It is true every election is unique, but, historically, we have found past performance is a strong indicator of future activity regarding elections as collective community action. As we review the Primary and General electoral results from 2018, we have some interesting indicators.
As of now, the field is set with two candidates on each side of the ledger. On the DFL side Stuart (Stu) Lourey (DFL-11, Kerrick), son of current state Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-MN-11, Kerrick) and grandson of former Sen Becky Lourey (DFL-MN) and former KBJR News anchor Michelle Lee (DFL-11). On the Republican side, current third term state Rep. Jason Rarick (R-11B, Pine City) is joined by party activist Justin Krych (R-11, Esko). We are not surprised by Rarick’s bid, which is almost natural, because he already holds the House seat, and will be entering into the minority if he wins a seat in the Senate he would enter into the majority.
This may not be the final field because filing doesn’t close until 4:30 pm tomorrow.
As we look at the numbers the opportunities are wide open for any candidate to stir the populace, but in the 8th Congressional District Primary, Lee who finished 1st in the field of five, receive 46% but only 2165 votes on the 11A side of the district and 559 votes for 23.21% in the 11B, where she finished 2nd. During the General Election, the 11A side of the district has better DFL participation and higher turnout. 18,064 voters cast ballots in 11A with Rep Mike Sundin (DFL-11A, Esko) carrying 10,532 for 58.30%. In turn, Rarick’s district only put up 15,327 of which he carried 9147 for 59.68%. The farther south one heads in this district the more Trump-style Republican it leans.
Because of the significance of retaining a single vote differential in the state Senate, we expect DFL will pull out all the stops and we expect since Governor-elect Tim Walz (DFL-MN) brought about this election we will be making numerous visits to the area between now and the February 5th Election Day.