The Select Committee on Disparities and Opportunities will be co-chaired by Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, and Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis.
Foung Hawj’s initial run for a Senate seat didn’t suggest that he had a bright future in electoral politics. In a crowded, nine-candidate DFL primary field in 2010, Hawj won just 10 percent of the vote.
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.
The fields in all 201 Minnesota legislative contests this fall are now set after more than 40 primary races across the state were settled on Tuesday. In some instances, DFLers and Republicans won contests in partisan strongholds and have almost assuredly secured their place in the Legislature next session.
For most candidates getting past the primary election is merely the first electoral hurdle that must be surmounted prior to joining the Legislature. But for candidates in districts that tilt heavily in favor of either the DFL or GOP, the primary race can effectively serve as the only meaningful contest.
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.
n the four months since legislative maps were released, political strategists and journalists have been scrutinizing the new House and Senate districts to determine which ones favor Republicans or Democrats and where the key battlegrounds will be in 2012.
It’s not uncommon for a legislator or two to announce their retirements after the end of session. But 2012 has seen more last-minute departures than many political pros can ever recall.
A handful of August primary elections are heating up across the state thanks to the new redistricting map, an uptick in legislative retirements and widespread dissatisfaction with the job lawmakers are doing in St. Paul.
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.
When Kathy Lantry’s mom was growing up in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul in the 1940s, the Sacred Heart Church held Masses in both English and German. Today the Roman Catholic parish still conducts Mass in a pair of languages, but the non-English service has changed to Spanish.
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