Competitive races coming up in the West Metro?


by Joe Bodell | September 16, 2009 • In the past three election cycles, DFLers have made big gains at the state level: maintaining and expanding their majority in the State Senate, and going from a huge disadvantage in the House to a nearly veto-proof majority.

Unfortunately, the West Metro has been left behind in a lot of those gains. While Representatives Maria Ruud and John Benson and Senator Terri Bonoff have picked off formerly Republican-held seats, the biggest gains have occurred in the southern part of the state along with the north and south exurban areas.

Minnesota Progressive Projectis the result of the merger between Minnesota Campaign Report and MN Blue, with common goals of providing a go-to source for online progressive politics in Minnesota.

Well, that suburban lag may be about to change. In the past week, I’ve gotten three separate reports of potentially strong state-level candidates preparing to run in the West Metro. Tonight’s CD3 DFL meeting in Minnetonka may reveal a bit more than that — at least I’m hoping so.

Will it help? The House is also probably out of reach for the GOP. But can pressure still be kept up? Just three House seats separate the DFL from being able to pass its agenda regardless of who wins next year’s gubernatorial race — could a couple of those seats come from Maple Grove or the areas around Lake Minnetonka?

On the Senate side, the DFL is probably fairly well assured of keeping its majority. But several of its caucus members from rural areas are approaching retirement age, and holding their seats once that happens is no sure thing. If the DFL can pick off a couple of suburban seats, especially with those seats being up for elections in this and the next biennium, we’ll stand a much better shot of maintaining that majority in the long term.