By Dan Hallberg, Precinct B21 co-chair
Winning future elections for local GOP candidates will not come easily. We’re seeing the impacts of changing demographics and successful DFL tactics in our area. Since 2010, we’ve had 13 elections in SD49. The DFL won 12. We won only one (Dario Anselmo in 2016). Recruiting strong candidates is difficult. In 2020, our Edina District 49A had no Republican candidate willing to run as Representative in the MN House.
There’s no question that what we’ve been doing isn’t enough anymore. The road ahead will likely be tough, especially with redistricting coming soon.
What can we do? I certainly don’t have a magic answer. But I do have a suggestion. There were more than 70 people who are vitally interested in SD49 that attended our convention February 20, via Zoom. Let’s invite those folks and anyone else interested in SD49’s survival and success to a planning meeting where we can openly discuss and debate how to win elections.
Our past SD49 candidates, including those who have moved from the area, should also be invited to participate, to share their experience and insights. Many of us have participated in successful business meetings where goals, strategies and tactics are developed. That’s why a meeting such as this, where everyone is encouraged to speak up and present ideas and solutions, is an ideal format.
Schedule this in-person meeting sometime soon, in April/May if feasible. Let’s hold this meeting in a suitable room or auditorium or even outdoors, no Zoom! I want us all to be able to see and talk to each other in the same venue.
Finally, have this meeting chaired by someone outside of SD49 who is strongly interested in and committed to SD49’s future success. A good candidate would be an incumbent or former Republican legislator who is in a leadership position and knows first-hand what we are facing and what is at stake.
On February 20, we spent three hours electing our leadership for SD49. I thought it was productive. Congratulations to everyone who assisted in hosting an excellent virtual SD49 convention. I thought it came off well, especially the electronic voting. Also, congratulations to all of our SD49 officers, chairs, and vice-chairs who were elected. There is much work to be done in 2021 and beyond.
If we spend an equal amount of time in an in-person meeting focusing only on how to win elections, we might come up with some good ideas that will work for us. I believe it will be well worth the effort. Let’s do it.
Editor Note – While an exact date for this meeting is not yet set, we’d like to gather indications of interest. Please respond to the survey CLICK HERE to let us know how you feel about attending such a meeting.