Republicans in two Downtown districts have endorsed candidates for statewide office.
Steve Sumner, a Minneapolis information systems consultant who lives in northeast Minneapolis' Waite Park neighborhood, is running for the District 59 state Senate seat that includes the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood. That seat is currently held by DFL incumbent Sen. Larry Pogemiller, who is running for reelection.
Sumner was tapped by the party May 20 after running unopposed for the endorsement. He says his priority in office would be to reform the state\'s education system by "tackling the basics" and getting rid of the Profile of Learning.
"We have an education system that is failing, that needs to be fixed," said Sumner. "Kids of all backgrounds can succeed if basic education is taught."
Meanwhile, in the District 60A state House race, Lyn-Lake area resident Noah Rouen has been endorsed by the Republicans to face off against incumbent DFLer Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who already has her party\'s endorsement. District 60A covers Downtown roughly south of 7th Street.
Rouen is a political organizer for a construction trade association. Like Sumner, education tops his agenda, though Rouen emphasizes school choice, charter schools and teacher accountability. He also stresses Minneapolis transit issues, opposing the Hiawatha corridor light-rail project.
Rouen, 27, says his age could become a factor in the election because there are so few state representatives under 30. "In a city full of young people, the young haven't had a voice," he said.
The Republicans won't make endorsements in Senate District 58, which covers Downtown north of 7th Street to the river, until June 19.