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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Strib on St Cloud Special Elections


Ox also defends the doctored photo on his campaign piece.

Another brochure -- with a photo of a Bush rally last year that Ochsner emceed, but with the Bush-Cheney signs changed to ones for "Ox" -- also drew attention in the Senate race.

Critics say it disproves Ochsner's claim to be "Central Minnesota's voice of integrity."

Ochsner defended the digital imaging switch as a necessary shortcut in a brief campaign. "We had to get things going quick," he said.

"Nobody thought there was anything wrong with it. There's no legal problems with it."

In my opinion, Ox ran a campaign that was too stupid to win. Most of the time, DFLers tend to run campaigns in that way.

Also Pawlenty has said that he thinks Clark will win:

Now Haws, a three-term Stearns County commissioner, is an odds-on favorite to beat Kay Ek, a newcomer to electoral politics who entered the House race only last week as an 11th-hour write-in candidate. The Senate race is thought to be closer, but even as loyal a Republican as Pawlenty suggested last week that DFLer Clark, who lost to Kleis in both 2000 and 2002, will probably win this time.

"Tarryl has run twice before," said Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar. "She's a known commodity in the St. Cloud area. We're cautiously optimistic."

Although central Minnesota is known as a hotbed of religious conservatism, Johnson suggested that "social issues are not carrying the day" as they did in the past. "Core issues" such as education, transportation, health care and the environment are gaining more attention from voters, he said.

Ochsner, Ek and the IP's Becker are touting their opposition to abortion, support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage and fiscal conservatism. Besides the "core issues," Clark and Haws stress positive efforts to reduce abortion instead of new restrictions -- "The Ten Commandments didn't end sin," Haws says -- and note that a 1997 state statute outlawing gay marriage has not been challenged.

This will be interesting. A Republican friend of mine - who has a gay son, will be voting for Clark - he said his choice was between high taxes and his son - and he'd rather vote for someone who would raise his taxes than someone who would attack his son.