Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton is the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor candidate. Opponent Margaret Anderson Kelliher made it official late this morning when she conceded. "I just spoke with Mark Dayton and congratulated him on winning the DFL primary," Kelliher said in a statement. "I offered him my full support. He will make an excellent governor." Kelliher said that she delayed conceding because "in Minnesota we value every person's voice and count every person's vote.
ST. PAUL -- Tuesday's primary election could slip by with little notice, but Minnesota's three main Democratic governor candidates are doing what they can to attract potential voters' attention. Before polls open Tuesday morning, the candidates plan to travel the state, and call party faithful, targeting people they think will vote. Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign plans to make more than 295,000 telephone calls this weekend and knock on more than 30,000 doors.
MORGAN -- If Minnesota farmers are as successful producing crops as this year's Farmfest was at producing political news, grain elevators had better expand their capacity this fall. The main jobs of the all-things-farm show in southwestern Minnesota is not to display politicians, but that is what happens every election year in forums held in what this year was a sweltering tent in the middle of the FarmFest grounds. Observers speaking privately said there were two surprises among candidates: U.S. Rep. Tim Walz was especially fired up and former U.S. Sen.
MORGAN -- One candidate grew up on a farm, one in a rural community and one sat on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. The three Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor candidates sounded a lot alike Wednesday when they opposed more regulation of farmers and decried escalating property taxes. They all supported biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel and blasted Republican candidate Tom Emmer and retiring Gov.
MORGAN, Minn. -- Tim Walz and Randy Demmer came to FarmFest as hot as the mid-90s weather. The two combatants for the 1st Congressional District seat across southern Minnesota showed the most passion of any candidates from four districts who spoke to a few hundred farmers at the Tuesday FarmFest event in rural Redwood County. The Walz-Demmer divide began on their first question and continued well after the forum ended. A "cap and trade" policy in front of Congress is a good start to an energy policy, said Walz, the Democratic U.S. House incumbent.
ST. PAUL -- Fast-growing and destructive Asian carp could take over Minnesota streams and lakes if the federal government does not act soon, a U.S. senator, the state attorney general and conservationists warn. Only the small part of Minnesota drained by the north-flowing Red River would not face a direct carp attack, said Luke Skinner, who supervises the state Department of Natural Resource's invasive species program. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A half-dozen civil war buffs sat around a table at the Minnesota History Center listening to Matt Entenza. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor candidate took the first quarter of the hour-long gathering down the history path, talking about his ancestors settling on the edge of Minnesota, almost in South Dakota. He talked about his great-great-grandfather, a Civil War-era soldier.
ST. PAUL -- Aug. 10's Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor primary election is tough to handicap. Polls ranking the three major DFL candidates often have put Mark Dayton ahead, but there are so many unknowns this year. Candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza and Dayton each say they are targeting likely voters; the problem is knowing who is likely to vote. Most political observers say the only sure thing is that senior citizens will dominate the election. They always are most likely to vote, but this year it could be even more so.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Improving education demands more money, Minnesota's top three Democratic governor candidates say, a tough challenge when the next state budget could face a $6 billion deficit. The three promote different ideas about school funding: l Mark Dayton promises to tax the rich, providing enough money to pump more into education every year he is governor. l Matt Entenza said that while education is his top priority, significant new money must wait until the state budget and economy improve, although policies may be changed in the meantime. l Margaret Anderson Kelliher falls between