With agreement on almost every policy issue, how should Fifth District DFL voters choose a candidate?

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
Five Democrats are vying for the opportunity to earn the Democratic nomination in this district, which includes the entire city of Minneapolis and the suburban communities bordering it.

The last time Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District had a contested Democratic primary, U.S. House hopefuls spent their time slamming President George W. Bush, his administration’s War in Iraq, and its plans to privatize Social Security.

That primary was in 2006. This year’s DFL primary in the 5th — set off by Rep. Keith Ellison’s decision to run for attorney general of Minnesota — is also likely to be defined by intense Democratic opposition to a Republican president, this time Donald Trump.

Five Democrats are vying to earn the party’s nomination in this district, which includes the entire city of Minneapolis and the suburban communities bordering it. The 5th is Minnesota’s blue stronghold — it prefers DFL candidates by an average of 26 points — so whoever wins the primary on August 14 is virtually guaranteed to be the district’s next member of Congress.

But no race to the left is playing out among the primary field: the leading candidates are all already there. Among the three front-runners in the race — state Rep. Ilhan Omar, former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray — there’s little difference when it comes to Democrats’ most important issues of the moment.

All are in agreement, for example, that President Trump should be impeached. They are all also in favor of single-payer health care, fighting Trump’s immigration policy tooth and nail, and free public college tuition.

Unlike DFL primaries in other races, like in the 8th District, the CD5 candidates’ differences on key issues do not figure to be a significant feature of the contest. Instead, the primary has become more of a referendum on the kind of politician Democrats here want to send to Washington in the era of Trump — and the leading candidates are all offering voters a distinct package.

The field

While some congressional candidates in other Minnesota districts have been running since early last year, thanks to the last-minute circumstances of this race, CD5’s five candidates will have had a little under two months, start to finish, to make their case to voters for the all-important primary.

After a scramble to meet the June 5 filing deadline, the primary field crystallized to a group of five: Omar, Anderson Kelliher, Torres Ray, businessman and activist Jamal Abdulahi, and Frank Drake, who challenged Ellison in 2016 as a Republican.

Omar, the 36-year old freshman state lawmaker who gained national recognition for becoming the first Somali-American woman elected to a legislature, quickly emerged as a front-runner. That status was solidified on June 17, when the district DFL committee convened a hastily arranged — and widely criticized — endorsing convention for the race. That convention, which several candidates did not attend, endorsed Omar on the second ballot.

Omar, who represents House District 60B in central Minneapolis, is a favorite of the progressive wing of the DFL. Her convention speech was full of red meat for activists, like her forceful call to abolish the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. But much of her appeal has to do with politics, not policy: while Omar touts several achievements in the legislature, she also talks often about how her 2016 campaign increased voter turnout by 37 percent in District 60B.

State Rep. Ilhan Omar
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
State Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents House District 60B in central Minneapolis, is a favorite of the progressive wing of the DFL.

Omar told MinnPost that a central theme of this primary is the importance of maintaining a strong get-out-the-vote operation in this deep-blue district. Ellison made a point of turning CD5 into an engine of DFL votes during his 12 years in Congress: the district was at the bottom of the state in voter turnout when he took over. Now, it’s consistently at the top — a fact Ellison is often quick to connect with the failure of Republicans to win a statewide election since 2006.

“People want to know, is their next representative going to carry on the legacy that every vote matters, and every vote counts?” Omar asked, invoking Ellison’s campaign slogan. “It is a district that is very much interested in making sure our progressive values are represented, and they know the only way they’ll continue to be represented is if we have people who are not going to just think about getting themselves to Washington, but think about getting other progressives to Washington.”

While Omar touts her electoral success and inspiring story, Anderson Kelliher, the 50-year old former Minnesota House Speaker, is pointing to her lengthy record as an elected official, framing it as proof she’s a battle-tested progressive equipped to stand up to Trump while doing legislative work on behalf of CD5 constituents.

In her tenure as Speaker, which ran from 2007 to 2011, Anderson Kelliher frequently did battle with then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican pushing a tax and budget-cutting agenda. In ads, mailers, and stump speeches, she has invoked that history early and often. One mailer from her campaign says that “right-wing Republicans” were working to block a progressive transportation plan. “Then they ran into Margaret Anderson Kelliher,” the mailer proclaims.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
On the trail, Margaret Anderson Kelliher is playing up her experience as a policymaker.

“I’m having a really good conversation with people,” Anderson Kelliher told MinnPost. “They respond really well when they hear my background of standing up to Tim Pawlenty… they see that as a way to go to Washington and stand up on their behalf versus Donald Trump.”

Anderson Kelliher is more comfortable explaining education policy than she is firing up a crowd. On the trail, she’s playing up her experience as a policymaker. “People seem to really want someone who’s experienced, who’s able to go to Washington, D.C., and hit the ground running on their behalf,” she says.

Torres Ray, who represents parts of southern Minneapolis and Richfield in the state Senate, is offering voters a bit of everything. As a 12-year veteran of the legislature, she has a long record of policymaking to draw on as she makes the case she has the experience needed to succeed in Congress. At the same time, she’s also casting herself as a veteran organizer and coalition-builder capable of mobilizing CD5 voters to boost the fortunes of progressives up and down the ticket.

Earlier in the race, Torres Ray told MinnPost that a supporter described her as a combination of longtime former Rep. Martin Olav Sabo, known for his prolific work in policy areas like transit, and the outgoing Ellison, known for his organizing acumen.

In an interview with MinnPost, Torres Ray said her public record speaks for itself. “That’s been a very powerful tool for me and a very important message for me, that people need to look at who I am and what I’ve done and they can make their own conclusion about what I’m going to do in the future.”

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray has a long record of policymaking to draw on as she makes the case she has the experience needed to succeed in Congress.

The 54-year old, who came to Minnesota as an immigrant from Colombia and worked her way to the legislature, said the race is about more than who’s best to stand up to Trump. “Voting is the easiest thing you do when you get to Washington,” she said. “Everyone is picking a fight with Trump. What comes after that is what people want to know in this district. What are you going to do for immigration reform? How are you positioned to do it?”

“It’s the practicality of what we bring that is unique,” she said.

No stone unturned

So far, it’s Omar, Anderson Kelliher, and Torres Ray who have gotten the lion’s share of key endorsements and fundraising support, putting each of them in a position to compete in the primary. Abdulahi and Drake, meanwhile, are considered longshot candidates by observers of the race.

All three front-runners talk a lot about coalition-building, and each argues they’ve built the broadest and most diverse coalition — based on everything from age to geography and racial background — that will carry them to victory on August 14.

With the party’s endorsement, and the endorsements of Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Omar has the imprimatur of the DFL party, as well as access to its considerable communications and organizing resources. She has also been endorsed by several national progressive grassroots organizations, such as Democracy for America and MoveOn.

Jamal Abdulahi
Jamal Abdulahi for Congress
Jamal Abdulahi is considered a longshot in the race.

Those factors, some observers say, give Omar a distinct advantage. Beyond that, the rookie legislator, who pulled off a surprising primary upset of veteran state Rep. Phyllis Kahn in 2016, is known as a relentless organizer and employs aides who subscribe to an old-school philosophy of grassroots politicking. She boasted that her campaign is working hundreds of volunteers who have contacted nearly 100,000 voters through calls, door-knocking, and other means.

“We are running a campaign that really doesn’t believe in there being a particular base for us,” Omar said. “We believe that the whole district really needs to be represented, and we need to reach out to the whole district… It’s like, all hands on deck, not leaving any stone unturned.”

Candidates in the CD5 race, however, are careful to point out their efforts to work the entire district, which isn’t just the city of Minneapolis: many voters here live in inner-ring suburbs like St. Louis Park and Edina.

With Omar locking up support from much of the Minneapolis city DFL establishment, Anderson Kelliher and Torres Ray are making strong plays for the suburbs. The former House speaker, who lives in Minneapolis herself, has notched endorsements from the mayors of five suburban cities, including Richfield, Edina, and Golden Valley. She has been endorsed by nine current members of the legislature, most of whom represent more suburban areas.

In interviews, Anderson Kelliher has made a point of noting her hopes of representing the entire district. “The ability to really build the broadest coalition, including the suburbs and the city, seems really important to people,” she says.

Torres Ray, meanwhile, is a known quantity to many DFL voters in the residential, southern end of CD5, owing to her service in the legislature. ECM Publishers, which puts out newspapers in many of the district’s smaller, suburban cities, endorsed Torres Ray for the primary. The editorial said she is “the only candidate who has some experience in representing a suburban community. Our suburbs… need a Congressional representative who will devote herself to understanding community issues, some of which are quite different from Minneapolis’ needs.”

Frank Drake
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
Frank Drake challenged Ellison in 2016 as a Republican.

With less than two weeks to go until primary day, and with CD5 residents participating in early voting, the candidates are sprinting to the finish. Omar and Anderson Kelliher both have raised the kind of money to bankroll robust media campaigns through August 14: as of the end of July, Omar’s campaign had raised $246,000 and had $111,000 on hand.

Anderson Kelliher, meanwhile, had raised $350,000 by the end of July, and had $250,000 on hand. Her campaign released its first TV ad on Wednesday, and she is expected to roll out more in the coming days. At the end of July, Torres Ray had raised close to $65,000, and has $45,000 on hand.  

The opportunity afforded to whoever wins this primary is not lost on the DFL hopefuls: Ellison held this seat for 12 years, and it elevated him to national prominence. Before him, Sabo held the seat for nearly 30 years, and rose to chair the powerful House Budget Committee during his time in the Capitol.

“For most people, Keith was like their second, and for a lot of people, Keith is like the only congress-member they have ever known,” Omar says. “They’re excited about what it means for them to choose their next congressperson, who might be there for a long time.”

Comments (30)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/02/2018 - 11:29 am.

    Might be there for a long time?

    It’s practically assured, absent some fatal error by whomever is elected.

    Experience should be a key criterion, followed by achievements in office. That would leave Omar out. She may be an exciting new face, but her sole accomplishment to date seems to have been to win office. Arguably, Anderson Kelliher and Torres are evenly matched in terms of experience and achievements. If so, the next question might be which of the two is most likely to have some fresh ideas to contribute. In that, I suspect I would have to give the edge to Torres, if only because of the differences in the two candidates life experiences.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/02/2018 - 12:39 pm.

      I have to agree with this analysis.

      Ordinarily I would have to support Margaret Anderson Kelliher who has a lot of experience in the state legislature.

      But Torres Ray walks the talk in a way that really impresses me. Sometimes you have to stick your neck out in a way that may not be the most popular. She has been willing to do this. She also has an immigrant experience of the type we need in Minnesota. Immigration into Minnesota is very important for us.

      I could also live with Omar. She has been getting a lot of on the job training, but so far has managed to keep her head above water. I used to be very big on “who is the most qualified.” Not so much, anymore.

      We are very lucky to have these three in the race.

      • Submitted by Miguel Lindgren on 08/03/2018 - 08:20 am.

        Yes, we are lucky to have 3 great contenders but 1 standsout

        I agree that we are lucky to have 3 great contenders but I think Torres Ray is the standout in this field. Ilhan simply lacks the experience to go from the state to Washington. I think she will be a great congresswoman in the future. Anderson Kelliher has experience as a policy maker but in my opinion is out of touch with the people that live in the 5th district. Torres Ray has the experience and I think embodies the people of the 5th and is the best candidate to represent the district in Washington.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2018 - 09:36 am.

      Actually…

      Omar has a lot more experience than you might realize. I was surprised discover this myself at a local meet and greet. Check out her website and find a meet and greet you can attend, you won’t regret it.

  2. Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/02/2018 - 11:35 am.

    Campaign finance violations?

    http://m.startribune.com/fellow-legislator-accuses-ilhan-omar-of-using-campaign-funds-for-divorce-lawyer/489067481/

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/02/2018 - 12:31 pm.

      Omar is my MN House Representative, and I voted for her (no alternative for a DFLer in 60B general election). But the campaign violations she has incurred, which to me are relatively minor, do point to her absolute policy and procedure naivete, her bumbling way of being a political actor beyond getting elected. She accepted payment for speeches she gave.

      She should have known not to do that (she is paying the money back, but the damage, self-inflicted, was done.

      We don’t need a naif to represent MN Congressional District Five in Washington. We need experience and honed legislative skills.

      Such earned skill, via experience, is what Martin Sabo brought to that Fifth District seat, and it’s why he stayed in it so long (anybody remember? Marty helped save Social Security with some savvy bipartisan “tweaking” on various fronts that took real policy knowledge to effect.) Keith Ellison has shown that he’s not even in the same league.

      I like Kelliher for the experience and results she has shown. But both she and Torres Rey are true DFLers who would do well in the House for us.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/02/2018 - 01:26 pm.

        Agree

        I live in St. Paul and am not too worried since its a safe seat, but I think you are right on. Need to do better if its congress and not just the state house.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/02/2018 - 01:30 pm.

        Ihlan is a bit of a problem. In a short she has managed to make a number of ethical missteps. As historic as her career might be, she knows remarkably little about legislation and being a legislator. Margaret, on the on the other hand, is an extremely capable legislature, and as much as any freshman congress person can, she would hit the ground in DC running.

  3. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/02/2018 - 12:29 pm.

    Don’t know whom to vote for, but if I narrow it down to two of the three front runners, I’ll flip a coin; that, or vote for the most ridiculous Republicans instead. A DFLer will win in November, regardless.

    Another Muslim sworn in using the Jefferson Qur’an has a certain appeal in this age of Trump, but Phyllis Kahn’s exit from the Legislature rankles still; perhaps this was what the coalition of Our Revolution and DFL stalwarts tired of Phyllis had in mind when endorsing Ilhan Omar, but I didn’t and still don’t feel I and the rest of 60B were well served by that endorsement or CD 5 by Omar’s latest.

    I wish we had ranked choice voting for state and federal offices whether for a partisan primary or a general election; that’d save folks from flipping coins.

    • Submitted by Darryl Carter on 08/02/2018 - 04:05 pm.

      Ranked choice

      Amen to that ! OR Top Two, parties-be-damned primaries, ala CA,LA and WA. Gotta go with Margaret as the most experienced. Remarkable parallels with the late, great Martin’s career. I would like to see honest addressing by all of: 1. entitlements vis-a-vis the relentless realities of demography; 2. reduction of the U.S. imperial footprint on the globe; and 3. acknowledgment that the “Two-State Solution” is as dead as Ariel Sharon and Friends long ago promised to render it. Time then, to commence the rapid transition to a single SECULAR State, with equal rights for all within it.

  4. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/02/2018 - 03:14 pm.

    military spending

    I would like to know if these candidates differ significantly on military spending, which in my opinion is out of control and one of the largest issues this nation faces. Just yesterday 40 Democratic Senators, Klobuchar and Smith included, joined the Republicans in passing the military spending bill with an increase of over $80 billion, the increase about the same as Russia’s entire annual military budget. Nowhere in the media did I hear anybody ask, “How are we going to pay for it?”

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/04/2018 - 06:51 pm.

      That does seem to be the untouchable topic in Washington.

      Right-wingers are fond of saying this about education and anti-poverty programs: “You can’t solve a problem by throwing money at it.”

      But when it comes to the military, which has a proven track record of waste and fraud and huge sums unaccounted for, throwing money at it is all they know how to do, to the extent of funding military programs beyond what the services actually asked for.

      Maybe it makes these Congress persons, especially the chicken hawks, who never met a war they didn’t like but wouldn’t condescend to actually risk their lives in combat, feel macho by proxy or something.

      Unfortunately, Democrats, with few exceptions, do not challenge the narrative of having to increase military spending “because it’s a dangerous world out there.” And certain actions of the U.S. over the past seventy years have made it more dangerous than it needs to be.

      Nobody wants to eliminate the military, but it does seem to be a sacred cow.

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/08/2018 - 09:51 pm.

        Military spending

        Pales in comparison to entitlement spending, which is untouchable.

        Choose another “first” for the lifetime job and let her accomplish as much has Rep. Ellison did…

      • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/09/2018 - 11:21 am.

        exceptional

        Those who will throw money at the military without question generally talk about American exceptionalism, meaning military might and not social programs that benefit our citizens. For example, the USA is only one of four nations in the world without paid maternity leave, along with Somalia, Lesotho, and Papua New Guinea. We should be ashamed to be in this group.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/09/2018 - 09:39 pm.

          How much does a mother-to-be receive

          In Venezuela? In Somalia? Maybe having a better annual income is better than paid maternity leave (which more than a handful of people in this country receive the last time I checked).

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2018 - 10:22 am.

      Omar talks about military spending

      In the meet and greet I attended last weekend Omar talked about the need to decrease military spending and re-purpose that money to other programs like health care transportation infrastructure and transit spending, etc.

  5. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/03/2018 - 09:31 am.

    How to Choose?

    As others here have noted, electing another Muslim member of Congress–a Somali American woman, at that–has a certain appeal. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if that appeal is the main–or only–reason Rep. Omar was endorsed.

    Rep. Omar has served two years (one term) in the Legislature. She has had ethical lapses that can fairly be attributed to inexperience. I would rather see the 5th District elect a representative with less to learn about how to be a legislator.

    Rep. Omar brings a lot to the table. I just don’t think this is her time to bring it to Congress.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2018 - 10:20 am.

    Hmmmm.

    I wonder how many people who assume that Omar’s religion and ethnicity earned her the endorsement voted for Franken? Let’s remember the fact that Franken had ZERO legislative experience and he was running for a Senate seat. Franken had not lived in MN for decades yet no one questioned HIS ability to represent his constituents.

    I find Omar to be an intelligent and knowledgeable candidate who is extremely well versed regarding the representation most people in the district are looking for, be they city or suburban dwellers. I have confidence in her ability to represent people who don’t look like her (i.e. white folks like myself in the suburbs). I’m not bothered by her campaign finance mistake, I’m sure she’ll learn from that mistake. For me, Omar has a handle on the liberal and progressive agendas and priorities our nation desperately needs, and that perspective gives her power that the other candidates lack.

    My problem with Kelliher is that she’s positioning herself as a foil who will oppose Republicans in DC the way she opposed Pawlenty. That’s not a “bad” thing per se but I anticipate Democrats will gain the house and/senate and simply apposing Trump isn’t a position with political legs. I’d rather send someone to DC who has an agenda of things to do, and represent, rather than a list of things to oppose. It’s a given that house Democrats will “oppose”, I wan’t to know what kind of leadership they’re going to offer.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/08/2018 - 12:23 pm.

      Hmmmm, Indeed

      “I wonder how many people who assume that Omar’s religion and ethnicity earned her the endorsement voted for Franken?” I would hazard a guess that it was most of them, but you’re comparing apples to oranges. Franken’s main opponents for the endorsement (none of whom had prior elected office experience) in 2008 dropped out after the endorsing convention. In the primary, he had the usual slate of perennial candidate opponents, and Priscilla Lord-Faris (BTW, I would not have known that without Wikipedia, so you can see how unmemorable any of the other candidates were).

      Rep. Omar has opponents who have longer track records, and who have proven themselves as legislators. The comparison with Al Franken is inapt..

      “I’d rather send someone to DC who has an agenda of things to do, and represent, rather than a list of things to oppose.” It’s optimistic to think that the next representative from CD 5 will be anything other than a freshman representative member of the minority party.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2018 - 08:09 pm.

        Great response to the wrong issue

        The issue here isn’t the nomination process, it’s the primary vote, and your claiming that Omar’s ONLY qualification is her religion and ethnicity. THAT’S inapt. Regardless who gets on the ballot, the point is Franken had less political experience than Omar, and he won, and he went on to represent his constituents admirably. How he got on the ballot compared to Omar is irrelevant.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/09/2018 - 09:02 am.

          No, Not Really

          “The issue here isn’t the nomination process, it’s the primary vote, and your claiming that Omar’s ONLY qualification is her religion and ethnicity.” Actually, I was talking about the nominating process. Why was Rep. Omar picked for the endorsement? Were her religion and ethnicity factors (probably not the only factor, but it is hard to deny that her election would flip a well-deserved bird towards the White House)? If we’re talking about whom to vote for in the DFL primary (which is tantamount to winning, in CD 5), experience as a legislator is an important factor.

          “Regardless who gets on the ballot, the point is Franken had less political experience than Omar, and he won, and he went on to represent his constituents admirably.” That’s true. Inexperience is no bar to effective representation. On the other hand, it is something to look at.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/09/2018 - 09:46 am.

            OK

            I know you were talking about the nominating process (i.e. Omar’s endorsement), I was not. The endorsments have been rendered, we’re voting in the primary in a few days, let’s stay focused.

            We’re obviously voting for different candidates, all I can say is that as an Atheist, I NEVER vote for ANYONE based on their religious affiliation. As a white male suburbanite of Nordic descent, I can tell you that Omar’s ethnicity doesn’t impress me either.

            Ellison repeatedly won this district decisively, I don’t see it flipping Republican under Omar, but like Obama voters did with Clinton, I think Ellison voters might stay home if Kelliher is on the ballot instead of Omar. However I don’t think Kelliher could actually lose, and if she wins the primary, I’ll vote for her in the midterms.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/09/2018 - 09:29 pm.

            Just out of curiosity

            You seem to be consciously omitting Torres-Ray while discussing your voting options. Is there a reason? I ain’t got a dog in this particular fight, but it would seem she represents the best of both worlds?

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/08/2018 - 02:06 pm.

      Nonsense

      No one questioned Franken? You must not have been living in Minnesota in 2008, because the coverage of the question of Franken’s qualifications was everywhere. He barely won in a big Democratic year.

      The endorsement in this race was such an undemocratic joke that I’m not sure anyone cares who “earned” it. Its meaningless.

      Its not a mistake on the campaign finance. Its mistakes. Late reports. Improper payments. Muliple violations and more pending complaints. She paid a divorce lawyer with campaign funds but claims it wasn’t for a divorce. That will get fleshed out, and I’ll be curious whether her divorce was from the man she claimed was her husband or to the man to whom she was actually married, who was alleged to be her brother. These are the kind of things that can get swept under the rug in the state legislature, but not in congress.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2018 - 08:33 pm.

        Franken won.

        I’ve become accustomed to having to point out the fact that Clinton lost, must I now be required to point out that Franken won? OK… Franken won. He had zero political experience, less than Omar, and he won. And after winning he went on to become one of our most effective and talented representatives. Sure, those who didn’t vote for him had all kinds of questions and doubts… but it twas those who voted for him that delivered a victory, and I was wondering about those who voted for Franken, in fact I actually said that.

        We’ll see how many voters are worried about Omar’s divorce and the other alleged violations.

        Omar’s party endorsement is probably irrelevant to voters, as are complaints about it, whatever they may be.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/09/2018 - 08:59 am.

    Toxic Centrism

    Just to step back for a moment from the individual candidates I’d like to point to what I think are more examples of toxic or extreme centrism manifesting on this comment thread.

    Here we have yet another perfectly nice Minnpost article discussing and describing candidates, but the comment thread devolves into an attack on one of those candidates rather than a discussion of candidate merits, messages, and agendas. This toxic discussion is driven by moderates or centrists attacking the “leftist” candidate.

    At first it seems like a reasonable discussion about “experience” but you just scratch the surface and the venom comes out. We’ve seen this before in other comment threads about Democratic candidates, it was prominent feature of the Clinton-Sanders debate. To me, this hostility often looks like an expression of frustrated privilege. Those who are accustomed to anointing the candidate of their choice via the Party process find themselves facing credible challenges and they get frustrated- and hostile. Invariably the candidate that privilege wants to anoint is the most moderate, and the challenge they face is from the “left”. The irony of course is that these same hostile and divisive Democrats invariably end up complaining about our failure to “unite” behind THEIR candidates. Whatever.

    The problem of course is that this process of privileged anointment has pushed our nation to the brink of political catastrophe. Centrist and “moderate” candidates either lose spectacularly, or end up tilting the political landscape towards catastrophic failure even when they win.

    One thing it is to raise legitimate concerns about candidates, and we should all consider those concerns in due course, but centrist hostility is counterproductive and divisive.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/09/2018 - 10:03 am.

      Merits

      The fact that one of the candidates is dishonest and has repeatedly broken the law doesn’t go to the merits?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/09/2018 - 10:13 am.

      So . . .

      What are we supposed to talk about, when there is so little ideological light between the candidates?

      I’m not supporting Rep. Omar yet. I’ve decided on Rep. Torres-Ray as my primary choice, as I believe she has a strong record as a progressive. She also shuns showboating.

      Incidentally, just because a candidate wins the DFL endorsement does not mean that her opponents or those voters who oppose her are necessarily “centrists” or “moderates.”

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/09/2018 - 07:37 pm.

        I like Torres-Ray as well

        I like Torres-Ray but for now I’m still leaning Omar. I’ll take another look over the weekend.

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