Tag Archives: Cheryl Ayotte

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.



Brick City Blog Endorsements: Randy Maluchnik and Cheryl Ayotte for Carver County Commissioner

Today, we’re happy to make endorsements in two of the Carver County Commissioner races — Cheryl Ayotte in District 2 and Randy Maluchnik in District 3.

Let’s start with Randy Maluchnik.  Maluchnik has raised the hackles of some by calling himself a “Common Sense Conservative” in his campaign ads.  The description, though, fits perfectly.  Maluchnik is an Army veteran, a former staffer for Blue Dog U.S. Rep. David Minge, and has been a reliable force for the kind of moderate leadership that has helped Carver County grow so fast in recent years.  Maluchnik and the rest of the County Board have kept the lid on taxes, while encouraging the sorts of prudent infrastructure investments that help the private sector grow and flourish.

As President of the Association of Minnesota Counties, Maluchnik has been at the forefront of helping county and local governments redesign their organizations and processes to maximize taxpayer value and has been a powerful advocate for holding the Legislature accountable for its promises to stop meddling in the affairs of local governments.

There is a sharp contrast between Maluchnik and his opponent, Vince Beaudette.  Beaudette is one of the Republican-endorsed Commissioner candidates who has chosen to participate in the ill-conceived boycott of the League of Women Voters candidate forums.  Beaudette’s campaign seems just as much focused on national and state issues as county ones, and he’s long been a fountain of misinformation on such topics.

Randy Maluchnik is the clear choice for District 3 residents.

In District 2, Cheryl Ayotte has run a textbook campaign.  Prospective Carver County candidates should take a note of how she has approached the daunting task of challenging a long-time incumbent.  The planning and execution she has brought to the table here indicates she would be a strong Commissioner.  Let’s look at what she has done.

First, she’s presented a positive message, explaining the key things she wants to focus on and the personal qualities she brings to the table.  Second, she’s presented a clear message explaining why her opponent’s record should cause voters to seek to replace an incumbent.  Finally, she’s tied those two pieces together to create a compelling story as to why she would be a better Commissioner than Tom Workman.  Here’s an example of a lit piece she produced that ties it all together.

Ayotte is a solid conservative, but she understands that she serves all Carver County residents — something that Workman seems to have forgotten.  Her agenda is decidedly nonpartisan — as it should be!  County issues aren’t Democratic vs. Republican issues — they are issues of common sense and making sure that we’re maximizing value for residents.

Workman, who is also one of the candidates ducking the LWV forums, has a long history of partisan divisiveness.  It’s time for him to go.

I encourage residents of District 2 to vote for Cheryl Ayotte and residents of District 3 to vote for Randy Maluchnik on November 6.

As for the other races:

District 1 voters are fortunate to have two strong candidates in Gayle Degler and John Siegfried.  Both have spent a decade providing good service to Carver County residents as a Commissioner   Degler, as the incumbent, can point to a solid record of managing the county’s tax burden in a time of growth.  Siegfried, though, raises some interesting questions about the declining fund balances.  Thursday’s League of Women Voters forum should be useful for District 1 voters to help them decide.

In District 4 and 5, challengers Frank Long and Jim Walter have chosen to travel down the same regrettable path as Workman and Beaudette with regards to the LWV forums.  I cannot recommend voting for candidates who treat citizens with such disdain.

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