As I usually do, I’m posting my choices for the upcoming elections and my reasoning behind them for those who trust me and may not have as much time to research their votes as I have. Find your balloting place and information on your ballot here plus candidate profiles and links here.
Note that I’m leaving off those judges and other officeholders who are running unopposed. I don’t know of any write-in campaigns that are either necessary or viable.
If you do something similar, please feel free to link to it in the comments. My friend Naomi is working through her choices as well.
Governor: Mark Dayton
Attorney General: Lori Swanson
Secretary of State: Mark Ritchie
Auditor: Rebecca Otto
Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 2: Helen Meyer
Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 6: Alan C. Page
Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Seat 13: Randolph W. Peterson
Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Seat 14: Larry Stauber
U.S. House District 5: Keith Ellison
Minnesota Senate District 61: Linda Berglin
Minnesota House District 61A: Karen Clark
Hennepin County Soil and Water Supervisor Seat 2: Amber Collett
Hennepin County Soil and Water Supervisor Seat 4: David Rickert
Hennepin County Commissioner District 4: Peter McLaughlin
Three Rivers Parks Commissioner District 3: Mark Haggerty
Minneapolis proposal to make the Charter Commission responsible for redistricting: Yes
Minneapolis School Board Members (2): Richard Mammen and T. Williams
Governor: Minnesota has gone 20 years without a governor who understood the value of public investment in the state. While I’m sympathetic to the cry to do more with less, that’s far too long to go with leadership that concentrates on the “less” part of that equation.
Attorney General: Has Swanson’s tenure as AG been perfect? No. However, there are no other credible candidates running. Even the Republican candidate doesn’t seem to know what the office does (or doesn’t approve of its role as legal advocate for the citizens of the state) and wants to use it for things like fighting health care reform and requiring voter IDs.
Secretary of State: I wish it were enough to explain that the Independence Party candidate isn’t actively running and the Republican candidate posts Fox News videos on his site, so Ritchie is the only real candidate. I’ll go further, though, and note that the Republican is campaigning almost solely on the topic of voter IDs (the other issue he mentions is one where he agrees with Ritchie), while Ritchie is working to use technology to lower costs and offer more services outside of elections as well, making him actually quite business friendly.
Auditor: Otto has received awards from her peers for her work in office. Her major challenger is the previous officeholder, a strong partisan whom Otto replaced after finding errors in her work. This one is a no-brainer.
Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 2: Meyer is the incumbent and endorsed by the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota as well as the big names in Minnesota politics on both sides of aisle. Her opponent doesn’t appear to be running for the position as much as using the election to campaign for judges continuing to face election. His endorsements come solely from parties that complain about “judicial activism.”
Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 6: Page’s opponent has this to say as part of his official statement: “I believe that justice is served when judges fear God” and is a “Constitutional originalist”. Aside from that, well, let’s just note that Page’s relevant accomplishments are such that his professional football career (including his admission to the Hall of Fame) are what have become the footnote to his life. He is exactly the person I want here.
Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Seat 13: The challenger in this race has put forth no information on her qualifications or reasons for running.
Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Seat 14: My reasoning on this is identical to that for Supreme Court Justice Seat 2, minus a couple big-name endorsements.
U.S. House District 5: Ellison is teh awesome. That is all. Well, except for the fact that his major opponent invokes the fear of God in his campaigning. Ew.
Minnesota Senate District 61: Berglin has served us well enough and long enough that her opponent is not bothering to campaign.
Minnesota House District 61A: Clark has served us well enough and long enough that her major-party opponent is not bothering to campaign. The Independence Party is fielding a conservative candidate without any government experience.
Hennepin County Soil and Water Supervisor Seat 2: This is the first time I can remember when there were actually multiple excellent choices for one of these seats. Tracy would also be an excellent choice; he has significant experience in this area. I went with Collett because she is already working to educate the public on the job she’s asking them to hire her to do.
Hennepin County Soil and Water Supervisor Seat 4: Rickert has far and away more experience in this area than any of his opponents.
Hennepin County Commissioner District 4: Laughlin’s opponent has not made any information available about his experience or positions on the issues that I can find.
Three Rivers Parks Commissioner District 3: Haggerty is an incumbent with a number of accomplishments under his belt. His opponent makes no case for replacing him in office.
Minneapolis proposal to make the Charter Commission responsible for redistricting: The people who are objecting to this proposal appear to be advocating for a means of redistricting that isn’t an option this time around instead of choosing between the old way (which is handled by the political parties) and this proposal. The Star Tribune has a short summary of the situation. There’s more discussion, including initial opposition that gave way to neutrality or endorsement, on the forums at E-Democracy.org. See here and here.
Minneapolis School Board Members: As I said on my primary ballot, school board elections in Minneapolis are interesting. Almost everybody is saying the right things about what needs to be done, so it comes down largely to demonstrated competence. My two choices have the most board experience directly related to schools.