Monday, March 07, 2011 By Aaron Brown
This will be an important primary in a true tossup race that will garner a lot of national attention. Because few expected Cravaack to defeat former Rep. Jim Oberstar, a longtime Iron Range political powerhouse and transportation committee chair, DFLers are only beginning to grasp the reality of A) the actual composition of this one-time Democratic fortress, and B) the nature of the field of potential candidates, a group that is growing daily and proving to be surprising.
In coming weeks I'll write a few analysis posts exploring the list of potential candidates. I will talk to candidates informally, largely paraphrasing their basic intent and focus, to paint a picture of the field and the kinds of candidates exploring campaigns. I will expend the bulk of my analysis on the Eighth District later when we know what the Eighth District actually is. After we have the new redistricting maps this spring and early summer I'll begin the formal candidate interviews. I did this in 2010 with DFL gubernatorial candidates and again this past month with candidates for the special election in House District 5B. This time I'm considering videotaping the interviews. Everyone is offered one formal interview. I will also extend an invitation to Rep. Cravaack next year. In addition, I'll share brief campaign news items as space and my time allow. I am starting slow because I don't want to burn up too much fuel on hypothetical situations.
Further, while I will be a voter in this election and possibly (though probably not) a delegate, I will not offer an endorsement in the primary. That's the best way to ensure fairness for all concerned.
I've not written much on MN-8 so far, while others at MNProgressiveProject and elsewhere have. When I move I will move decisively. I will not always be first, but I aim to have the deepest and most informative coverage.
This is a center-left blog based on the Iron Range, the only of its kind. I've got five years of blogging for you to review. I am a trained journalist, a former editor and reporter, and a seasoned political operative on the Range which is the beating political heart of this district. My place in the Minnesota blogosphere will allow me fast access to all the candidates, all of whom want access to you, my odd confederation of wonderful 8th CD readers (and smart. Did I mention smart?) Though I participate in local party politics, I write independently of any party and establishment media. You might disagree with my opinions but my opinions will be distinguished from fact. My conflicts of interest are listed on the right column of this blog.
In short, MinnesotaBrown will be where you can find out what's going on in Minnesota's 8th CD in 2012. Please join me. Send questions or news to me through the "Contact" page above. Look for my first post later this week.
(PS: Yes, this is a bragging post, very un-Midwestern. But I don't want to type it 18 times when I'm interacting with candidates and their staffs).