MPR to host MN-8 online forum Tuesday

Minnesota Public Radio will host an online forum featuring the four DFL candidates for Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Though Jeff Anderson, Tarryl Clark, Daniel Fanning and Rick Nolan have all appeared at many of the same events, I believe this will be the first event in which all four of them appeared in a formal back-and-forth. The 8th District DFL held a forum in Hibbing Oct. 15, but Clark declined to attend.

These candidates seek the DFL nomination to oppose Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8), the unlikely tea party-inspired incumbent who upset Jim Oberstar in 2010.

So I will take a gander at this forum after I get my kids to their preschool. I haven’t done an update on MN-8 in a while, so here goes a few tidbits:

Money. Clark turned in a bigger fundraising quarter than not only her DFL opponents, but also Cravaack. From a political organization standpoint this is a huge coup. It does not, however, seem to answer questions about Clark’s move from St. Cloud into MN-8 to run for this seat after her underwhelming performance against Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2010.

Endorsements. There have been more of these. Hyper-locally, my friend and state rep Tom Anzelc endorsed Nolan a couple weeks ago. This was Tom’s call and I am maintaining my practice of not endorsing anyone in this race. I’ve commented before that Nolan, Anderson and Fanning seem to be drawing (and touting) the most local endorsements, in that order. Clark has few local endorsements to speak of and appears to be running a campaign based on buying a lot of ads, something that I’ve said portends a donnybrook three- or four-way DFL primary.

Sometime in the winter I aim to sit down with the four DFLers and Cravaack individually for video or audio interviews to be shared here. The best coverage of this race seems to be coming from MPR, Politics in Minnesota and the Strib, with only the Duluth News Tribune doing much locally. It is my goal to ask some “real people” questions in my interviews without pushing a particular candidate, or even party, though my own personal opinions can probably be divined through my outside affiliations. It’s something of an experiment and I hope to prove that citizen journalism can be done objectively.

You can tune in to that online forum at MPR Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

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