Southwest suburban Democrats Yvonne Selcer, Ron Erhardt and Joan Howe-Pullis are watching their backs in their blue-trending MN House districts.
Three DFL endorsed candidates in three politically purple southwest suburbs define their positions and records on the pre-election edition of Democratic Visions. Moderate Democrat Yvonne Selcer is seeking a second term in House District 48A. She is being challenged by Republican Kirk Stensrud who held the same southern Minnetonka/northern Eden Prairie seat for a single term prior to narrowly losing the 2012 election to Selcer. Selcer’s team claims that the Republicans have made the former Hopkins School District Board chair their number one MN House target to flip.
My family, which includes two voting age kids, lives in 48A. The Stensrud, MN GOP and uber-conservative PAC pollsters, pitchmen and pornographers are hosing us over the phone and on cable TV, YouTube and Facebook ads and through our mailbox. The “pornographers” (employed here in only a figurative sense) include Pro Jobs Majority, Minnesota Action Project and the Republican Party of Minnesota. Yvonne Selcer’s comforting, school marm charm and legislative record expose the right wing smears as graffiti, spray-canned by folks in need of anger management intervention.
Edina’s Ron Erhardt is also a target as he seeks his 11th term in the Minnesota House. Nine of those terms were served consecutively when Mr. Erhardt was an independently minded, moderate Republican; he is now an independently minded, moderate Democrat. Erhardt was bounced out of the Republican Party after he and five other Republican legislators voted to over ride then Governor Pawlenty’s veto of a transportation-funding bill in February 2008. The lean, chiseled bucaroo did not run in 2010 but found time to entertain the usual suspects at a Drinking Liberally therapy session in NE Minneapolis a few weeks before the election. In 2012, Erhardt-the-Democrat was returned to the MN House by Edina voters.
One of Ron Erhardt’s Edina neighbors, DFL elder Tim O’Brien (our lead host on Democratic Visions), sees Ron as the most effective and knowledgeable transportation advocate in St. Paul. Blogger Steve Timmer (also of Edina) notes at Left MN that his fellow villagers are trending blue but do not vote for ideologues blue or red. Explaining, perhaps why Erhardt’s G.O.P. opponent Dario Anselmo says very little.
Eden Prairie’s Joan Howe-Pullis is challenging Republican incumbent Jenifer Loon to represent House District 48B. Loon was one of the few Republicans who voted for the marriage equality law last year. She was punished by south Eden Prairie party Republicans and forced into a very expensive summer primary. Although Loon crushed her right wing primary challenger, she now faces a popular community organizer. DFL endorsed Joan Howe-Pullis helped mobilize Eden Prairie opposition to the 2012 Republican supported ballot question that would have had the State Constitution define marriage as only between a man and a woman. With her votes back then, Jenifer Loon helped put that constitutional amendment question on the ballot.
House District 48B voters rejected the anti-gay, “marriage amendment” by 60%. Joan Howe-Pullis and her marriage equity colleagues did the hard work in a district where very conservative Republican Senator David Hann also lives.
Joan Howe-Pullis can upset her respected and conservative incumbent on November 4th even as Democrats are supposed to wither into minority status. In southern Eden Prairie, as the song goes, “the times they are a changing.” Howe-Pullis is well liked, knows her part of town and is an active member of the large, Pax Christie Catholic Community. Jenifer Loon’s overall conservative voting record (she opposed light rail and recent minimum wage hike legislation) may no longer fit her constituents.
All three DFL endorsed candidates need strong get-out-the vote support.
Democratic Visions on YouTube
Yvonne Selcer video segment
Ron Erhardt video segment
Joan Howe-Pullis video segment
Democratic Visions cable TV schedule
Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. MTN streams the program from its website during cable casts
Minnetonka, Hopkins, Edina, Eden Prairie and Richfield – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m., and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Democratic Visions is independently produced by Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Edina volunteers at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission and Southwest Community Television. Democratic Visions is not endorsed or supported by any political party or political action committee.