1) GOP gubernatorial candidates Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers are tied among primary voters, according to a KSTP-SurveyUSA poll released on Wednesday.
Both Zellers and Johnson are tied at 23 percent support from likely GOP primary voters. Former Rep. Marty Seifert sits at 14 percent and businessman Scott Honour has 9 percent.
“Jeff Johnson has clearly gotten a nice bump from the Republican-endorsing convention,” Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota, said of the race. “He’s now tied with the much better known Kurt Zellers who had been Speaker of the Minnesota House.”
In the GOP US Senate primary, Mike McFadden leads Rep. Jim Abeler 44 percent to 16 percent. The nomination elections are on Aug. 12.
2) The University of Minnesota released a study on Wednesday that showed a nearly 41 percent decline in Minnesota’s uninsured rate since Obamacare went into full effect.
The percentage of uninsured Minnesotans dipped from 8.2 percent of the population to 4.9 percent. For Democrats, its a victory for the beleaguered exchange and a vindication of health care reform efforts at the federal level. The brunt of the change came from access to public health programs.
“From offering the lowest health insurance rates in the nation, to securing the lowest uninsured rate in state history, health reform is working in Minnesota,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. ”Today, 180,500 more Minnesotans have affordable access to quality health insurance. We have more work to do to help ensure all Minnesotans are covered, but today’s report demonstrates that health reform in Minnesota is headed in the right direction.”
3) The state Department of Human Services has disagreed with experts who have advised a district court judge that a member of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program should go free, the Associated Press reports.
The department cautioned against releasing the man, identified as E.T., because of a history of violent behavior in the program and a lack of skills that would serve someone in the real world. The move comes after US District Court Judge Donovan Frank ordered the state to show why the man couldn’t go free.
COMINGS & GOINGS
- Pro-gay marriage group Minnesotans United for All Families is hosting its annual “Pride Fest” fundraiser for Gov. Mark Dayton in Minneapolis on June 25. Expected guests include House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble, among others. Suggested donations range from $50 to $4,000. The event will be held on the courtyard at 801 Washington Ave. N, and begins at 5:30 p.m. RSVP to [email protected]
- The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce is hosting its legislative breakfast tomorrow morning, with members of the Capitol press corps holding a discussion on the recently completed session. The panel discussion will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Minneapolis, and begins at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $30; members only. More information here.
- Scott Beaty has terminated his registration for the Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association, which he had represented since 1996. It was Beaty’s only registration, and the change leaves that public health organization without an official representative.
- Metro Republican Women has its monthly breakfast meeting with Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek this Saturday morning. The 8:30 a.m. event will be held at the Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights. Cost is $18 for members, $20 for guests, and $10 for students. More information here.
- The Builders Association of the Twin Cities is hiring for a new press secretary. The interest group is seeking someone with at least five years of experience in public relations, and with knowledge of multiple media platforms, including digital communications. More information here.