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Minnesota’s highest office is up for grabs and its race is tightening down the stretch as the state enters the final two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 6. Democrat Tim Walz leads Republican Jeff Johnson by about 6 percentage points — Walz is garnering 45 percent to Johnson’s 39 percent in an Oct. 15-17 poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy for Minnesota Public Radio and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Minnesota's highest office is up for grabs and its race is tightening down the stretch as the state enters the final two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 6. Democrat Tim Walz leads Republican by about 6 percentage points—Walz is garnering 45 percent to Johnson's 39 percent in an Oct. 15-17 poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy for Minnesota Public Radio and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. This is down from a 9-point advantage Walz enjoyed as recently as mid-September. Crucially, 12 percent of voters declared they remain undecided.
It was fitting he stepped up to the podium to unmistakable guitar riffs and Axl Rose's screeching falsettos in Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle." As a self-described music buff and '80s kid raised on MTV, Eryk Haapajoki invoked the names of musical acts—from rock stars to country crooners and '60s pop—extensively in his acceptance speech.
It looks like that long line at the local DMV just got a bit longer. The state of Minnesota is rolling out three Class D driver licenses for the public to use in various capacities—the traditional standard license, as well as a new Real ID license and an Enhanced license, though the Real ID license looks to be the most practical and popular going forward.
In the closing moments of an 8th Congressional District debate, Oct. 8, at Madden's Resort, one of the candidates touched upon tragedy—his mother, killed in a violent murder-suicide by a relative; another close family member, struggling in a hospital after a suicide attempt.
The office of Minnesota attorney general is often seen as an independent arbiter—the state's top lawyer, working at the behest of its people's interests and their interests alone, above the rigermarole of partisan politics. That's how Republican candidate Doug Wardlow sees it and it's an interpretation of the role that stands in stark contrast to DFL nominee Rep. Keith Ellison's politicized, activist conception of the office. Wardlow spoke on his campaign during a phone interview with the Dispatch Tuesday, Oct. 16.
The Brainerd City Council voted unanimously to approve a number of property vacations to the Brainerd School District amid concerns the district circumvented open meeting laws and intentionally kept their dealings under wraps. Per the council's decision Monday, Oct. 15, the city will vacate the portion of Williams Street between Northwest Third and Fourth streets, and the portion of Northwest Third Street between Williams Street and the BNSF Railway mainline centerline track more or less a dead-end public street.
Ironically, it wasn't even an issue on the dockett. At about the midpoint of the 8th Congressional District debate at Madden's Resort Monday, Oct. 8, Democratic candidate Joe Radinovich and GOP candidate Pete Stauber were discussing education—particularly, special education and the government's legal obligation to fund it.
BAXTER—Property owners along the Cypress corridor project may feel the pinch in coming years and some are opposing the city of Baxter assessments imposed on neighboring parcels. The Baxter City Council convened a special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 10, on the Cypress corridor project assessments and invited members of the community to come forward and address the issue with a hearing. Written objections to the assessments were presented and attendees expressed dismay at what they deem high assessments for the project.
EAST GULL LAKE—The debate could serve as a microcosm of the race— at times deliberate and measured, then caustic and heated, or, in a few moments, emotionally moving. But, if Democrat Joe Radinovich or Republican Pete Stauber are going to win the 8th Congressional District, they'll have to prove themselves on a variety of fronts. Time will tell if the debate Monday, Oct. 8, at Madden's Town Hall Conference Center, at the resort in East Gull Lake, separated one man from the other in the minds of central and northeastern Minnesota voters.