Minnesota Public Radio's description of Tinklenberg's position sounds like his position is more nuanced than the description from the Star Tribune or the Pioneer Press.
Tinklenberg opposes legalized abortion, favors gun rights and supports a federal ban on gay marriage, provided there are some legal protections in place for gay couples. Those views are to the right of many Democrats, but could play well in the socially conservative 6th district.
A former mayor of this suburb north of Minneapolis, Tinklenberg is against legalized abortion, supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage and opposes heightened restrictions on gun ownership. That puts him to the right of many of his fellow Democrats, but could be a boost in next year's race to fill the open seat in the 6th Congressional District, which has grown more solidly Republican.
Tinklenberg is out of step with his party — but he believes he is in step with a majority of 6th District voters — on at least three key social issues. He opposes abortion, would support a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages and is against further restrictions on gun ownership. A life-long hunter, he joked, "I have camo clothes that aren't new."
Democrats have been able to get elected in parts of the region, which stretches from the Wisconsin border and eastern suburbs to north and west of St. Cloud, but they've tended to be moderate or conservative on social and fiscal issues. In that mold, as he made his announcement in Blaine, Tinklenberg described himself as "pro-life" and pro-gun (he supports the handgun permit law that recently passed the Legislature) and said he supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
"It's a conservative district; I represent those values," Tinklenberg said. DFL state party chair Brian Melendez acknowledged that Tinklenberg is at odds with the party platform on some big issues, "but not all candidates agree with every plank in the platform and that's just a fact of life in politics. ... I'm glad that he's running and evidently he has an appeal that will resonate with voters in the Sixth."
Hopefully when Tinklenberg speaks to voters, people will ask him to explain what he means by "some" benefits. It's also worth asking him whether he would vote for the Musgrave wording of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Developing. . .