Two years ago Foung Hawj was an also-ran in the Senate District 67 contest. In a nine-candidate DFL primary field, he finished with 10 percent of the vote — more than 20 points behind the winner, former St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington.
As the state’s late-summer primary date approaches next week, more DFL candidates find themselves in the midst of competitive intra-party contests than Republicans.
For the second consecutive election cycle, a St. Paul Senate district has no incumbent running. Two years ago the open seat in Senate District 67 attracted nine DFL candidates — easily the most challengers in the state.
If the level of political activity on St. Paul's East Side is any indication, voter turnout in Senate District 67 will not be low. At intersections all over the district, there are people holding signs promoting Cha Yang, Foung Hawj and other challengers in the nine-candidate DFL field.
In a nine candidate primary field, it's tough to distinguish yourself. But Chai Lee, who works in St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's office, is doing his best in the Senate District 67 contest.
Pakou Hang is backing Chai Lee in the crowded Senate District 67 contest. In 2005, Hang ran for a St. Paul City Council seat, losing out to Sixth Ward incumbent Dan Bostrom by less than 400 votes. Perhaps more relevant to the current St. Paul Senate contest: Hang was the campaign manager for Mee Moua's initial successful campaign in 2002.
While the gubernatorial campaigns and the legislative caucuses are attracting most of the money and attention in the current election cycle, legislative candidates in competitive districts are also getting some measure of love from the PAC donors who have weighed in with their first finance reports of 2010.
State Sen. Mee Moua's unexpected decision not to seek a third term at the Capitol set off a political frenzy in the St. Paul district that she represents. Ultimately nine DFL candidates jumped into the fray, setting up a confusing August 10 primary. Look for a longer piece about the contest on PIM's web site later today, but here's thumbnail sketches of the contenders:
The last-minute retirement of Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, coupled with the decision of SD 67 Democrats to make no endorsement in the race to replace her, has made for a nine-person primary race in the district. The candidates (drum roll, please): John M. Harrington, Foung Hawj (Heu), Tom Hilber, Chai Lee, Vang T. Lor, Jim McGowan, Trayshana P. Thomas, Avi Viswanathan and Cha Yang. Is it the state[...]
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