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Mary Olson

Oct 17, 2012

Both sides go all out in Saxhaug-Carlson SD 5 duel

One of the most-watched and telling of the races in the new Senate District 5, operatives say, is the contest between freshman incumbent Republican Sen. John Carlson and 10-year incumbent Democrat Tom Saxhaug.

Jun 3, 2011

Several DFL legislators defeated in 2010 are getting back in the saddle

For former DFL Sen. Jim Carlson, it was a matter of a little reflection and time to “lick my wounds” before he knew he was ready to run again for the state Senate. Carlson, who served one term in the chamber, was ousted last fall by Republican newcomer Ted Daley as part of a massive GOP wave that saw the party take control of both the House and Senate for the first time in nearly four decades.

Nov 17, 2010

GOP leaders talk about how they flipped a veto-proof majority in Senate

Late last week, three of the principal architects of the Republicans' Minnesota Senate takeover gathered in Sen. Amy Koch's office for one last time to talk about how they'd pulled it off.

Nov 12, 2010

Meet the freshmen: Senate GOP edition

As Charley Shaw writes this week, the new Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate appears dedicated to projecting a considerably more conservative face when Session 2011 convenes in seven weeks.

Oct 22, 2010

In demographically split District 4, first-term Sen. Olson looks to hang on

In the 2002 election that followed Minnesota's last round of redistricting, the three seats that comprise Minnesota legislative District 4 - which includes the city of Bemidji, Cass County and parts of Itasca, Beltrami, Hubbard and Crow Wing counties - were swept by Republicans. Some believed the results were a harbinger of reliable GOP dominance in the area.

Jul 9, 2010

13 could be lucky number for Senate GOP

Around convention time in the spring, Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, boasted that his caucus would retake the chamber’s majority in November. Considering Senate Republicans’ 38-year stranglehold on minority status, and the 13 seats that his troops will need to gain to make good on the pledge, it amounts to a tall order.

Jun 16, 2010

In the age of social media hype, direct mail still a pivotal part of campaigning

Back in the 1990s, in another political lifetime, political operatives like Mark Penn and Karl Rove made names for themselves by exploiting the advantages of closely defined messages to specific groups of voters via direct mail.

Apr 2, 2010

March Madness recap (conventions edition)

The month of March witnessed several interesting endorsing conventions for state legislative seats. In many instances, the conventions sorted out who will carry their party’s banner in November. In other cases, the endorsed candidates are being challenged in a primary. Here’s a rundown of what occurred at some of the notable conventions from the month past.

Mar 29, 2010

Rybak adds legislative support

R.T. Rybak called a Capitol press conference this afternoon to announce support from seven state legislators for his gubernatorial campaign. The only problem: the House and Senate members were still stuck trying to complete their work before the Easter break.

Feb 22, 2010

8 legislative incumbents facing intra-party challenges

Eight Minnesota legislative incumbents -- five DFLers and three Republicans -- are facing challenges from members of their own parties this year, not counting six incumbents who have said that they aren't seeking re-election and have fellow party members lining up to succeed them.

Aug 24, 2009

35 candidates ready to take on legislative incumbents in 2010

More than 14 months before the 2010 general election, 19 people have filed with the Campaign Finance Board to run for the state Senate in 16 districts, and 16 have filed to run for House seats.

Aug 7, 2006

Competitive campaign unfolding in District 4

Redrawn map leaves both scrambling to win votes on opponent’s old turf The reelection bids facing six legislative candidates in Minnesota’s new Senate District 5 are unlike any other across the state this election cycle. The shrinking population in the north central region of the state left the area with one less Senate district after ...

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