While we still have quite a wait before the 2010 midterms, one thing that can be said with some certainty is that the gubernatorial race in Minnesota is going to be one of the more entertaining contests. The DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor Party) was already gearing up for a crowdedprimary, and with Tim Pawlenty opting against a third term, we Republicans now have a multi-candidate smackdown of our own (pardon the Jesse Ventura joke).
What’s more, most of the potential GOP candidates are young hotshots rather than established figures – and playing field is ridiculously level. There’s State House Minority Leader and tentative frontrunner Marty Seifert (age 37), and State Rep. Paul Kohls (35). Moving up to the old people, there’s former State Auditor Pat Anderson (43), State Rep. Tom Emmer (48). An then there are the more reasonably seasoned former State House Speaker Steve Sviggum (57) and State Senator David Hann (also 57).
However, the candidate who seems to be generating the most excitement is State Rep. Laura Brod (37), who I first mentioned back on June 3rd. I said back then that I thought she showed great potential. Since then, she has blasted out of the starting gate to set herself up as a potential frontrunner -and she hasn’t even announced her candidacy yet! (Granted, that’s likely coming very soon.) In a recent poll of GOP insiders at the State Central Committee meeting, Seifert won, but there was more focus on Brod’s strong third place showing. It’s nothing to sneeze at when a lowly State Representative blows away a former State Auditor (Anderson) and a former Speaker of the House (Sviggum). And that’s just the insiders. With a the primary still over a year away and not many candidates with name recognition, Brod should be more than able to catch up to Seifert.
Furthermore, some of the lefty Minnesota blogs are already cranking out attacks on Brod (and attacking me for daring to mention her), which makes me inclined to concur with the assertion of Truth vs. The Machine – this woman scares the Dems.
She’s young, she’s fresh, she’s well-spoken, and she knows how to play to Minnesotans. She’s not a perfect conservative, but she is certainly no squish on either fiscal or social issues – and frankly her slightly more moderate environmental positions will be a big help in her state (I love Jim DeMint types, but they don’t play statewide in MN). Also, I would note her stated commitment to the development cellulosic ethanol – which means she’s well aware of the damage that corn ethanol can do to food supplies.
As a hard-core conservative, I would personally have absolutely no trouble supporting her as a nominee, and she also seems to have some credibility with libertarian leaners (my old friend Eric Dondero is as libertarian as they come, and he likes the idea).
So, while she may be a little more Pawlenty than Palin, she’d probably be the most conservative person to hold a major statewide office in Minnesota for a long time – and she’s electable to boot.
The more I hear, the more I like – so unless something changes in a major way, Laura Brod has my endorsement for Governor of Minnesota in 2010.
…and did I mention that Sen. Brod is on Twitter? Definitely someone to follow.