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Thursday, November 10, 2005

St. Cloud Theocrats Aspire to be St. Paul Theocrats

With Senator Dave Kleis' win in this week's St. Cloud mayoral race over DFL incumbent John Ellenbecker, both a House and Senate seat will need to be filled by a special election before the start of the 2006 session. Rep. Joe Opatz (DFL) has announced his resignation due to a career change. Opatz survived a nasty attack campaign last fall from the Minnesotans for Marriage cabal. Enormous billboards with Opatz' photo greeted travelers as they drove into St. Cloud on the major highways. They said, 'Want Gay Marriage? Vote for Joe Opatz'. Apparently, St. Cloud wants it, because he won re-election.

Jeff Johnson, a professor at St. Cloud State University, has filed as a Republican running for the Senate Seat. His website is From reading the site, he's a big proponent of initiative and referendum, and used to work for the Nebraska Family Council. He takes credit for helping get a Bachmann amendment passed in that state.

Radio host Dan Ochsner, the local version of Limbaugh, has also been mentioned as a Republican candidate, but he has not officially filed.

On the DFL side, St. Cloud lawyer and nonprofit director Tarryl Clark said Wednesday that she will formally announce hercandidacy today. Clark narrowly lost to Kleis in two previous elections and would be considered the DFL's front-runner, thoughEllenbecker has been mentioned as a possible candidate as well.

For the House seat, nonprofit director Sue Ek is the Republican-endorsed candidate for that seat. Her website is

The non-profit is a Catholic pro-life organization, and she describes herself with the Bachmann-esque code word 'pro family'.

Stearns County Commissioner Larry Haws and St.Cloud school district board member Carol Lewis are competing for the DFL endorsement to run for Opatz' seat. The DFL endorsement convention for that seat is Tuesday.