Monday, March 27, 2006

 

Interview with Shelley Madore

A first for MNCR, but certainly (well....hopefully) not a last. Having a linked IM for blog-specific communication is a great thing - I recommend it to everyone. We'll get together, chat, do our thing.

Shelley Madore is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives from district 37A, centered in Apple Valley. This exurban area is growing fast, and has traditionally voted Republican. That trend largely reversed in 2004 - although Ms. Madore lost her election by a little over three points, several precincts voted strongly for her and for John Kerry over George W. Bush. It is an area in political flux, and presents a strong pickup opportunity for the DFL and Shelley herself. From her website bio:
Shelley has been an active member of the community since she moved to Apple Valley, Minnesota with her husband and two children in 1991 from Boston. In the 2004 election, Shelley ran as the DFL candidate for the open seat for Minnesota House of Representatives in Legislative District 37A, which covers western Apple Valley and the southeastern corner of Burnsville. She lost by less than 500 votes with 48.85 percent of the vote.
So - here's our conversation!

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MNCampaignReport: First things first - You moved to Minnesota in 1991 - how did you first get involved in politics and/or your new community?

S. Madore: I was active in Massachusetts with a few women's groups and once I came here I needed an outlet. I started out my "political" outreach by asking if I could help out with a huge city council project since I knew a lot about computers. From there, I was asked to fill an opening on the Urban Affairs committee and that was in June, 1993.

MNCampaignReport: This was in Apple Valley's local government?

S. Madore: Yes

MNCampaignReport: 2004 was your first campaign for state government?

S. Madore: Yes, for my first elected positon. I have been an advocate for families working with various state agencies since 1998.

MNCampaignReport: So once the campaign started, what was the driving force ir central strategy you pushed - any particular issue on the local, state, or national level?

S. Madore: I actually had been toying with the idea for a few years. The central strategy was the Fran Bradley comment in April 2003. As a parent of two children with disabilities, I had seen the stress that these families faced with managing to care for critically ill children at home. The way that he managed those budget cuts that year and his cavalier way of talking about these people just made my blood boil. So, I went to caucuses in the spring 2004 and then made my decision to run. There really wasn't one thing that moved me, it was the final straw that moved me into the race I guess. I knew I could do better and these families needed me to do that.

MNCampaignReport: So, going into the 2004 caucuses, the DFL didn't have a candidate for 37A?

S. Madore: Not on that night, at the a meeting we had two people who were nominated by the floor. I knew I should have allowed myself to be nominated but I had not even discussed it with my family. So, I came home and had lunch with a dear friend who told me that 37A was going to be an open seat because Knutson was taking a judgeship. It was then or never, so I just dove in. I assembled a team of people I knew I could work with and off I went. I did have a challenge but I was ultimately endorsed two weeks later.

MNCampaignReport: So at the official start of political season, you weren't officially a candidate, and you went on to get more than 48% of the vote. Did you know immediately that you would run again in 2006?

S. Madore: I wanted to but I was heartbroken for a few weeks. My staff actually said that I was a whiner LOL. We had done something not done in this area for more than 20 years and it was time to get going again by January 2005. So, I picked myself up and began campaigning.

MNCampaignReport: So what's different this time around? What factors do you see as of March 2006 that are going to give you the extra 3% you'll need to win?

S. Madore: The energy of my campaign. I have had business people tell me that my ideas were pro-business and that is not a norm for a DFLer. I have had many people stay engaged with me, I raised money in 2005 - an off-year - something never done down here by the DFLer and lastly, most importantly, I have my opponent already scared. He is trying to keep up with me and he is not doing too well. I think I will see a surge of support this year, not because I am a Democrat but because I have proven that my message is clear, truthful and financially sound.

MNCampaignReport: Other than raising more money, what do you see as the strongest contract between you and Mr. Cybart?

S. Madore: I believe that when you provide government that helps everyone succeed you build a community that succeeds and from there, a future that is successful. Lloyd, in my opinion, believes that dollars are what separates all of us.

MNCampaignReport: As the next state rep from 37A, what will be your number one legislative priority?

S. Madore: Number 1, I guess it will be to focus a lot of energy on bringing transportation dollars to my community. Healthcare reform and property tax relief will be the close seconds. Property tax relief will come from the state picking up its fair share of funding for our communities and our schools.

MNCampaignReport: fantastic

MNCampaignReport: The SD37 convention is coming up this weekend, right?

S. Madore: Yes, I am hoping for a good turnout. It should be well attended, we have had a lot of new precinct chairs get involved.

MNCampaignReport: If the conventions I've been to so far are any indication, it should be pretty darned strong

S. Madore: Good because I need to have each and every one of these folks get involved this year. We are going to change the course of the MN House with my one seat.

MNCampaignReport: It's very exciting! It seems like there are several DFL candidates coming back for a second shot to really build on the 2004 campaign in traditionally republican areas......very exciting to see the blue spreading out from the Twin Cities

S. Madore: It will be. I do hope that our paths cross at some point.

S. Madore: I have to go, it was terrific to do this. Thank you for asking and I would be delighted to do this again in the future.

MNCampaignReport: Absolutely, thank you so much

MNCampaignReport: Take care, good luck, and keep in touch!

S. Madore: I will.

S. Madore: Good Night!

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So if you happen to be in the Apple Valley area, and have some time to contribute to Shelley's campaign, check it out. Her campaign site's frontpage incorporates a blog, and appears to be updated pretty regularly. It's going to be an exciting race in the southern 'burbs.

That's all from me - if you have any further questions for the next State Rep from 37A, I've heard rumors that Ms. Madore makes the rounds in the leftysphere - leave some comments.


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