Republican explores bid against GOP lawmaker who voted for same-sex marriage
September 10, 2013 — 12:49am
State Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, may net a challenger because of his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
Republican Eric Lucero, a Dayton city council member, said he is conducting talking to voters to gauge feelings about what he called "the DavidFitzSimmons vote" in the Wright County district.
Last year, 53 percent of the district voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Statewide, a majority voted against the move paving the way to this year's legalization. Minnesota become the twelth state to allow gay couples to wed in August.
Lucero said he has not decided whether to wage a bid against FitzSimmons.
"I’m not running for the office. I’m simply on a listening tour," Lucero said. The computer security specialist, who lists "studying Biblical truths and treasures found in the Bible" as one of his hobbies, filed a campaign committee last week, which allows him to raise money for a potential bid.
FitzSimmons said he is not concerned about Lucero's potential bid.
"I’m going to run my campaign the way I need to," he said Monday evening.
Of Lucero, he said: "unless I missed something, I see him as a one issue candidate."
FitzSimmons is one of just a handful of Republicans who voted to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year and one of several lawmakers of both parties who have seen reverberations of their votes to approve such marriages.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, is getting some re-election help from backers of same-sex marriage. Former Republican state Rep. Laura Brod, Ameriprise lobbyist Brian Pietsch and former Pawlenty-era Revenue Commissioner, now lobbyist, Ward Einess are hosting a fundraiser for Garofalo this week with invites that read: "He stood up for marriage equality. Now it’s time to stand up for him!"
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.
Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, drops out in the face of a challenge within his party; Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, wins backing in his district. Both were among the few Republicans to back same-sex marriage.