Lynch starts fundraising for next election
While the 2012 election is still more than 18 months away, one of the Rochester Democrats ousted last fall is already jumping back into fundraising.
Former state Sen. Ann Lynch recently sent a fundraising letter to supporters. She writes: "This will be an important election for both the state and our local community and I need your support in order to be prepared."
So is Lynch planning to run against GOP Sen. Carla Nelson for the District 30 seat? Lynch said she is not prepared to make an announcement but that "it's fair to say that I really feel like my work isn't yet done."
Lynch was elected to the Legislature in 2006, replacing DFL Sen. Sheila Kiscaden. Nelson, a former state representative, beat Lynch in November with 54 percent of the vote.
Nelson said some Rochester residents recently volunteered to host a fundraiser for her after hearing that Lynch was raising money. But she said her biggest concern at this point is the state's projected $5 billion budget deficit.
"We've got a big job ahead of us, and I think my job is to focus on getting the job done for the people of Minnesota," Nelson said.
The big unknown is what Senate District 30 will look like in 2012. The GOP-led Legislature will redraw the boundaries for all congressional and legislative districts in the wake of the 2010 census. Strong population growth means Senate District 30, which includes the eastern half of Rochester and surrounding rural communities, will need to shed voters. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has to sign off on the redistricting plan, and if a deal can't be reached, it will end up in the courts.
Olmsted County DFL chairwoman Lynn Wilson said she is not aware of any other Democrats taking formal steps to run in 2012, but she said she expects several DFLers might consider running after seeing the policies of the GOP-led Legislature. The GOP dominated in last fall's statewide election, and four of the six legislative seats with constituents in Olmsted County are now occupied by Republicans.
The election is far away, but Wilson said candidates need the time to raise money to compete.
"It never stops. The next (campaign) begins the moment the last one is over," she said. "It's not surprising when you look at the cost of these elections."