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MN-02: Jason Lewis wins GOP endorsement

by Dan Burns on May 8, 2016 · 3 comments

lewisbuckley(Our candidate, representing the major party that is not running Donald Trump for president, is Angie Craig. You can help her out here.)

I wrote about the race here. I did not specifically note a long-priced outsider, Gene Rechtzigel, but he apparently did provide the most memorable part of the convention, using his presentation to accuse President Obama of having ordered the murder of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and so forth. Anyway:


Under Minnesota’s endorsement system, party conventions vote to endorse candidates, but other candidates who don’t get the endorsement can ask voters to overrule that endorsement and pick them instead at the Aug. 9 primary. (David) Gerson said Saturday that he would abide by the endorsement, drop out and support Lewis.
But at least one and possibly two candidates will challenge Lewis for the Republican nomination in the Aug. 9 primary. Businesswoman Darlene Miller has promised to run in the primary, while former state Sen. John Howe said he will decide soon whether to stay in the race.
(St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Retiring/fleeing Rep. John Kline (R-MN) has endorsed Miller. Given that Kline’s time in Congress has been nothing but a negative for students, women, workers, the elderly…really, everyone except rich white men, there’s no good reason for his endorsement to matter. But it might, anyway. We’ll see. Howe is presumably under a lot of pressure – as in, might even get a phone call from Kline himself – to drop out and avoid splitting the “sane,” anti-Lewis vote.

Comment below fold.

From Mac Hall: Your readers should read John Hinderaker’s post reflecting on his time as a delegate to the convention. The embrace of Lewis was not a surprise for regular readers of the Powerlineblog, but assessment of Darlene Miller was interesting :


Darlene Miller, is a businesswoman with no political experience. For reasons that are opaque to me, she has John Kline’s support. She appeared at the convention and spoke along with the other candidates at the beginning of the nomination process, but then withdrew her name from consideration. Knowing that she has little grass roots support, she intends to run in the August primary against the endorsed candidate.
Duh … the reason is obvious … Trump has put a number of Republican seats in play … and that could impact the existing power struggle between Establishment Republicans and the Freedom Caucus. Kline is a product of the Establishment while Lewis would be an active member of the Freedom Caucus. Kline is retiring, as are a number of other Establishment Republicans, so even if the GOP controls the House, the power struggle will likely shift the balance … in the Freedom Caucus favor. Kline has seen the chaos caused by the Freedom Caucus with its willingness to shutdown the government (as well as rejecting his crafted NCLB and Workforce Improvement reform bills.) Heck, Kline is on the frontline now in a battle over DoD funding. The Freedom Caucus wants it cut below President Obama’s request … Kline backed more funding than the President requested (appropriating $575.7 billion for the Defense Department. That breaks down to $517.1 for the base requirements and $58.6 billion for a war fund, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.) Kline also backed provisions for more troops.
So it shouldn’t be “opaque” why Kline wouldn’t back Lewis (besides he realizes that in a general election, Lewis’ rants will be replayed in commercials, mailings and in newspaper articles.) What is “opaque” is WHY Darlene Miller … is she the best that Kline could find ? Yeah, I can understand how they could want a successful pro-business Woman … the appeal is obvious in the male-dominated Congress … but Angie Craig was already taken … so instead they push someone who has built her business based on government-backed loans, confusing China outsourcing strategy, and actually reducing headcount … but she has the backing of the Washington Establishment.
This will be an interesting primary … does Norm Coleman and his American Action Network and Tim Pawlenty’s Business Roundtable take a stand supporting Washington’s Darlin’ Darlene Miller … or wait until August 10th to see who survives and assess all competitive races before deciding how much to invest ? And what about the Club For Growth … will they stake an early bet on Jason Lewis and confront Miller ?
Lastly, let us remember that this is an open primary … non-Republicans can vote … and the Mark Dayton-Margaret Anderson Kelliher primary vote results suggest that there was a little “mischief” … enough that MN GOP supporters decided that Dayton would be an easier target than MAK (they just didn’t realize that Tom Emmer would run such a bad campaign.)
IMO, the contrast between Lewis and Craig can be easily determined by the voters … but a race between Miller and Craig (with the media already giving attention to Paulsen-Bonoff and Nolan-Mills contests) might give the edge to “Grandma” to replace the “Gregarious Grandpa” in Congress.
For another take on the election, read Gary Gross’s assessment.

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