7B weekend battle begins for DFL primary candidates

The series of candidate profiles continues, but there are several developments in House District 7B tonight that continue to suggest that the frontrunners in the race are Roger Reinert and Marsh Stenersen.

First of all, candidate John Derbis told me tonight that he will be supporting Marsh Stenersen in the primary. He’ll announce this tomorrow at a press conference at UMD. Though Derbis logistically remains on the ballot this gives Stenersen a news bump going into the last weekend of the campaign. Meantime, Stenersen seems to be hitting Reinert on the matter of where his campaign donations come from. He claims that too many of them come from “known Republicans.” I don’t know how closely people are paying attention to this matter, but Stenersen is clearly trying to close the perceived gap with Reinert. Under the right conditions, this could help his numbers.

At the same time, Roger Reinert announces that he’s going to name the first three bills he plans to introduce tomorrow in a press conference at 11 a.m. outside the entrance to the Great Lakes Aquarium. The bills, according to his release, will deal with the aquarium, public libraries and sanitary sewer improvements. That’s an interesting idea and much more specific that what we normally see in a primary. Reinert is also rolling out a series of endorsements from construction trades and environmental groups. Stenersen, a union official, also enjoys strong union support. As I’ve written before, Reinert has clearly strived for the “new generation” mantle in this election, while Stenersen has grabbed the traditional “DFL values” mantle. In truth, this primary in a strong DFL district has the potential of being the whole bag of marbles. Either Reinert or Stenersen would have a huge electoral advantage in November. Furthermore, personally, I find both of them to be good candidates. There will be no endorsements here, not that it would matter.

The other candidates, Brandon Clokey, Dan Maryland and Derbis, deserve credit for the campaign they’ve run. Clokey, in particular, has been very active on this blog and it’s good to see him involved. Hey, stranger things have happened. But with the final weekend already approaching, it’s clear that Reinert and Stenersen are running hard. I’ll post my final analysis after the candidate profiles are done.

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