Posted at 6:21 PM on March 15, 2008
by Tom Scheck
DFL delegates did not endorse DFL Rep. Joe Mullery in House District 58A. Mullery and DFL challenger Peggy Flanagan were vying for the endorsement. I'm told that neither candidate garnered enough support for endorsement on the first two ballots. The delegates voted for "no endorsement" on the third ballot. I'm told both are headed to a September primary.
I just moved out of Mullery's district and all I can say is it's about time. I frequently contacted Mullery about a variety of issues. Typically, I would not hear back from him in any timely manner. He usually responded to all of my comments months after the session was over and I had forgotten I had even contacted him. Usually this was right before the election, and he generally gave a rambling diatribe about why he disagreed with me. How anyone could get elected with the strategy of pissing off party members immediately before the election is beyond me.
Not wanting to vote for the Republican that I disagreed with, I generally voted a write-in. With any luck the district will come up with someone better this year. I was quite impressed with Peggy Flanagan when she ran for school board. Hopefully they can elect her despite the lack of endorsement.
Voters in MN House District 58A won a major victory on March 15th, when delegates to the DFL convention refused to endorse Representative Mullery for a 7th term. Instead, after only three ballots, the delegates voted for no endorsement, which will allow the voters of our district to say whether we are happy with the direction our community has gone during the incumbent’s tenure, or if it is time for more effective leadership at the Capital.
This is great news. In case you haven't noticed, the DFL nominee is virtually guaranteed to win the house seat, and the unsettled endorsement means that regular north side residents will actually have a say in who represents them in St. Paul. It is unusual for an endorsement convention to reverse 12 years of precedents and deny an incumbent his endorsement. What happened?
First, Peggy Flanagan is not your run of the mill challenger. Her experience on the school board, a job Sen. Higgins calls “the hardest job in elected office”, puts her in a great position to hit the ground running as a powerful ally of North Minneapolis schools. Healthcare is a central issue to her campaign, and she has a “YES, WE CAN” attitude about finding a solution at the state level. Her position as a community organizer with Wellstone Action shows her passion for drawing people into our democratic process and empowering people to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of their communities.
Additionally, she has secured endorsement from a most amazing cast of characters, including Congressman Keith Ellison, State Senator Linda Higgins, Mayor R.T. Rybak, the list goes on and on. But most important, Peggy showed up on the doorstep of almost every delegate to the SD convention, in some cases several times, in order to win the most important endorsements, the endorsements of regular people across the district, from Jordon to Victory. Many of these folks have never seen a candidate at their door.
Finally, perhaps the delegates were unhappy with the direction north Minneapolis has gone during the past decade. I know I am. Joe’s tenure on the Tax committee has seen drastically increased property and sales taxes, and as a result, the average North Minneapolis family is paying a higher percentage of their income to taxes than the average family in our most affluent suburbs. Joe’s tenure on the public safety committee hasn’t reduced violent crime on our streets or made our community a better place to live. We delegates have given the voters a chance to elect more effective leadership. I beg you voters, please do not throw away this opportunity: show up for the primary.
In 2006, I went door to door all over this community, listening to voters concerns, as I ran for State Representative as an Independent. In 2008, I am delighted to endorse Peggy as a candidate who will represent all our residents, who is right on the issues, and who will provide the bold leadership we need at the state capital. I urge your support.
Justin C. Adams