Chaska Area Election Results and Quick Analysis

State Senate District 47:  Julianne Ortman (63.8%) def. Jim Weygand (36.0%)

State House District 47A:  Ernie Leidiger (62.5%) def. Keith Pickering (37.3%)

The two challenged legislative incumbents cruise to victories with margins somewhat smaller than 2010.  Probably the biggest change for Ortman, Leidiger, and Joe Hoppe (who was unopposed in House District 47B) is that they will be working again from the legislative minorities, as the DFL flipped the script on the GOP and retook both houses of the Legislature.  In fact, with the current results showing the DFL having a 39-28 lead in the Senate and 73-61 in the House, the DFL is poised to have larger majorities the next two years than the Republicans did in the previous two.

This will mean a significant loss in power for Ortman and Hoppe, who chaired committees when in the majority, but both will still be well-positioned to work on a bipartisan basis on critical issues.  Although Ortman and the DFL majorities are out of step on many tax issues, fulfilling the promise of fundamental tax reform will require hard work from both parties to craft the best solution.  Hoppe has worked well with many DFLers in the past, including Rep. Joe Atkins, who may very well end up taking the gavel on the Commerce Committee.

This will also be a challenge for Leidiger.  His first term was rather unproductive (only one bill signed into law, placing him in the bottom quarter of the GOP freshmen), and that was with a Republican majority.  Is Leidiger only interested in being a lightning rod backbencher, or is he capable of more?  If he is capable of more, now is the time to show it.

Carver County Commissioner District 1:  Gayle Degler (60.6%) def. John Siegfried (38.7%)

Carver County Commissioner District 2:  Tom Workman (58.1%) def. Cheryl Ayotte (41.5%)

Carver County Commissioner District 3:  Randy Maluchnik (67.0%) def. Vince Beaudette (32.3%)

Carver County Commissioner District 4:  Tim Lynch (63.4%) def. Frank Long (36.2%)

Carver County Commissioner District 5:  Jim Ische (53.3%) def. Jim Walter (46.3%)

The five incumbents all win re-election.  The notable thing here is that for the second cycle in a row, the Republican-endorsed challengers all lost.  As I’ve said before, this is a losing strategy for the local Republican Party.  County issues are not partisan issues, and voters don’t appreciate partisan warfare being brought where it doesn’t belong.

Eastern Carver County School Board:  Heather Nelson (25.0%), Amy Logue (24.0%) and Jeff Ross (19.2%) def. Jim Leone (17.8%) and Larry Doran (13.4%).

The housecleaning is complete with this vote, as Jim Leone is the last long-term incumbent on the Board is swept out of office.  Highly qualified newcomers Logue and Ross join Nelson (who won election to reduced term in 2010) on the Board.

Chaska Mayor:  Mark Windschitl (67.8%) def. Richard Swanson (31.1%)

This was a clear show of support for the current city leadership.  Windschitl has grown greatly on the job the last three years, and Swanson’s failure to provide a clear case for change and his tax issues didn’t help his cause.

More analysis to come, including looking at the statewide races and constitutional amendments.



17 Responses to “Chaska Area Election Results and Quick Analysis”

  1. Wed aren’t going to see any tax reform come from a DFL house and Senate. Raising taxes on everyone isn’t reform. That’s just standard boilerplate DFL, tax and spend, party platform business as usual. Government will grow by leaps and bounds once again in MN, and every citizen who pays taxes will have thiers raised, and we’ll get right back on track to be the highest taxed state in the nation, right where the DFL wants us to be. And we can all hold hands and celebrate our socialist state, where absoloutely nothing is allowed without a government officials permission.

    BTW. Ernie won! Ha Ha! Nice effort Sean. You accomplished nothing with all of your nonsense.

    • Well, I see the election hasn’t reduced your reserves of hyperbole and exaggeration. Way to keep your chin up!

      • Now I’m exaggerating? That’s rich, coming from you. Can you even remotely define what tax reform will look like with the DFL other than to raise taxes? That’s not reform. Do you imagine that government will shrink one penny under the DFL? What spending cuts are they even willing to consider? You see their fundamental philosophy is that they don’t take enough money from us yet. That’s a huge problem. Jim Weygand and Keith Pickering ran on raising taxes, proudly, (and stupidly I might add). Oh, if only the whole state were on hand to hear how happy these two clowns were to raise taxes. The DFL wants to get back to historic tax rates, or higher, because they need that revenue to further expand government. To what end, God only knows. If you have a lick of evidence to the contrary, I’d sure like to hear it.

        • I certainly don’t know the details of what the plan will look like, but the Revenue Commissioner has talked in broad strokes about seeking to reduce property taxes (with offsets in the income and sales tax, probably including some broadening of the sales tax base). Also, they’ve discussed reducing credits and deductions in the corporate income tax and using that revenue to lower the base rate. I’d like to see them also pursue an increase in the gas tax (or index it to inflation) to improve the condition of our roads and bridges.

          • We certainly don’t need an increase in the gas tax. We need to stop raiding the transportation based income to build trains that require subsidies to run. Every single train we build adds a bggier hole in the budget. And we will not spur economic growth by raising the price of gasoline.

            • The gas tax is constitutionally dedicated to road construction, John.

              • Yes, at the state level, but we continually raid federal transportation funds for the choo-choos. If we stopped wasting money on these boondoggles, or even made riders pay the costs, we’d have plenty of money without raising anyone’s taxes.

                Now that the market has had a chance to react to Obama’s re-election, we can see that the economy is going into another tail spin, and we will have lower revenues at every level of government. With the DFL plan to chase more revenue out of the state, we’re simply going to run out of other people’s money. We need government reform, now. Real budget reforms are going to be required to meet the revenues falling off. The double dip has just arrived. America is about to learn a very difficult economic lesson. And it won’t be from a textbook. We are in big trouble at both the state and federal levels, and taxes will not and can not solve the problem.

                • The market will figure it out. After all, even factoring in yesterday, the Dow is up 56% under Obama (versus the 22% decline under G.W. Bush). That’s the fifth best market performance in a President’s first term since 1900.

                  Do you have any actual evidence of economic tailspin? Or are you just hoping?

                  • Why would anyone hope for an economic tail spin? That serves no one.

                    • I predict the next state budget will be in excess of 40 billion. Not sure how they plan to pay for that. But I’m betting that’s the minimum goal they have in mind for more massive growth of state government.

                    • The only way there’s going to be a $40B budget is if they try to pay back the entire school shift in the biennium, which is unlikely.

                      With no change in the law, spending in the next biennium would be $37.8B. Given the makeup of the new DFL majority and most of its freshmen being more moderate than the Governor on taxes, I would be shocked if you see a significant increase in government revenues due to increased taxes.

                      More likely is tax reform which lowers some taxes and raises others, resulting in a revenue-neutral or very small positive revenue impact.

                    • So when the budget goes over 40 B are you going to be critical of the clowns responsible? I wonder if anyone is willing to put a freindly wager on this one?

                    • I guess my prediction was low on the MN budget. I’m hearing opwards of 45 Billion now. How they are going to get that kind of money is beyond me. I guess millionaires won’t get to exist any more.

  2. After that spirited argument I am not sure I should remind you that Dick Tirk has been on the School Board longer than Jim Leone but the community will miss Jim’s leadership

    • I know you were on the Board longer than Jim, but as you retired from the Board, Jim was the last one left. Didn’t mean to slight your service!

  3. I was not offended.


  1. More Than Just Ernie: The Best of Brick City Blog in 2012 | Brick City Blog - December 28, 2012

    […] And we tested the claims of those GOP candidates – that the LWV forums were biased — and proved them to be utterly without merit.  Fortunately, the good folks of Carver County largely saw through these charades. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: