Mailing It In: Thoughts On The June 2nd Primary
I hadn't actually got around to changing my voter registration back to No Party after the caucuses, so I filled out the form for an absentee ballot (+1 to GOP Secretary of State Paul Pate for this-- well done, well organized from what I could tell) and after some pondering and research filledo ut and popped by absentee ballot in a mailbox this morning.
For the Democratic side of things, the Senate, State House District 86 and the Sheriff's race were probably the biggest ticket items-- the intersections and dynamics of that last race, especially with my Day Job made for some fascinating thinking. But I done voted. I hope you do too and we'll see what happens on June 2nd.
Senate: I went with Admiral Mike Franken on this... I was told that he had just switched parties last year AND he still has a house in Washington D.C., but his military service plus the fact he's from Sioux City sort of won me over. He's from an area of the state that Democrats need more bench strength in (though admittedly, J.D. Scholten is a damn good start for District Four) but I think if you're going up against a Lt. Colonel- a retired one, but still, a Lt. Colonel nonetheless, it helps to have an Admiral be your nominee.
Do I think he will be the nominee? Maybe. I think he'd be the pragmatic choice-- but I also know the gravity of the Democratic Party has shifted decidedly leftward-- despite an electoral environment that would be more favorable to shades of purple instead of blue. Verdict: Went with Franken, but wouldn't be surprised if it's Greenfield.
Congress: All the action is on the GOPer side of the ballot, but I'm anticipating a Rita Hart and the return of The Triple M (Marionette Miller-Meeks) in the fall, so more thoughts on that then.
State House District 86: I hate that so many legislators go unchallenged year after year-- I mean, I get it-- this would be tough sledding for any Republican, but I feel like voters always deserve a choice of some kind every time. A primary challenge to Vicki Lensing made me very happy indeed- as I've looked at the voting numbers for that district now and again and pondered a quixotic run against ehr from time to time. I figured just showing up would be good enough for 5-10% of the vote. Put a little work in you could get more than that. Little bit of work could get you even more.
But a genuine challenger like Christina Bohannan? I was leaning in her direction anyway, but a personal phone call from the candidate herself tipped the scales. This is going to be an interesting contest indeed. Verdict: I gotta put my money where my mouth is and go with Bohannan, but this one could be closer than people think.
Supervisors: I'll be honest, I don't usually pay attention to what the Board of Supervisors does. So, let's just say I went with Porter, Sullivan and Green-Douglass, because they seem to be doing okay and I don't really have much in the way of options here.
Auditor: No surprise, suspense or anything interesting here: Travis Weipert is running unopposed.
Sheriff: This was probably the most interesting race on the ballot. The first competetive primary for Sheriff in a very long time, it's been fascinating to poke around the dynamics of this race. Honestly, I think on balance either choice will be good. But, here's the deal: while not all change is good, there's no question that Kunkel represents the continuity candidate here. But I was less that impressed with the last campaign for a new jail (which, yes, I think we need-- but that's another post) and there was no question that this was a neatly choreographed torch passing/anointment that sort of irked me a little bit. Verdict: The Democratic Machine in Johnson County usually isn't caught napping, so I'd imagine this will go Kunkel's way, which is fine- but occasionally, a flick on their collective ear does 'em good, so I went the other way on this one.