was practically living at the fair with many appearances the first few days. Here he’s interviewed by WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy for her Sunday morning show.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballDayton then moved from WCCO-TV to WCCO-AM for the Sports Huddle with his close personal friend and fellow Vikings stadium booster Sid Hartman.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe GOP is mounting a multi-pronged attack against Dayton, with several candidates lining up for a shot. One of them, businessman Scott Honour, uses a clever sign on his booth: (HON) Our Minnesota.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballRob Farnsworth, a teacher from Hibbing and another Dayton challenger, looked like the Maytag repairman on Sunday morning, and said he was anxious to get back to the Range for teacher orientation and to see his kids, who had been slightly ill.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballRepublican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson has a booth with a rural, vegetable-stand feel. Not a bad idea for a Hennepin County commissioner running statewide.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballTim Holden, a St. Paul landlord running against Mayor Chris Coleman, in a race that actually will be held this year, doesn’t go in for much subtlety with his booth. The staffer on duty Sunday said they’re going for the “Anyone but Coleman” vote, which may not be a groundswell.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballSt. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s campaign isn’t expecting to break too much of a sweat (again) as he tries for a third straight landslide. The mayor doesn’t have his own booth at the fair, but other years I’ve run into him at O’Gara’s, his unofficial fair HQ.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballPolitical issues have a presence, too, at this year’s fair. The organized-labor building hosts many locals’ kiosks. Raising the minimum wage is a big theme.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballThe locked-out Minnesota Orchestra musicians and the Post Office get some love outside the labor building, too.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballMNsure, the state’s new health insurance exchange that will debut soon, has a booth in the KARE-11 Health Fair building. Until the insurance offerings are revealed later this month, there are many questions they can’t answer yet.
MinnPost photo by Joe KimballSt. Paul’s $1 million Forever St. Paul Challenge has a booth that offers free water to those voting for one of the three finalists. As the day gets hotter, the lines get longer.

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