But St. Paul, unlike Minneapolis has an incumbent who's totally going to win the mayoral election and charges $500 to put your name on the ballot. So this is a much, much less interesting race.
Kurt (Dirty Kurty) Dornfeld
More below the cut.
http://holdenformayor.com/ (He also seems to have a FB page link on his website, but it doesn't work.)
Tim Holden is the guy I chatted with at the State Fair last month. (Here's the article about him in MNPost, complete with a confrontational-looking picture of me. You can see his OVERLY AGGRESSIVE EYE CONTACT here but you can't tell that I'm firmly staring at a candy wrapper on his table because the INTENSE GAZE is sort of freaking me out.)
If you spend any time in St. Paul, you've undoubtedly seen people on street corners holding his signs. It's an interesting strategy; "visibility" is totally something you'll have people do on election day, if you've got any sort of campaign organization, but holding signs on street corners all through the summer is not a terrible way to get people curious about you. I'm curious if they're volunteers, or paid; I kind of suspect the latter, especially since his website has a "Donate" link but not a "Volunteer" link. I've seen a few of his signs in actual yards, but mostly being held by people or planted at street corners or other public spaces.
His specific motivation, according to his website, is that he owns a business on University Ave and is frustrated by the Central Corridor project (which has been terrible for the businesses along there -- he's right. Although in the long term they will probably rebound, that's not super reassuring to the people who are trying to keep things afloat right now.) I do think building the Central Corridor rail line was the right decision, but St. Paul does a shockingly bad job, in general, of keeping things moving and functioning during road projects generally. (For example, right now Hamline Ave doesn't go through to Marshall because the bridge over Ayd Mill is out. You would think that it might occur to someone that this means it is NOT a good time to do work on Snelling Ave just north of University, but NO, they've got it squeezed down to one lane, or at least they did last week. Why? WHO EVEN KNOWS? This isn't even the Central Corridor construction, this is just ludicrously poor planning.)
So on one hand, I sympathize with this. But then on another page of his website he rants about all the businesses St. Paul has lost that he blames on Chris Coleman. The first one is West Publishing. West Publishing moved to Eagan in the early 1990s. I'm not sure if he is confusing Chris Coleman with Norm Coleman (NOTE: THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. QUITE DIFFERENT, IN FACT.) Or if he's confused about when West moved and then when they sold out to Thomson. Or what, exactly. He also blames Chris for the loss of the Ford Plant, and ... you know, I think that's also unfair. I do think Ford made a bad business decision to shut it down (I think they should've retooled the Ranger as a flex-fuel truck and marketed it as something "designed, built, and fueled in America's Heartland!") but I think probably the only way St. Paul might have talked them into staying would have involved offering them piles of subsidies, which I'm also opposed to.
Anyway. The upshot is that while on one hand, I agree with some of his complaints about Chris Coleman, on the other, I don't actually think Holden has the political savvy to do things any better.
Kurt (Dirty Kurty) Dornfeld
If he has a website, I couldn't find it, although I did find an Urban Dictionary definition for his nickname, the Facebook page of a DJ in California, and a Twitter feed of someone else who isn't him.
Here's an article about him. He's a street maintenance worker and his issues seem to boil down largely to street maintenance and marijuana legalization. He's also anti-bike-paths.
I was probably not going to vote for Kurt Dornfeld, but I'm definitely not voting for an anti-bike-path candidate. St. Paul desperately better bike options. (Some of which could be provided with street repaving, actually. Hamline Ave is a non-hideous north-south biking option, when it's open, because it has lights and isn't as heavily traveled as Lexington or Snelling. But, it's appallingly bumpy and in dire need of resurfacing to make it a decent bike route. If they'd repave and put in bike lanes EVERYONE WOULD WIN.)
So, Sharon Anderson. Where to start. Well, you could start by browsing her website for five minutes, that should give you a pretty good idea. She's a perennial candidate, her website is completely incoherent, she's clearly furious and indignant about some wrong that was done to her at some point, she seems to strongly identify with her tendency to file lawsuits (her bio starts out "Affiant"). Actually, why don't I C&P her bio that she sends in to newspapers, etc. when they ask for information about her:
- Affiant SharonSoulSt.Paul, VA Widow,Whistleblower,"Learned" in High Tech,Blogger,RealEstateEntreprenuer, HomeGrown,HomeTown,St.PaulCentral Grad,School of HardKnocks,Understands Separation of Powers, Mayor Executive must expose the City's Case Fixing Issues to deprive the Average Citizen Equity and Tax Relief. View
...So, you've got the basic idea, yeah?
Did you know that she was once the Republican party's candidate for Attorney General of the State of Minnesota? She won the Republican primary. There were a couple of theories as to why, including that people had her confused with an actress by the same name; that she benefited from knee-jerk feminists who said, "oh, a woman! I'll vote for her, then!" and that she was the result of Democratic sabotage. (That was the year that Arne Carlson, the tremendously popular Republican incumbent, was not endorsed by his party; instead, they endorsed ultraconservative-at-the-time-but-practi
Anyway. You could say that Sharon launched these blog posts, because I would get to the bottom of my ballot and see races about which I knew nothing, and decide not to vote because I had NO IDEA WHICH ONE MIGHT BE A COMPLETE LUNATIC. Eventually I started doing my research before I went and voila.
The incumbent. He's endorsed by the DFL and all the DFLers. His website is not super impressive; he doesn't talk about his accomplishments, he just assumes you know.
I'm new to St. Paul; there's a lot I find annoying and honestly I don't know whether to blame Chris or figure it's the way things have always been. (Don't get me started on the neighborhoods with permit-parking only. Or the collective phobia of metered parking outside of downtown....) There's a lot I like, as well, and again, I don't know how much credit to give Chris vs. how much to assume there was a good system in place that he hasn't managed to screw up. (Libraries! Don't get me started on what Minneapolis did to its libraries.)
The bottom line is that I have a vaguely positive impression of Chris Coleman and I don't like any of the people running against him enough to vote for them instead.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but ehhh, seriously, he is in no danger of losing his job.
Election 2013 Index of Posts