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Minneapolis GOP Sleeps Through Election


On January 10th there was a special election to fill vacant seat in the Minnesota Senate. Nobody noticed:

Kari Dziedzic easily won a special election on Jan. 10 to become the next state senator to represent Northeast and parts of Southeast Minneapolis.

Dziedzic (DFL) took 79 percent of the vote while Republican Ben Schwanke collected 19 percent.

In total, only 4,273 votes were cast on an unseasonably warm January day. That’s less than 10 percent of the 45,000 registered voters in Senate District 59.

Dziedzic inspired almost 8% of registered voters to bother marking her name. This is not “consent of the governed”. It is acquiescence and apathy. The election was merely a formality in installing the next generation of DFL (Democrats, to those not familiar with Minnesota peculiarities) hegemons as representatives of the Eastside.

My insider pallys were all pretty happy with Dziedzic, at least as compared to her primary contenders. Although, I couldn’t hide my delight when one of them remarked that this race showed how the Minneapolis DFL has become an embarrassing shadow of its former self. In my minimal Neighborhood Activist dealings with Kari, she was competent and uninspiring. She won because of her families connections, not because she was anything special.

The deeper embarrassment, however, falls on the Minneapolis Republicans. In this special election, turnout was expected to be ridiculously low. Their party could have “stolen” a seat in a DFL stronghold and reinforced their majority in the Legislature. It would have taken only 4,000 more votes for the GOP kid to win.

SD 59 is ludicrously lefty, combining the Northeast Progressives with the unicorn worshippers around the U of M campus and the East African immigrant trough-snufflers in Cedar-Riverside. Even so, there are still likely 15% registered Republicans. If the GOP could have just turned out their people, they would have won.

As I like to misquote Yoda, for Minneapolis Republicans, there is no “try”. There is only “fail”.