Scenes from a northern battleground district

Tom Anzelc’s sign on the corner of Itasca 8 and 336. It should be noted that the Balsam Deer Hunter’s Supper does not feature Michelob, though it is on the sign. Lord, give us votes, but thanks for the roast beef.

This is the first election in a few cycles where the Minnesota deer hunting rifle season opened before Election Day. Deer camp is usually a place to complain about results, but this year it’s a chance to scream at people for what they might do at the ballot this Tuesday.

I’ve been a little out of sorts these last few days. As some of you know, I run the campaign of my friend Rep. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam), who faces a tight race against another incumbent, Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick (R-Deer River) in the new District 5B. Watching the effects of state budget hijinks take place at the college where I work and then going home to plan a campaign that might determine what happens to my students, job and co-workers is, well, stressful.

But we’re entering that part of the campaign where it’s up to the people, and you just have to turn it over to the hands of God, fate and the voters.

The Hunters’ Suppers in Wabana and Balsam Townships are today. That’s where the people will be. Signs dot the landscape. We had a light snow today. The dump was quiet. We just cleaned the house. The campaigns are in full swing. People have fanned out through the towns with pamphlets and clipboards. More direct mail pieces today … I’ve lost count, and interest, in what they say.

Tomorrow I’ll have an election column and Monday I’ll preview the major races we cover here at MinnesotaBrown. On Election Day I’ll live blog through the night, though quite possibly distracted by the unfolding of my home race. We’re almost there, folks. Democracy is on the march.

Our “mascot” sign, stapled to the side of the old Kannas garage. The original sign was posted during the first campaign in 2006 and stayed up until it rotted off in 2011. We replaced it this summer. This spot now marks the northwest corner of the new District 5B.


  1. Northeast corner of 5b?

  2. This is about half a mile from the line separating Balsam from “The Great Unorganized Territory” of “North a’ Nashwauk,” which is now 6A.

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