Posted: 03/07/08 18:39
by Dave Mindeman
Down here in the south Metro there will be an open legislative seat this fall in District 37B. This district comprises all of Rosemount, MN and about half of Apple Valley. Moderate Republican Dennis Ozment has held that seat for over 2 decades...often running unopposed. His decision to step down has caused a flurry of party activity in a place that often had been quiet as a church mouse.
Tomorrow we will find out who the party's endorsed nominees will be. On the Democratic side, we have 3 individuals. Phil Sterner, a small business owner, is currently on the Rosemount City council. Kurt Hansen owns a veterinary clinic in Rosemount and has been a long time resident. A late entry comes from Tom O'Keefe, an investment manager, who lost a race for Apple Valley City Council in 2004.
Of the three, only Phil Sterner has had any background in party politics and because of that, probably has the inside track on getting the endorsement.
On the Republican side, Dennis Ozment has not endorsed any particular candidate...but he has made his feelings clear about the only candidate who has won an election in the past, former ISD 196 school board member, Judy Lindsay. Clearly stating in an interview that he considers her "unelectable", Ozment made clear who was NOT his choice. There is bad blood between the moderate Ozment and the religious right wing conservative Judy Lindsay. Lindsay ran a primary challenge to Ozment during one cycle.... and her other district notoriety relates to her opposition to gay student rights.
As for the other two candidates, not much is known about them outside of local party circles. Deb Kaczmarak is a retired teacher and Dan Ganfield is a retired firefighter. There is no clear indication as to which would have the support to win endorsement, but with two of them it may allow Lindsay the opportunity to extend the ballotting. In any case, Lindsay has never been afraid to move to the primary if necessary.
On the Democratic side, it is also not clear if all candidates intend to abide by the party endorsement.
Tomorrow night, we should know more.