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Meet Minnesota’s Most Vulnerable Progressives

“Too many people,” said Doug Bargfrede, inventory manager at a John Deere dealer, after rejecting a pin from a Walz volunteer. “Not a chance,” he told her.

The state GOP, for the most part, hadn’t helped itself take advantage of what appears to be a favorable midterm climate nationally for the GOP. Entering the election cycle, the party’s state apparatus was in chaos, with Jennifer Carnahan, the state’s then-chairwoman, resigning last year amid accusations of mismanagement and the indictment of a Republican donor on federal sex-trafficking charges. with whom she was close. The party installed a new and uncontroversial chair.

But even then, the overthrow of roe v. calf he was working against the Republican Party. It could affect the Democrats for inflation. But the state budget was in surplusUnemployment in Minnesota had dropped to lowest in the nationand the coronavirus pandemic, as has happened elsewhere, began recoil as an issue of concern.

Then there was the cast of less-than-star nominees of the match. When Scott Jensen, the Republican candidate for governor, is not reversing their positions on abortionHears compare mask mandates to nazi germany. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate and former Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk, has linked abortion to American culture “telling women they should look a certain way, they should have careers”, while Kim Crockett, the Republican Party candidate for Secretary of State, is an election denier who he described the change in electoral laws as “our 9/11.”

Given that slate of candidates, Schultz, Ellison’s challenger, was an unexpected breather for the Minnesota GOP, defeating Doug Wardlow, the MyPillow attorney and failed 2018 attorney general candidate, in the primary. Instead of Wardlow, a far-right, and likely less eligible, ally of the pillow company’s Mike Lindell, Minnesota’s most notorious election conspiracy theorist, the state party hired a 36-year-old lawyer wearing a logo. campaigning in his blue polo shirt. at the Virginia Governor’s Reminiscent Fair. Glenn Youngkin’s vests.

It is not exempt from responsibilities. In a state where large majorities of voters support abortion rightsSchultz said during the primaries that he helped establish a crisis pregnancy center in Mankato and he would be “the one who would go on the offensive” on the issue of abortion. Then there is his work as hedge fund attorneyand his step-by-step side of questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Sitting on a raised patio behind the state Republican Party booth at the fair, Schultz repeatedly refused in an interview to say whether the election was fair, backing off on his claim that “Joe Biden is the President of the United States.”

However, Schultz said, “I’ve never used the word ‘stolen’ or anything like that.” And there’s reason to think he could appeal to the suburban voters Republicans need to win an election in Minnesota. His support for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is so much in the mainstream of conservative thought that, during the primaries, Wardlow derided him as “Professional Choice Jim.”

A senior GOP official in the state who spoke with me on condition of anonymity to provide a candid assessment described Jensen’s quality as a candidate as “not great” and Birk as a “liability.”

But Schultz?

“He is our best chance,” the officer said. “He can challenge what happens to the other [candidates].”

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