Tuesday, May 23, 2006


State Legislature Open Seat Races

My apologies to the LeftyBlogs community for this post (probably) showing up twice. Soon enough I'll get around to removing the blogSpot site and making sure all posts there link to http://www.mncampaignreport.com. So should you (hint hint).

Courtesy of Minntelect, here's a list of open seats in the State Legislature, along with a little analysis of how next year's House and Senate could look. Yes, I'm reaching for something to post. Too bad.

The following list obviously leaves out competitive races involving incumbents. However, among these seats alone, there's an opportunity for the DFL to take control of the State House and keep its solid, gay-hate-ballot-question preventing majority in the Senate. These are good things.

Senate Seats:

  • 8 Becky Lourey (D): In spite of Senator Lourey's campaign theme stating that she's beaten conservative incumbents in a conservative district, this one is probably a keeper for the DFL, especially with her son Tony running to replace her.
  • 23 John Hottinger (D): Rural/exurban district, retiring DFLer in a reddish area. Without looking at two-party registration numbers and local polls, this might be the GOP's best chance at a pickup in a truly open Senate Seat.
  • 30 Sheila Kiscaden (I): Traditionally red Rochester has recently trended toward the DFL, electing Andy Welti and Tina Liebling to the House on the SD30 side of town. Should be a hold, but depends on races higher up the ticket to keep DFL turnout high
  • 31 Bob Kierlin (R): Having not heard a whole ton about SD31, I'm reluctant to make predictions. However, unless Tim Walz pulls off a miracle in this rural district, the local candidates will have to settle for helping propel Walz into Congress.
  • 52 Michele Bachmann (R): A district that put a wingnut like Bachmann in office can be depended upon to vote Republican once again.
  • 57 Sharon Marko (D): Another likely hold for the DFL with Rep. Katie Sieben running to replace her counterpart across the Capitol.
  • 62 Wes Skoglund (D): DFL hold
  • 63 Jane Ranum (D): DFL hold

Special mention:
15 Tarryl Clark (D) and 43 Terri Bonoff (D): Both Senators were elected in special elections last year, so the vote totals in those elections are both low and not entirely useful for projections of this November. If the GOP picks up either seat, it will most be SD15. See yesterday's post on Jim Knoblach's retirement from 15A for more on that one.

House Seats:

  • 15A Jim Knoblach (R: See yesterday's post.
  • 18A Scott Newman (R)
  • 23A Ruth Johnson (D)
  • 28A Jerry Dempsey (R)
  • 29B Fran Bradley (R)
  • 33B Barb Sykora (R): Possible DFL pickup. Western Minnetonka may be one of the richer areas in the West Metro, but like Edina, many in SD33 are sick and tired of being handed money by Republican administrations when they want to contribute to the common good. Carol Eastlund lost by a hefty margin in 2004, but against a non-incumbent Republican, she could make a strong showing this year.
  • 43A Jeff Johnson (R): With Johnson preparing to battle Matt Entenza for Attorney General, Sandy Hewitt (DFL) is running against Sarah Anderson, a former Republican staffer at the Capitol. Plymouth represents the more conservative half of SD43, but coordinated campaign efforts are already underway
  • 43B Ron Abrams (R): I've talked about him before, but John Benson is coming off an extremely strong showing in 2004, and Ron Abrams is leaving for a judgeship. Suppress Republican turnout a bit, add a few hundred DFL votes, and Rep. Benson will be a reality.
  • 50A Barb Goodwin (D)
  • 50B Char Samuelson (R)
  • 51A Andy Westerberg (R)
  • 52A Ray Vandeveer (R): Vandeveer is running for Michele Bachmann's seat in the Senate. Likely Republican Hold
  • 53B Doug Meslow (R)
  • 57A Katie Seiben (D): Likely DFL hold
  • 58B Keith Ellison (D): More-than-Likely DFL hold
  • 63B Dan Larson (D): Is the GOP running a candidate?
  • 64A Matt Entenza (D): GOP wins 64A = pigs fly.

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