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Dane Smith, executive director of the nonprofit Growth and Justice, and a former political reporter for this newspaper, said that “having a Scandinavian name was always worth a few votes.”
He recalls a candidate who tried to add the words “family farmer” to his name, “back when that was important.” The modern day equivalent might be if a candidate tried to attach “green” or “first responder” to his ballot name, Smith said.
David Schultz, adjunct professor at Hamline, recalls other name games.
“The best is when Sharon Anderson ran for attorney general and won the GOP primary and then did well in the general election,” Schultz said. “She was a fringe candidate and when voters were asked why they voted for her, many said they thought it was the Sharon Anderson from the old KSTP ‘Good Company’ show.”
After all the chaos in the GOP in the last election cycle, it looked like this was going to be a boring summer.
But the DFL has manned up and provided a sinkhole’s worth of entertainment so far. The mayoral race, with a record 35 candidates, appears to be a preview of Canterbury’s recently canceled running of the bulls. Front-runners Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges are brawling like off-duty Minneapolis police officers.
Now we just have to wait and see if any of the Abdis or Warsames will join the fray.
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