Primary vote expected to be spottyThe state’s elections chief predicts that turnout for Tuesday’s primary will be low. “The habit of Minnesota is huge turnout in general elections and relatively low turnout in primaries,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. All 201 legislative seats are up for election, with relatively few primary races.
By: Don Davis, Alexandria Echo Press
ST. PAUL — The state’s elections chief predicts that turnout for Tuesday’s primary will be low.
“The habit of Minnesota is huge turnout in general elections and relatively low turnout in primaries,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
All 201 legislative seats are up for election, with relatively few primary races.
In party races, such as those for Congress, the primary will whittle the candidate list down to one person to represent each party on the November 6 ballot. In non-partisan contests, like for Supreme Court, the primary will leave the top two vote-getters in play.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar faces Democratic opponents who have not waged very public campaigns. Among Klobuchar’s opponents are Dick Franson, who has run in more than two dozen elections since 1964, only winning the first; Jack Shepard, a dentist in Italy who could face arson charges if he returns to Minnesota; and Darryl Stanton, who also ran in the past but made little impact and whose campaign this year has been quiet.
Klobuchar’s likely opponent, Kurt Bills, faces two other Republicans. David Carlson is a military veteran who at one time worked for Gov. Jesse Ventura and recently began airing television commercials as his first noticeable campaign activity and Bob Carney Jr., who says, “We must reverse the extreme right wing takeover of the Minnesota Republican Party” and in recent days has spent much of his time criticizing U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann.
Two state Supreme Court justices have opponents.
Jill Clark and Dan Griffith challenged Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, the top justice the last two years of her six years on the high court.
In her second run for the Supreme Court, Clark centers her campaign on opening up the judicial system so the public can obtain information.
Griffith is an International Falls attorney who emphasizes the fact that although the Constitution calls for elected justices, most over the years have been appointed by governors.
Gildea, a Plummer native and University of Minnesota Morris graduate, talks about her leadership as chief justice, including making sure the judicial branch was funded when some of state government shut down last summer.
The court’s newest justice, David Stras, also faces two opponents: Alan Nelson and Tim Tingelstad. Nelson says he strongly supports separation of church and state, and expresses concern that Tingelstad would mingle the two. Nelson also says he supports gay marriage and abortion rights. On his Website, Bemidji’s Tingelstad, who has run for the high court before, says: “The church must return to its vital role of supporting and influencing the state. ... It is time to rediscover our Godly heritage.”