Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL — The White House is leaving no doubt that Minnesota is important in its 2018 political strategy. The Minnesota Republican Party announced Monday, Aug. 20, that Vice President Mike Pence will be in Bloomington on Aug. 30, with a fundraiser the only thing on his agenda so far. When Pence and President Donald Trump have been here this year, they also have fit in rallies and other events to help GOP candidates.
ST. PAUL -- President Donald Trump wants to influence Minnesota's governor race. The winner of the Tuesday, Aug. 14, Republican primary received the president's endorsement and the loser said he failed because he is not on Trump's wavelink. Trump endorsed Republican governor candidate Jeff Johnson Wednesday, tweeting: "Jeff Johnson of Minnesota had a big night in winning the Republican nomination for Governor against a very strong and well known opponent! Thanks for all of the support you showed me. You have my complete and total Endorsement.
ST. PAUL -- Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz will be Minnesotans' choices for governor this fall. "I think we sent a message, people want something different," Republican Jeff Johnson said shortly after 10 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, as vote counting wound down in the state primary election. Johnson said he was not for the status quo, and campaigned as the most conservative governor candidate.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Minnesotans are interested in the primary election. Almost triple the number of early ballots have been cast compared to two years ago. At Farmfest, southwest Minnesota's agriculture show, 1,000 seats were full, with about 600 more standing as the five major governor candidates were in the only forum to host all of them.
ST. PAUL—Elected officials seeking re-election, or hoping to win another office, often make announcements that make it unclear if they are handing out official information or campaigning. The line is blurry. Take, for instance, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz's Wednesday, July 18, news conference. He usually holds news conferences in his southern Minnesota U.S. House district. But his recent one came in the Capitol complex in St. Paul, which is more likely to attract statewide attention (but just three reporters showed up).
MANKATO, Minn. — Attorney General Lori Swanson has dropped out of a Minnesota governor candidate forum planned for Thursday night, Aug. 26. Swanson's office told Forum News Service that she needs to be in Milwaukee Friday morning with meet with a surgeon after one of her 87-year-old mother's lung collapsed.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota is suing the maker of the best-known opioid painkiller, OxyCotin, claiming it mislead health care professionals and patients alike. "Prescription painkillers can be helpful in relieving pain when properly used and prescribed, but this company misrepresented and minimized the addictive nature of its drugs in order to sell more of them," Attorney General Lori Swanson said about Purdue Pharma on Monday, July 2.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon may have said it best: "What a day to be in the democracy business." Simon, whose office runs state elections, was in the center of Minnesota's political world Tuesday, June 5, as the first Muslim in Congress decided to run for attorney general in what turned into a crowded Democratic primary election contest. Six Democrats are running in the Aug. 14 primary election. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minneapolis attracted nationwide attention with his decision.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's politics is in high gear as the state attorney general said she wants to become governor, the governor picked who he wants to replace him, a lieutenant governor candidate said she misspoke about E85 and a Democratic governor candidate formally suspended her campaign. Monday, June 4, was one of the wildest days Minnesotans have seen in politics. Tuesday, the deadline for filing for state office, could be even wilder if only a portion of the rumors are true.
ST. PAUL—Greater Minnesota leaders who followed the 2018 Minnesota Legislature say they have little to celebrate, so far at least. "The best thing about today is that we are one day closer to Jan. 8, when the Legislature will reconvene in St. Paul committed to doing more good work and with a new governor in place," Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston said. Rural Republicans like Green said they are incensed that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton stamped "veto" on two major bills and several smaller ones, eliminating proposals of all sorts that would have helped their areas.