by Dave Mindeman
The DFL convention is coming up in about 10 days – so let’s see where we stand.
In the race for Governor, we still have three candidates. Rep. Erin Murphy, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and Cong. Tim Walz.
General consensus says that Walz has a lead in delegates but it is not a commanding lead. Murphy seems to hold a within striking distance 2nd place and Rebecca Otto follows very closely behind Murphy.
In other words, this is still anyone’s ball game.
Walz claims to have broader state wide appeal – and I can go along with that. He comes out of the first district and although not considered a “progressive” candidate, he says a lot of the right things….even denouncing his NRA support from the past. Walz paired with Peggy Flanagan as Lt. Gov. early on. She is very popular with the progressive wing of the party. We shall see if that pays dividends at the convention.
Erin Murphy has garnered a lot of endorsements. More than I would have expected. Labor has been coalescing around her and she already had the Nurses Association on board. She has worked very hard on outstate visibility and it looks like she has made some inroads. Murphy chose to hold off on a running mate to keep options open during the convention.
Rebecca Otto stands with the Environmental community and has solid credentials in that regard. She offers a bold agenda. Her Lt. Governor selection was very interesting – Zarina Baber has been in IT for many years and could speak authoritatively on the MN IT problems.
All three have clear strengths – but there are weaknesses as well.
Walz will battle his perceptions on guns and his previous NRA affiliation will be brought up more than once. His progressive “conversion” will be something he will have to prove to make for broader appeal.
Murphy has made progress, but her statewide name recognition still has some holes. Coming from deep in the metro, her rural appeal will be questioned; although she has already come a long way in that regard. She did not “retire” from the legislature, so some may question her full commitment to the executive office.
Otto has the boldest agenda of the three and it is a very progressive one. Single Payer health care, environment legislation, $15 minimum wage, and more. It is ambitious and probably impossible without a full Democratic legislature, but give her credit for the boldness.
This endorsement will probably need several ballots. There is even the possibility of coming out with a no endorsement finale – which means a big primary contest. Walz may even go that route if he doesn’t get the endorsement anyway.
We will try to keep you updated. I’ll be at the convention.