Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A time for choosing

Kurt Bills, the Republican endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, sent the following message to supporters. It is directed squarely at those Republicans who either stayed home on Election Day, or used their vote to "send a message" or "teach a lesson" to the Republican party "establishment," for endorsing the "wrong" candidate.

Elections have consequences. With Gov. Mark "Tax The Rich" Dayton and two liberal U.S. Senators later, how did that work out for ya?

I would add to Bills's commentary the practice of certain former Republican elected officials to undermine the candidacies of Republican-endorsed candidates by publicly endorsing their DFL opponents. The First Amendment applies to these members of the old guard as much as to any other American, but such a public repudiation of the party is also a betrayal to those of us who still work to advance Republican values.

If you have issues with the Republican Party, and many of us do, fine, next election cycle, run for delegate in your precinct, fight for changes to the platform, work hard for the candidate of your choice. But days before Election Day, it is a time for choosing. Vote next Tuesday, but please don't sabotage our fight from within.

In June 2009 Norm Coleman conceded his Senate race to comedian Al Franken.

He lost the race, after 6 months of recounts and legal battles, by 312 votes.

In December 2010, Tom Emmer conceded his race for Governor after a similar recount, losing by fewer than 9000 votes.

Both races have something in common much more important than the fact that they ended after recounts: they ended with extremely liberal politicians taking power entirely due to the defection of Republicans to third-party candidates.

In a very real way, Democrats didn’t win those elections as much as Republicans chose to lose them.

In my mind, that is shameful. Do any of the Republicans who voted for Dean Barkley or Tom Horner really believe our state and our country are better off with Al Franken and Mark Dayton as Senator and Governor?

The reasons for some Republicans to defect from Coleman and Emmer are a mirror image of each other. Some Republicans expressed dissatisfaction with Coleman because he was not conservative enough for their taste; in Emmer’s case, others thought he was too conservative.

They were looking for the “Goldilocks” candidate in the race, and voted for a third party candidate or stayed home. In the Emmer race, former Republican Tom Horner garnered over 250,000 votes, more than 25 times the margin by which Emmer lost. Not all those votes were disaffected Republicans, of course, but too many of them were.

The results are stark: Minnesota didn’t get a centrist, “goldilocks” Senator or Governor. They were saddled, instead, with two of the most liberal politicians in the country representing them in Washington and St Paul.

Republicans who didn’t vote for their Republican candidates are responsible for the passage of Obamacare, a bill that would have been stopped had Norm Coleman been in the Senate.

I am not one to believe that we should abandon our principles and simply adopt the Party line. Many of you recall that I am the Republican Senate candidate today because I ran an insurgent campaign from outside the Party structure.

I firmly believe it is our responsibility to fight within the Party to ensure it represents our principles. Ronald Reagan was an insurgent, and eventually won out against the Rockefeller Republicans after nearly two decades of work in the trenches.

During that time Reagan was both a loyal Republican and a principled warrior for his cause.

That is what each of us needs to be today. Day in, day out each of us needs to work tirelessly to persuade other Republicans to our side when we disagree; and day in, day out we need to fight to defeat Democrats who are pushing policies which if left unchecked will bankrupt our country and undermine the constitutional foundations of our country.

Ronald Reagan hit it on the nose when he declared: “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.”

That is why I am voting for a Republican straight ticket this Election Day…and why you should, too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Generation R

By David Faith, sd44gop.com

If you checked out the Star Tribune’s website this weekend you probably noticed two things. One, in what has to amount to the least surprising development of the entire Presidential campaign, the Star Tribune editorial board endorsed Barack Obama. Two, and far more interesting, was an article about how young people coming of age during the Obama Presidency are becoming more and more fiscally conservative. Indeed, Republican identification among young voters is the highest it has been in many years.

This corresponds exactly with my anecdotal observations over this election season. One of the most exciting things about this year’s election is the number of young people getting involved in helping out our Republican candidates. If you’ve been coming out to meet the candidates in Senate District 44, to fundraisers, to parades, and to other volunteer events of all kinds, you’ve met a new generation of Republican activists that are changing the political calculus of the State of Minnesota.

And it’s no wonder. Our Republican candidates are the only ones in the room speaking to young people like adults and addressing the fiscal mess they’re going to inherit. A central theme of the campaigns of SD44 State Senate candidate David Gaither, and our State House candidates Sarah Anderson and Mark Stefan, is that the current generation’s spending binge has to come to end if we’re going to give the next generation a fair shake at the same opportunities we enjoyed.

Young people are among the reasons that in addition to returning Republican majorities to the State Legislature, we have a real shot of helping to elect a Republican President of the United States. The latest Rasmussen polls show Mitt Romney drawing to within 5% of Barack Obama in Minnesota, the closest we’ve seen the race in the entire election season. What’s more, the momentum is clearly in Romney’s favor, having improved an astonishing 5% just since October 18.

At our recent SD44 gala we had the tremendous pleasure of welcoming former Senator Rudy Boschwitz to make the keynote address. Among his observations was the fact that Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984 without once blaming Jimmy Carter for the fiscal mess Reagan inherited. The Senator noted, with wry humor, that he was embarrassed to say what the 50th state had been. It was Minnesota. We have an historic opportunity to turn Minnesota around for Republicans with a message of limited government and personal liberty that resonates especially with the young. We will not waste that opportunity. We’re going to win this for our candidates, for our children, and for ourselves.

David Faith is Vice Chair at Large of the SD44 Republicans. This post originally appeared on sd44gop.com.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Political parties

As regular readers of North Star Liberty know, my favorite part of politics is the political parties. I don't mean the partisan political organizations, I mean the social events that those groups conduct!

From attending Republican election night parties, Red, Right and Brew happy hours, SD44 PUBlicans happy hours, Minnesota Organization of Bloggers events, senate district fundraisers, candidate meet-and-greets, and other such events, I have learned that Republican activists are well-informed, intelligent, passionate, interesting, successful, and just plan fun to hobnob with.

SD44 had its most successful event in years last Thursday, a fundraiser at the Medina Golf and Country Club. The attendance was great. They had a silent auction and a "wine pull." The food and drink were excellent. The men cleaned up and the women were dressed to the nines. They attracted great speakers like U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz (a district resident), Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Commissioner (and district resident) Jeff Johnson, and of course local candidates David Gaither, Sarah Anderson, and Mark Stefan. (In the auction, I won an American flag and four dozen oatmeal M&M cookies freshly baked by Rep. Anderson.)

Also this year, SD44 has held happy hours at various venues around the district. You never know who or how many will show up, but you can usually count on district treasurer Geoff Shipsides to save a spot for the group. I attended events at Jake's in Plymouth and The Muni in Wayzata. They were great opportunities to meet other Republicans to talk politics and other common interests. At Wednesday's event I met a supporter and friend of Marc Berris, a candidate for Hennepin County judge who strongly endorsed him and handed out his campaign cards for good measure.

Once in a while, campaigning can almost seem like a party. The Pawlenty bus tour in 2006 was a fantastic experience. So was blogging at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, where I met U.S. Senators Fred Thompson and Jim DeMint.

Election night parties can be exciting, and of course they are a lot more fun when your candidates win than when they don't. I enjoy being a part of history in the making, along with the media, candidates, and activists on election night. But win, lose, or draw, I am always proud to stand with my fellow activists, knowing that we did our best, and looking ahead to the next campaign.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

If in doubt, vote early

Minnesota Ballot CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by bicyclemark
Written by David Faith, SD44gop.com

In 2008, roughly 30% of voters nationally voted before Election Day.  One of the less appreciated factors in Barack Obama’s sweeping victory in 2008 was that Democrats dominated early balloting.  In virtually every state, including Minnesota, early voters tended to be Democratic voters.  This was not an accident.  It was a core part of the President’s campaign strategy, and of Democrats’ larger strategy to get out their vote.  The reasoning behind this strategy is blindingly obvious and borne out by both common sense and statistical analysis.  All other things being equal, people are more likely to vote if they have a month or more to accomplish it than if they have to remember to do it on a particular day.  

Voter turnout is the key to winning elections, and this is particularly true when you’re talking about state and local races in swing districts.  In state legislative elections just 1 or 2% difference in turnout could make the difference between sending small government fiscal conservatives like David Gaither, Mark Stefan, and Sarah Anderson to St. Paul, vs. sending DFL candidates that will rubber stamp Mark Dayton’s plans to make Minnesota the highest taxed state in the union like current DFL senator Terri Bonoff.

If you care enough to vote, you should care enough to vote early if there is any scenario you can imagine that would cause you to be unable to vote on Election Day due to absence from the precinct, illness or disability, religious observance, or service as an election judge in another precinct (you will have to certify to one of those four reasons).

This election is likely to be close, very close.  Consider this.  The incumbent DFL representative in SD44, John Benson, won his 2010 election by only 595 votes out of 17,399 cast, a margin of just over 3%.  It is not at all hard to imagine that just over 3% of voters had something come up that kept them from the polls.  A last-minute business trip?  A family emergency?  Health problems?  Life is complicated and unpredictable, and even determined voters can have something come up that takes priority.

I’ll say it again.  If in doubt, vote early.  Fortunately, it’s easy.  In Minnesota you can cast an absentee ballot in two ways.  First, you can send in an application to receive an absentee ballot by mail.  The form and instructions are available at the Secretary of State’s website.  Second, you can vote in person at your local city hall, or at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, during regular business hours.  Some locations have extended and weekend hours.  Details for Minnetonka can be found at the City of Minnetonka website.  For Plymouth, visit the city of Plymouth website.

David Faith is Vice Chair At Large of the SD44 Republicans. This post is cross-posted from SD44gop.org.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fact checking Terri Bonoff

By Janet Schutz

Fact checking has been in the news quite a bit lately. I decided to do some of my own fact checking on the SD 44 Senate race. I served for two terms on the Wayzata School Board, so I do have a bit of an inside view to see through a big hole in one of Terri Bonoff’s claims.

DFL Senator Bonoff boasts that a bill she co-authored “allowed the Wayzata School District to expand without raising taxes.” That sounds really good. Too bad the statement doesn’t quite meet the fact-checking standard.

This bill provides early eligibility to the Wayzata School District for Alternative Facilities financing (Statute 123B.59). Wayzata can now issue debt for certain maintenance projects and charge the taxpayer for those debt payments without first getting taxpayer approval. With multiple buildings that need to be maintained, the bill is a good thing for the school district. Alt Facilities monies, however, cannot be used to expand.

Wayzata Schools is in fact expanding its elementary space. But they’re doing it via capital lease levy financing (Statute 126C.4), and would have done it regardless of the outcome of the law to which Terri refers. It’s also true that they are able to build without raising current levels of taxes. That’s because as old debt rolls off, they are replacing it with new capital levy obligations. It is a debt structure carefully designed to minimize taxpayer impact. This is due to years of prudent management on the part of Wayzata Schools’ administration and school boards.

I take pride in the history, success and AAA bond rating of the Wayzata School district. I am disappointed that Terri Bonoff has chosen to use the Wayzata School District’s accomplishments as a tool for her own political gain. I expect more from our elected officials.

This post originally ran on the Plymouth Patch as a letter to the editor on October 23, 2012.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An offer we can't refuse

Click image to zoom in

"As government expands, liberty contracts." —Ronald Reagan

Light rail transit is rolling down the tracks to a neighborhood near you. As far as the Metropolitan Council and Gov. Mark Dayton are concerned, taxpayers and those who live in the trains' path have three options:
  • Lead
  • Follow
  • Get out of the way
Three lawsuits against the Central Corridor LRT line illustrate this.

When Minnesota Public Radio complained that light rail trains rumbling down Cedar Street in front of its downtown Saint Paul lobby doors could disrupt its broadcast and recording studios, the Metropolitan Council refused to re-route the tracks. When MPR asked for a spring-steel floating slab system that has proven to reduce noise and vibration from a similar transit route in Basel, Switzerland, Met Council Chairman Peter Bell said, "I think MPR does an excellent job in news and classical music. Engineering light-rail systems is not their area of expertise." MPR's subsequent lawsuit against the Met Council was dismissed. A less-expensive rubber-based floating slab system will be installed, which the experts at the Met Council assure MPR will work just fine.

When the University of Minnesota balked at the prospect of vibration and electromagnetic interference from light rail trains disrupting sensitive laboratories through the heart of its campus, they proposed an alternate route on the northern outskirts of campus. When the Met Council declined to reroute the tracks, the U sued. The University dropped its lawsuit in an agreement with the Met Council that includes mitigation measures that the Met Council assures the U will work just fine.

When the Saint Paul NAACP complained that potential negative effects of the line on residents and businesses have not been adequately analyzed, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's office commented, "I'm not sure it's inevitable bad things will happen." The NAACP's lawsuit against the Met Council, the Federal Transit Administration, and the federal Department of Transportation is still pending.

Governor Dayton is a big supporter of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit route. Just don't confuse him with the facts.

When Gov. Dayton's own Department of Employment and Economic Development rated the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit last out of twelve metro area projects for grant money (see chart), Gov. Dayton ignored his own agency's scorecard and awarded the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit a $2 million DEED grant.

The Southwest Transitway Draft Environmental Impact Statement lists "severe" noise impacts "in a number of residential locations...[due to] high anticipated speeds of [sic] or light rail vehicle-mounted audible warning signal (bell) use at some stations and crossings;" vibration; noise and vibration from freight trains re-routed to make way for the light rail; up to hundreds of property acquisitions depending on the final route; and safety and security impacts.

I wouldn't bet against the Southwest LRT getting built due to environmental, noise, vibration, or safety concerns from property owners and residents. Light rail transit in the Twin Cities metro area is an offer from the Met Council we can't — or won't be allowed to — refuse.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Republicans hope, but don't change

By: Peter Schiff
August 17, 2012
For much of the past few generations, the debate over balancing the federal budget has been a central feature of every presidential campaign. But over time, the goalposts have moved. As the amount of red ink has grown steadily larger, the suggested time frames to restore balance have gotten increasingly longer, while the suggested cuts in government spending have gotten increasingly shallower. In recent years, talk of balancing the budget gave way to vague promises such as "cutting the deficit in half in five years." In the current campaign, however, it appears as if the goalposts have been moved so far that they are no longer in the field of play. I would argue that they are completely out of the stadium.

It says a great deal about where we are that the symbolic budget plan proposed last year by Congressman Paul Ryan, the newly minted vice presidential nominee, has created such outrage among democrats and caution among republicans. The Obama campaign warns that the Ryan budget is a recipe for national disaster that will pad the coffers of the wealthy while damning the majority of Americans to perpetual poverty. The plan is apparently so radical that even the Romney campaign, while embracing the messenger, is distancing itself from the message (it appears that Romney wants to bathe himself in the aura of fresh thinking without actually offering any fresh thoughts). In interview after interview, both Romney and Ryan refuse to discuss the details of Ryan's budget while slamming Obama for his callous "cuts" in Medicare spending.

(It is extremely disheartening that the top point of contention in the campaign this week is each candidate's assertion that their presidency could be the most trusted not to cut Medicare. Mindful of vulnerabilities among swing state retirees, Republicans have also taken Social Security cuts off the table as well. What hope do we have of reigning in government spending when even supposedly conservative Republicans refuse to consider cuts in the largest and fastest growing federal programs?)

So what was the Ryan Budget's radical departure from the status quo that has caused such uproar? If enacted today, the Ryan budget would so drastically upend the fiscal picture that the U.S. federal budget would come into balance in just... wait for it.... 27 years! This is because the Ryan budget doesn't actually cut anything. At no point in Ryan's decades long budget timeline does he ever suggest that the government spend less than it had the year before. He doesn't touch a penny in current Social Security or Medicare outlays, nor in the bloated defense budget. His apocalypse inducing departure comes from trying to limit the rate of increase in federal spending to "just" 3.1% annually. This is below the 4.3% rate of increase that is currently baked into the budget, and farther below what we would likely see if Obama's priorities were adopted.

Because there are no actual cuts in his budget, Ryan hopes that fiscal balance can be restored by 2040 only because he assumes that we achieve returns to the annual economic growth that are equal to levels averaged for much of the last century. In other words, he sees slow growth of the last four years as the aberration, not the new normal. As with all other government projections, this is on the extreme optimistic end of the spectrum. In truth, there is nothing on the horizon that should make anyone think these growth figures will be achieved. America's crushing debt, burdensome regulations, political paralysis, and nagging demographic problems bode poorly for the return to trend line growth anytime soon. More likely, based on the speed towhich republicans will shrink from popular backlash, is that the "cuts" that Ryan proposes will be abandoned as soon as they prove to be politically unpopular.

In fact, among his other overly-optimistic assumptions are that the unemployment rate falls to 4% by 2015 and an unprecedented 2.8% by 2021, another real estate boom begins almost immediately, and there is an average inflation and ten-year treasury rate for the next ten years of 2.04 and 4.15 respectively. These are assumptions that would make even the most rabid economic cheerleaders sit on their pompoms. Despite these pollyannish economic growth and record low unemployment projections, Ryan still assumes interest rates will remain near historic lows and that none of the cheap money showered onto the economy will ever find its way into the CPI. In other words, it's the economic equivalent of winning the lottery twice in a row while failing to account for the higher taxes that accompany such good fortune.

Like all other government forecasters, Ryan never considers how rising interest costs on the many trillions of dollars of outstanding government debt holdthe potential to completely upend budget projections. For more on this, see my recent commentary "The Real Fiscal Cliff."

More likely, the continued accumulation of unsustainable levels of debt under the Ryan plan will eventually cause our creditors to lose confidence in our ability to repay. It will cause interest to spike, the economy to tank, unemployment to soar, spending to rise, revenues to decline, and the budget deficit to spiral out of control. Rising interest rates hold the potential to spark a sovereign debt and currency crisis that willrender the entire plan irrelevant anyway.

While I appreciate that Ryan has the courage to take a position at the vanguard of his party in the campaign for fiscal responsibility, the modesty of his plan is just the latest reminder of how utterly divorced from reality Washington politicians remain. Like all of his brethren, Ryan is pinning his budget battling plans on the pain free "grow your way out of it plan." But as long the government consumes so much of the nation's productivity, the conditions to create that growth will never occur. Hope is not a strategy.

Peter Schiff is an author and the CEO & Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital. Originally posted on the website of Euro Pacific Capital.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Republican majorities missed an opportunity

By Phil Krinkie

Regardless of how policy makers would like to characterize the session, there is a phrase that comes to mind by American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”
The 2012 legislative session was disappointing not only for what they did, but also for what they failed to do. For the first time in 38 years both the House and Senate were controlled by Republicans who ran on a promise to reduce the size of government and provide tax relief to hard working Minnesotans. In January Republicans gathered at the State Capitol to present an “aggressive” reform agenda which called for tax relief and government reform. Early in the session the budget forecast brought news of a billion dollar budget surplus. This should have cleared the way for swift progress and a speedy conclusion to the session, yet it took the conservative majority three months to send their first tax reform bill to Gov. Dayton.

Rather than working to enact the priorities that got them elected; Republican legislators let Gov. Dayton set the agenda and wasted time on meaningless hearings, meetings with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, and approving a long list of public pork projects.

In the end GOP lawmakers failed to accomplish any of their major goals and succumbed to Gov. Dayton’s desire to increase the state’s debt and approve a taxpayer funded billion dollar sports palace.

Phil Krinkie is the President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sarah Anderson: proven leader

Written by David Faith, SD44gop.org

House District 44A (Plymouth) has the good fortune to be represented by Sarah Anderson, an experienced legislator with a record of standing up for small business, taxpayers, and pragmatic solutions to our state’s problems.  A legislator’s voting record says a lot about them.  Anyone can offer platitudes that they think voters want to hear, but at the end of the day we’re electing someone that will actually make the right call on legislation.  I’ve taken a hard look at Sarah Anderson’s voting record, and what I’ve found is a pragmatic conservative that has repeatedly made the right call for the people of her district.  Let’s take a look.


Just this last session Sarah voted for business property tax relief, a common sense measure to reduce overhead for small Minnesota businesses at a time when they’re struggling with a weak economy.  This measure passed the House of Representatives with broad support, largely because most legislators recognized that Minnesota has become a comparatively hostile environment for business.  But Mark Dayton vetoed the measure.  This is only the latest pro business, pro taxpayer measure she’s supported.

Sarah has repeatedly voted against DFL measures to raise virtually every category of taxes: income taxes, gas taxes, alcohol taxes, & surtaxes and surcharges on everything from car registration to certain types of interest.  She’s voted to make Minnesota one of the many states that welcome our nation’s heroes by ending the tax on military retired pay.   But she’s not just a doctrinaire conservative.  When a tax cut proposal doesn’t make good fiscal sense, such a symbolic temporary gas tax holiday proposed a few years back, she votes against it.  Sarah’s record is of someone who believes in taking less from Minnesotans while at the same time being responsible about the state’s finances.

Role of Government

Lots of conservatives talk about limiting the power of government and returning it to the people, but Sarah has actually made the difficult votes necessary to achieve that objective.  She took the gutsy and politically risky stance of voting against the Vikings stadium measure, not because she has anything against the football team, but because she believes on a principled level that it is not the proper role of government to finance vast entertainment projects.  That is the kind of principled leadership we need.

Sarah’s record is of someone who seeks not only small government, but responsible government.  If you look at her votes on budget issues, she has consistently voted to slow the growth of government.  But at the same time she’s fought for proper financing of those government programs that are genuinely necessary.  For instance, she voted to use unexpectedly good tax revenues from hard-working Minnesotans to pay back funds borrowed from the state’s education funds.  The DFL defeated the measure, preferring to keep those funds available to finance other government boondoggles.

Finally, Sarah has voted to stand up for individual freedom against government regulation in countless specific ways.  To name just two, she voted to treat Minnesotans as adults and let them purchase fireworks, and she voted to protect peoples’ right to use deadly force to defend themselves from criminal attacks.  These measures are important, because it shows a commitment to an individual-centered society, where people are given the freedom and responsibility to make decisions about their own lives rather than have the government make those decisions for them.

Voter ID

Sarah is a longtime supporter of voter ID, and her voting record reflects that.  She repeatedly voted to require photo identification to verify the identity of voters, despite the inevitable Mark Dayton vetoes, and helped to get the proposed amendment onto the ballot.  She recognizes that the only way to detect voter fraud, let alone stop it, is to have in place some method of verifying that people casting ballots are actually registered voters in the district where they are voting.  Asking people to collect a free government-issued ID is a small price to pay for integrity, and we need people like Sarah that are willing to stand up for voters.

Sarah has proven herself standing up for us.  It’s time we did the same for her.  If you are in 44A please make sure that you vote.  If you’re at all unsure about being able to vote on Election Day, then take advantage of early voting.  Have a plan.  We need to keep Sarah in the Legislature.

David Faith is Vice Chair At Large of the SD44 Republicans. This post originally appeared on SD44gop.org.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

SD44 announces gala on October 18

SD44 cordially invites you to its "Take Back Our Country" gala event, Thursday, October 18 at the Medina Country Club in Medina. Here's a chance for us parade walkin', door knockin', lit droppin', sign poundin', similin' and dialin' GOTV callin' volunteers to clean up, dress up, and show up to hobnob with our fellow Republican activists and candidates and recharge for the final three weeks of the campaign. You don't have to live in the district to attend — and we won't (necessarily) be checking photo IDs at the door! Click the image for details.

You can save $10 by buying an advance ticket at www.sd44gop.org. It's a fundraiser, so please bring your wallet. It's your patriotic duty! Be there, aloha.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

League of Women Voters SD44 forum liveblog

Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Plymouth City Hall, October 4, 2012, 7:00-9:00 pm. Candidates participating:
  • SD44 Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka), incumbent
  • David Gaither (Republican)
  • SD44A Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), incumbent
  • Audrey Britton (DFL)
  • SD44B Rep. John Benson (DFL-Minnetonka), incumbent
  • Mark Stefan (Republican)