Opportunity Walzes In

State Rep. Randy Demmer won the 1st District endorsement on Saturday, beating out Alan Quist and two more conservative candidates.

Demmer, a four-term state representative and business owner from Hayfield, a town southwest of Rochester, vowed to paint Walz as too liberal for his southern Minnesota district.

“We know Tim Walz is working with Nancy Pelosi,” Demmer said. “He’s right there doing everything she beckons him to do.”

For all his talk in 2006 of being independent and representing his district – which ranges from rock-ribbed conservative farmers, doctors and businesspeople in the south and the Rochester area to mewling liberals in and around Mankato – Walz has been nothing but a lapdog for Nancy Pelosi (although rumors that he actually ran and fetched a stick thrown by Madame Speaker are apparently false).

Demmer beat back a challenge from longtime conservative activist Allen Quist and two other contenders, who couched their bids in even more heated rhetoric.

Demmer, 53, took eight ballots over about five hours at the convention held at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

And that’s a good sign; while I prefer the more conservative candidates in general, Demmer is no Arne Carlson; his Taxpayers League rating is 64, which could be better, but it beats Walz sitting down.  And while abortion is not my litmus test issue, it does my heart proud to see that NARAL has give him a long string of zeros.  Put it this way – if he wins, it’ll be like Gil Gutknecht never left.  Perfect is the enemy of plenty good enough.

Downside?  Walz is sitting on $600,000; Demmer has about $10K in the bank.  He’s got a lot of ground to make up; even with a conservative tailwind, it’s going to be a busy year.

Any of my readers in the First – please sound off!

8 thoughts on “Opportunity Walzes In

  1. Probably a good choice for this district; as much as I like Quist, he’s going to scare some moderate voters. And since Demmer gets 0% from NARAL, that indicates he’s going to get a lot of things right–whether or not it’s one’s own personal litmus test, I’ve rarely seen a pro-choice legislator of either party get much right.

  2. Quist spent too much time talking about Obama secretly planning a world government and similar conspiracy theories about the Dems in general. The opponent in November is Rep Walz, and though he has clearly voted with the far left over the last year, he still comes off as moderate.

    Demmer should do fine against Walz as long as he can show that Walz is not at all a moderate. Walz’s vote in favor of cap and tax in a district that is about 45% rural/agricultural will hurt him, as will his vote in favor of Obamacare.

    I would have liked to see Jim Engstrand win the endorsement. A National Guard Lieutenant Colonel who was in Iraq just two months ago, his military service would have been the green light for a thorough investigation of Walz’s exaggerations of his military record. But given the fact that he couldn’t announce he was running until two months ago, and that he was relatively unknown, I would say Engstrand’s 68 delegate tally was very respectable.

  3. It’s interesting that a taxpayer league rating of 64 makes him the more “electable” candidate.

    Can somebody with a 100% rating get elected state wide?

  4. Have to agree re: Demmer being more electable than Quist although I was a little surprised to see that he apparently voted to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota (a position that I’m nominally in favor of but ranks pretty far towards the bottom on my list of priorities). If this is a sign that Demmer leans libertarian even when it’s politically risky, he might be a breath of fresh air in our State’s congressional delegation.

  5. The 1st is our swing district. I would be highly surprised if any of the others change hands before the next round of gerrymandering.

  6. MON asked “Can somebody with a 100% rating get elected state wide?”

    No to partisan but a person with 0% is mainstream.

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