A few weeks ago, when I was in Minneapolis to speak at the SD61 special endorsing convention, I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Fields, who is running for the GOP endorsement to run against Keith Ellison in the Fifth.
And as Nancy at True North discovered, Fields is an imposing guy with a compelling story:
Fields grew up poor in the South Bronx and said he made “horrible choices” in his youth – including accidentally burning down his home while playing with matches at 5, and taking up smoking at 13.
And a conservative grew in the Bronx:
He lived in Section 8 housing and during that time his 24-year-old stepfather bought 3 buildings for $1 each, creating a co-op with the help of donations and volunteers. Fields says that investment now holds over $45 million in assets. He learned a valuable lesson from his stepfather — that anyone can make a positive difference.
After working on Wall Street, Fields joined the Marines and retired an officer after 21 years. Having served in the Middle East, he offers first-hand knowledge and perspectives of the complexities of fighting terror and maintaining a military presence.
It’ll take a confluence of several things to unseat Ellison in a district like the Fifth:
- A wave of discontent with the Democrats and DFL so immense that nobody, not even Ellison, is invulnerable.
- A GOP organization that goes against decades of history and gets hordes of volunteers out on the street.
- A solid outreach to the minority vote that has become so important in both of the Twin Cities (an area where the DFL has been falling increasingly short, as they basically assume those votes are in the bag from the word go).
- More fundraising than any Republican has managed in the Fifth in forever.
- A Fifth District that’s been diluted (possibly)
- A really good candidate.