Sue Jeffers is scheduled to arrive at Stub & Herbs in about 15 minutes. The pool room of the bar, lined with blue-and-white Jeffers signs, “Blinded by the Light” blasting on the stereo, and tow Jeffers-shirted boys violently winging darts at the electronic board dominate the action in the relatively empty room.
Lieutenant Gov. candidate Ruthie Hendrycks just arrived. She’s feeling positive about both her efforts and her chances: “I honestly believe Sue Jeffers and Ruthie Hendrycks did everything we c ould and that the outcome tonight will be positive.” A resident of Hanska, 13 miles south of New Ulm, she says she thinks greater Minnesota will turn out in support for the team. Issues like “wasteful government spending,” the Twins stadium, transportation issues, and the raising of fees statewide have “irritated” the conservative base. She says the stadium and Minneapolis light rail, in particular, might turn former Pawlenty voters to their cause. “Pawlenty has raised fees by $559 million… Every fee you can think of was raised instead of taxes---license tabs, hunting licenses, building permits…” She adds, noting a frequent theme of the Jeffers campaign, that the GOP platform calls for small, effective, efficient government and that Pawlenty’s August 19 statement the “the era of small government is over” directly goes against that platform.
The bar is still relatively empty—nine, including me, now that one dart-chucking boy has wandered off—but Hendryck’s is in good spirits. “I don’t think the odds are as against us as others think.”
[Cross-posted at Minnesota Monitor.]