After missing 2020 due to Covid restrictions, this year’s Fall Conversation proved once again to be a very successful format for a fundraiser. Almost 80 people came to the Edina Country Club on Thursday, November 4, to gain some insight into “What We Need to Do to Win in the Suburbs.”
Three distinguished commentators came at this question from different backgrounds and perspectives. Moderated by Kyle Hooten of Alpha News, the panelists were MN Sen. Mark Koran, life coach and community activist Sheila Qualls, and political observer and campaign advisor Lonny Leitner.
The cocktail hour ahead of the panel discussion provided an opportunity to meet and talk with some recent candidates in the local school board elections as well as declared and future candidates for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District and for MN Attorney General. Republican National Committeewoman Barb Sutter and 3rd Congressional District Chair Patti Meier also spoke personally with friends and attendees. Former MN Rep. Dario Anselmo stopped in for a brief appearance.
Senate District 49 Co-Chair Pam Tucholke kicked off the main event with a call out to special guests and an introduction of the moderator. Kyle Hooten in turn introduced the panel members. Mixing humor with statistics and quotes, the panelists spoke and answered questions for close to 90 minutes.
While impossible to capture in a short article all of the points made by the panelists, a few highlights give a sense of the lively discussion
The consensus on the top issues for the 2022 elections:
- Safety and security
Sen. Mark Koran – We must focus on winning in the Metro. We can’t just win votes out-state…. Candidates need to honestly state their views, and consistently reflect that they have the overall best interests of their voters/area at heart.
Sheila Qualls -- The Democrat Party runs like a franchise restaurant – relentlessly consistent –offering everybody exactly 1 pickle on a thin burger… Democrats twist language – despite what they say, “woke” really means you’re asleep and letting someone else make decisions for you.
Lonny Leitner – Research shows that people vote based on social issues, cultural issues, and on the sense that the candidate is caring. Caring is the central issue – Conservatives need to stop talking like accountants and start talking to the hearts of voters.
For those interested in hearing more of the panelists’ comments, David Sanchez video-recorded the panel discussion. An edited video of the evening will be available shortly and will be posted on the SD49GOP website.
A special thanks to Kyle, Mark, Sheila, and Lonny, to the Edina Country Club for their hospitality, and to all of the attendees who made our fundraiser a success.