The Pitch: Minnesota residents are allowed to donate $50 per individual ($100 for married joint filers) to any state candidate and the State will refund your donation to you. It's free money to the candidate of your choice. With that in mind, based on suggestions offered a few weeks ago, I have identified 5 House and 5 Senate races which would benefit greatly from your contribution. These are all either DFL seats which are in jeopardy or else seats where there is a good chance of a DFL pick up. Also remember, you are free to donate more than $50 per person, but anything over that amount is non-refundable.
How it works: Send your check to the address listed after the candidate of your choice. The candidate's committee will send you a receipt in the mail. Fill out this form and mail the form and the receipt to:
Minnesota Political Contribution Refund
Minnesota Department of Revenue
St. Paul, MN 55146-1800
and the State sends you your money back in a couple of weeks. You win, your DFL candidate wins, and that means the State wins. What could be better?
The dollar figure after each candidate's name is their current cash on hand as of August 21st.
Now, off to the races.
Denise Dittrich (47A - Champlin) $2,432
(v. John Tomczak-$4,135)
Dittrich Volunteer Committee
6108 115th Ave. N.
Champlin, MN 55316
Dittrich is a DFL incumbent in a Republican leaning district. She is probably the number one target of the MNGOP this year, as demonstrated by all the ink they've been spilling trying to smear her through her husband. Note-Dittrich's campaign site is down right now. I'll change the link above when the site goes live again.
Andy Welti (30B - Rochester) $15,716
(v. Bill Kuisle-$25,691)
Andy Welti for State Representative
RR 2 Box 17
Plainview, MN 55964
Welti is an incumbent who won his seat with a very narrow victory in 2004. Rightly or wrongly, Rochester is often viewed as a Republican stronghold, but it has been trending back to center and center/left candidates lately. This is a good place to help continue that trend. Bonus points to this race: helping to increase Dem. turnout in the 1st District helps Tim Walz for CD-1.
Melissa Hortman (47B - Brooklyn Park) $1,185
(v. Andrew Reinhardt-$3,432)
Melissa Hortman Campaign Committee
8710 Windsor Terrace
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
(or go here to make a paypal donation: http://www.melissahortman.com/donate)
Hortman won a narrow victory for this seat in '04. The district is fairly evenly divided.
Maria Ruud (42A - Minnetonka) $15,454
(v. Bill Cullen-$8,720)
Maria Ruud Volunteer Committee
mail the check and the completed form to:
Deb O'Connor, Treasurer
1815 Timberline Trail
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Ruud won a very narrow victory (less than 1 point) in a district which is almost evenly split. I've downgraded this one slightly due to Ruud's current money advantage.
David Bly (25B - Northfield) $4,931
(v. Ray Cox-$22,902)
The David Bly Campaign
211 N. Lincoln St.
Northfield, MN 55057
(or go here to make a paypal donation: http://davidbly.com/index.php/interact/donate/)
Cox won the seat narrowly in the last cycle, but has a large money advantage. Bonus points: DFLers who vote for Bly also get to vote for Coleen Rowley.
Ann Lynch (30 - Rochester) $19,937
(v. Scott Wright-$16,031)
Lynch for Senate
P.O. Box 7111
Rochester, MN 55903
Following Sen. Kiscaden's retirement this is an open seat and one the DFL needs to hold. As stated above, Rochester used to be solid GOP territory, but is now trending blue (or purple, anyway) Bonus points: Helps Tim Walz in CD 1.
Kathy Sheran (23 - Mankato) $26,441
(v. Andy Piepho-$16,291)
Sheran for State Senate Committee
317 North Borad ST.
Mankato , MN 56001
An open seat in a toss up district. Piepho is behind in the money due to a primary fight, with that behind him he will likely challenge Sheran hard. Bonus Points: 1st CD.
Sandy Rummel (53 - Shoreview) $18,219
(v. Mandy Reiter-$24,723)
Volunteers for Rummel Committee
2697 East County Rd. E - Box 286
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
A strong candidate DFL candidate running against a very conservative Republican? Sounds like a good race to support to me, even if this district leans GOP. Bonus points: Much of this district lies in the hotly contested 6th CD.
Dean Johnson (13 - Wilmar) $38,950
(v. Joseph Gimse-$25,262)
(Dean) Johnson Volunteer Committee
PO Box 996
Willmar, MN 56201
Johnson is a very good politician with high name recognition and a solid money lead. Still, he represents a generally Republican leaning district and there will likely be a lot of money spent trying to unseat him this year, so this race remains on the list.
Andrew Borene (41 - Edina) $33,602
(v. Geoff Michael $69,099)
Neighbors for Borene
P.O. Box 24741
Edina, MN 55424-0741
(or here for paypal online donation: http://www.andrewborene.com/contribute.htm)
Beloved of many local bloggers and (from what I hear) all around good-guy Andrew Borene is in a very expensive race with GOP incumbent Michael. Once a solidly GOP district, the fightin' forty first went for Kerry by a narrow margin in '04 so things could be looking up. Still, this race has to be considered the longest shot on this list.
A huge shout out to the sadly defunct Minntelect blog, from which I culled much of this information. My hat's off to you. Even with your pioneering work, this post took many many hours to write. I can't imagine if I could have gotten it done without your research.