2010 Primary primer

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August 2, 2010
By: Jake Weyer and Dylan Thomas
Jake Weyer and Dylan Thomas

It might not feel like time to head to the polls, but thanks to a measure the Minnesota House and Senate approved back when it was still frigid across the state, we’re only a week away from what could be the hottest primary election ever — at least in temperature.

Primary elections were moved from September to August 10 this year to give overseas absentee voters more time to get their ballots in.

Minnesota’s open primary system does not require voters to be registered with a political party, but for partisan offices, each voter can only vote within one of the three major parties: Republican, Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) or Independence. The primary will decide which candidates from each party will move on to the general election Nov. 2.   

The governor’s race is the big-ticket item this year and 13 of the 17 candidates for the state’s top job will be on the primary ballot, based on the Minnesota Secretary of State office’s online list. Voters will also have an opportunity to whittle down a field of 10 at-large School Board candidates to the top four, who will vie for two seats in November. Other state and judicial offices are up for grabs this year as well, but not every race will be included in the primary because some lack multiple same-party candidates.

Below is a guide to this year’s primary, along with a list of contenders in the top races. Candidate websites are listed when known.

To see a full list of candidates and races, where to vote, sample ballots and more election information, go to the Secretary of State website, sos.state.mn.us.

Where to go

The following is a list of Downtown voting places. For a precinct map, go to ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections/polling-place-list.asp.

Ward 3

2nd Precinct: First Congregational Church of Minnesota, 500 8th Ave. SE

3rd Precinct: Marcy Open School, 415 4th Ave. SE

4th Precinct: Spring Manor Highrise, 828 Spring St. NE

Ward 7

5th Precinct: 1421 Spruce Place

6th Precinct: River Towers Condominiums, 15 1st St. S.

7th Precinct: Corner Coffee Building, 514 3rd St. N.

8th Precinct: Emerson Spanish Immersion School, 1421 Spruce Place

9th Precinct: Westminster Church, 1200 Marquette Ave.

10th Precinct: Elliot Recreation Center, 1000 14th St. E.

11th Precinct: Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S.

What you’ll need

Pre-registration closed July 20. Voters who haven’t registered previously in their precinct will need one of the following:

— A valid Minnesota driver’s license, state I.D. card or receipt, tribal I.D. or college I.D. showing a current name and address in the precinct

— A voucher from a pre-registered voter in the precinct, or an employee voucher on a certified list of employees of a residential facility in the precinct

— A letter mailed by election headquarters within two weeks prior to election day, showing an address in the precinct

— An expired I.D. (driver’s license; college, tribal, state or U.S. military card; U.S. passport) in addition to a recent utility bill showing current name and address


How to vote

Traditional voting — rather than the ranked-choice voting method used to elect the city’s municipal positions in 2009 — will be used during the primary and the November election. Voters will choose one candidate for each available office.  


Who’s on the ballot

Minnesota governor and lieutenant governor


— Margaret Anderson Kelliher and John Gunyou (endorsed), margaretforgovernor.com

— Mark Dayton and Yvonne Prettner Solon, markdayton.org

— Matt Entenza and Robyne Robinson, entenza.com

— Peter Idusogie and Lady Jayne Fontaine, mnpeterforgovernor.com


— Tom Horner and James A. Mulder (endorsed), horner2010.com

— Rob Hahn and Thomas J. Harens, hahn2010.com

— Phil Ratte’ and Gayle-Lynn: Lemaster    

— John T. Uldrich and Stephen Williams, johnuldrichforgovernor.com, prairiefireusa.com

— Rahn V. Workcuff and Mark F. Workcuff


— Tom Emmer and Annette T. Meeks (endorsed), emmerforgovernor.com     

— Bob Carney Jr. and William McGaughey,  republicancontract.com

— Leslie Davis and Gregory K. Soderberg, lesliedavis.org

— Ole’ Savior and Todd “Elvis” Anderson, ole-savior.org, toddelvis.com

U.S. Representative, District 5

(Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs)


— Keith Ellison (incumbent, endorsed), keithellison.org

— Gregg A. Iverson

— Barb Davis White


— Tom Schrunk


— Joel Demos, facebook.com/pages/Joel-Demos-for-US-Congress/340275928954?filter=3

Secretary of State


— Mark Ritchie (incumbent, endorsed), markritchie2010.org

— Dick Franson, dickfranson.com


— Jual Carlson


— Dan “Doc” Severson (endorsed), facebook.com/pages/Dan-Severson-for-Secretary-of-State/181358213739

Attorney General


— Lori Swanson (incumbent,endorsed), loriswanson.com

— Leo F. Meyer


— Sharon Anderson, sharonagmn2010.blogspot.com

— Chris Barden (endorsed), barden4AG.com

County Commissioner, District 2

(North and Northeast Minneapolis, some western suburbs and part of Bryn Mawr)

— Mark Stenglein (incumbent), markstenglein.com

— Blair Tremere, blairtremere.com

— Roger Smithrud

County Commissioner, District 3

(Southwest Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and part of Downtown)

— Gail Dorfman (incumbent), commissionerdorfman.org

— Barry Lazarus, barrylazarus.com

— Jeffrey A. Beck

Minneapolis School Board, at-large candidates

— James Everett

— Rebecca Gagnon, sites.google.com/site/rebeccagagnon2010/

— Shirlynn LaChapelle

— Steve Lasley, stevelasley.com

— Richard Mammen, richardmammen.org

— Doug Mann, educationright.com/mann

— Mohamud Noor, noorforschools.org

— Chanda Smith Baker, chandaforschoolboard.org

— R.E. (Dick) Velner, curriculumprincipal.com

— T. Williams, twilliamsforschools.org

All at-large School Board candidates (except for LaChapelle) provided a brief biographical statement and answers to two questions that are available at downtownjournal.com.