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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What the MN GOP can Learn From the February Special Election and Choosing a Candidate

Democrat Karla Bigham has beat Republican establishment pick Denny McNamara in the February 12th, Senate District 54 special election. It's an embarrassing loss for the GOP who saw Trump win by 6 points and two republican house members Jurgens and Franke also win in this district just over a year ago. It should have been easy to beat one of the most extreme left wing, tax and spend, democrats to have formerly been in office. Bigham, in her final year in the legislature, was one of only six democrats out of 87 in the legislature at the time to get a 0% lifetime rating by the non-partisan Tax Payers League.  Republicans could have offered a clear choice for voters by endorsing a fiscal conservative. But dropped the ball and instead picked the less liberal than Bigham moderate Denny McNamara. Moderate is putting it lightly, see: Fourteen Years of Broken Promises. No Problem. Denny McNamara Wins Republican Endorsement 

When will the Minnesota GOP realize that running candidates who are "democrat lite" is a sure way to lose to a democrat? They tried in district 23B to put an establishment moderate republican on the ticket for their 2/12 special election after delegates chose the more fiscal conservative Jeremy Munson at their endorsing convention: Speaker Kurt Daudt's MN Republican House Mafia Plans to Primary Against the GOP Endorsed Candidate. The delegate choice prevailed because he beat the democrat by 20 points! Munson campaigned on being against "wasteful government spending, high taxes, and over reaching government". For reference, District 23B is hardly a republican stronghold. In 2010 the democrat beat the republican by 13 points.

What the Minnesota GOP can learn from the February 12th special elections is to put up candidates like Jeremy Munson who support the party's core values and can communicate how that will improve the lives of voters over the opposing party's strategy of growing government and taxes. Whereas, candidates like McNamara who may say the same things; but have a record of growing government and taxes, but just not as much as a democrat, inspire no one (democrat lite). When these candidates are chosen they're easy to defeat when challenged by even the worst democrat. We all saw the massive amounts of ads against Bigham and her record of voting to raise almost every tax there is to raise. But it's all a waste when the opposing republican can't claim they'd do the opposite and propose legislation to lower taxes and spending. 

-Matt Behning