While rural Republicans spend a lot of time pitching along a rural-metro divide, that pitch conceals the moneyed power base within their own party: enclaves of suburban contributors.
This denial was underscored in a couple of recent polls that revealed that simple majorities in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties and “the rest of the state” approved of Governor Dayton’s job performance as well as higher taxes on cigarettes and top wage earners. (Even in the metro suburbs, 56 percent of those polled approved of the cigarette tax hike).
Forum Communications political reporter Don Davis reports in Capital Chatter under the subhead, “Suburban candidate crop”:
The Republican group of governor candidates appears to be an exclusive Twin Cities suburban crowd.
Businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson from western suburbs were the first two to announce they are running.
Former House Speaker Kurt Zellers was to announce Sunday and state Sen. Dave Thompson is expected to jump into the race Wednesday. Zellers is from northwest of Minneapolis in Maple Grove and Thompson from Lakeville, to the south.
Davis notes that the gentlemen all claim rural roots, some as far away as North Dakota. Funny how those sorts of things don’t count for urban DFL women in leadership positions, even actually owning a farm now.
Regardless of which suburban guy the Republicans select as their gubernatorial champion, Bluestem deeply looks forward to first time a GOP candidate from anwhere in Minnesota starts in with the divisive rural/urban rhetoric.