Sunday, April 23, 2006

SD 43 gets wake-up call

SD 43 convention (Photo: North Star Liberty)
If last November's special election was a rude awakening for the once "safe" Republican west metro area, the Minnesota Senate District 43 Republicans got a wake-up call for good measure from its leadership at Saturday's convention. Over one hundred delegates packed the lunchroom at Hopkins North Junior High School to endorse a slate for state Senate and House candidates and vote on party platform resolutions.

Congressman Jim Ramstad (Photo: North Star Liberty)
Rep. Jim Ramstad, Third District Congressman and resident of the district (he also represented the area at the State Capitol during the 1980s), exhorted the delegates to work hard to "take back" the Senate seat lost last fall, and keep the House seats in the Republican caucus. Ramstad is well-known for never taking anything for granted, not even party endorsement after winning eight terms in Congress, so his staff and volunteer team are very familiar with hard work on campaigns! Ramstad will face Democrat challenger and radio broadcaster Wendy Wilde for his Third District Congressional seat.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the morning came when Republican activist James Seim, the first to announce a run for the SD 43 Senate seat endorsement after Terri Bonoff's win in November, told delegates that the time had come to unify behind Mayor Judy Johnson for Senate. The announcement came as a surprise to most, which turned to a standing ovation for the man who delivered such a classy resignation speech. Delegates will likely welcome him back should he run for some future office.

Sarah Anderson (Photo: North Star Liberty)
Who's Sarah Anderson?

Greeting arriving delegates as the registration tables opened was Sarah Anderson, who won endorsement for the House District 43A seat being vacated by Attorney General candidate Jeff Johnson. Anderson was accompanied by a troop of her closest friends and relatives in red campaign t-shirts, large red signs, stickers, and flyers introducing herself and her stand on the issues. That was a good thing, because most delegates had never heard of Anderson, unless it was from a visit to Speaker Steve Sviggum's (R-Kenyon) office, where Anderson served for six years as Executive Advisor.

Sarah Anderson volunteers (Photo: North Star Liberty)
Rep. Jeff Johnson assured me that there will be an attempt from the floor of the House to amend the Twins Stadium bill to include a referendum on the Hennepin County sales tax, but that the amendment will face strong opposition from House members (surprise) outside Hennepin County. The "Hennepin County Twins" and "Hennepin County Stadium" is sounding better and better every day (surely the Hennepin County Board will at least get naming rights in exchange for the tax revenue).

Rep. Ron Abrams (Photo: North Star Liberty)
Rep. Ron Abrams, who will defend his House District 43B seat this fall, enjoyed major kudos for his years of behind-the-scenes efforts to improve Minnesota's tax code. While he shies from the limelight, he is highly respected on both sides of the aisle for his extensive knowledge and — a rarer commodity — wisdom.

Mayor Judy Johnson appeared energized, in fighting trim, and positively eager for the campaign to begin. Her hubby and son were helping out at the convention (their daughters had sports commitments). Like Ramstad, she was not taking her endorsement for granted, but will no doubt kick it in gear now that the endorsement is in hand.


GOPWingman said...

Jeff Johnson represents HD 43A, not 43B. Great post, by the way. It's good that you are keeping up on this in the Plymouth-Wayzata area.

Matt said...

Darn, no "gatekeeper" editor! I stand corrected, thanks.

GOPWingman said...

Do you have an e-mail address where I can reach you?

lloydletta said...

Did the Edwatch IB resolution pass at this convention?

Matt said...

I don't know, but I will try to get the resolutions results.