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Summer, summer, summer -- it's like a merry-go-round

July 23, 2018  | 

Summer, summer, summer -- it's like a merry-go-round

Do you recognize those words from someplace? A song from the 80s?

There were many great bands -- and many more great songs -- to listen to in the 1980s, and long summer days were the best time to enjoy the latest hits. In northern Minnesota, summertime also meant days at the lake, a summer vacation and a short window of opportunity to be outside wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt. The only thing to worry about was the hummingbird-sized mosquitos.

Minnesota’s summer days are few and the options to fill those days are many. But this summer, I’m giving you an opportunity to add one more box to check on your to-do list. No, I’m not giving away a seven day all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. The item I’m thinking about should not take you more than 60 minutes. It won’t cost you a penny, but it can have a long-term effect on you, your family and your business. It’s not a free retirement planning seminar that promises you the secret financial formula for success, or a free presentation about vacation properties.

I’m sure the suspense is building. What could it possibly be?

Drum roll -- Aug. 14 is Minnesota’s primary election day.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes while others are thankful for the reminder. Regardless of how you feel about elections and voting, it’s the results that affect your life. The race for a local city council or county commissioner position will determine policy close to home, while results in the race for governor or U.S. Senate will shape policy on a broader macro level.

The primary will pare down the many candidates per party seeking partisan offices to just one candidate per party for each office. The nonpartisan races will be pared down to the top two, who will later face off in the November general election.

The state auditor and secretary of state races are uncontested primaries. The following table is a snapshot of some of the contested races that will be on the Aug. 14 primary ballot. Remember -- you may only vote on one side of the ballot; you cannot vote in both the DFL and GOP primaries.

Office Number of DFL Candidates Number of GOP Candidates Incumbents running
Governor 5 3 None
Attorney general 5 3 None
U.S. Senate (1) 5 4 Klobuchar (DFL)
U.S. Senate (2) 6 3 Smith (DFL)

The 2018 general election this November is somewhat unique because both United States Senate seats are on the ballot (due to former Sen. Franken’s resignation) and three out of four of Minnesota’s constitutional offices don’t have an incumbent seeking re-election. The race for governor, attorney general and state auditor are open races; the secretary of state is the only incumbent seeking re-election. Throw in eight U.S. House races, 134 Minnesota House races, one Minnesota Senate special election and many local elections, and you can see the ballot will be full on Nov. 6.

We can’t choose when the summer merry-go-round starts and stops, but we can choose when to hop on and hop off. I encourage you to hop off the merry-go-round for an hour on Aug. 14 and stop by your polling place to vote.

Not sure where to vote?

You can find your polling location on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

You can also find out more information about the candidates on the Secretary of State’s candidate filing page.

Topics: Legislative & Government Affairs

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