Flip a House Seat

Recently a conservative radio host who is now running for Congress made national headlines when some of his previous statements were publicized. His name is Jason Lewis and here’s an example:

In his book, “Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States’ Rights” Lewis also wrote that President Abraham Lincoln “exploited the issue” of slavery, adding the Civil War, or what Lewis called the “War Between the States,” had “more to do with secession” than slavery.

When asked if the Civil War was worth fighting during an interview in 2011 about his book, Lewis did not respond with a clear answer and eventually said it was “kinda hard to say.”

In truly bizarre fashion, he equated slavery and gay marriage (as if treating another human being as property is the same thing as being married to the person you love).

In fact, if you really want to be quite frank about it, how does somebody else owning a slave affect me? It doesn’t. If I don’t think it is right, I won’t own one, and people always say ‘well if you don’t want to marry somebody of the same sex, you don’t have to, but why tell somebody else they can’t. Uh, you know if you don’t want to own a slave, don’t. But don’t tell other people they can’t.

During the debate about the contraception mandate in Obamacare, Lewis said this on his radio show:

You’ve got a vast majority of young single women who couldn’t explain to you what GDP means. You know what they care about? They care about abortion. They care about abortion and gay marriage. They care about ‘The View.’ They are non-thinking.

Yeah, he’s pretty much a shock-jock in the mold of Rush Limbaugh. Except now he is running for national office…in the district where I live in Minnesota.

A couple of years ago, I moved from an urban area that is totally dominated by Democrats to a suburban swing district. It was represented by a Republican – John Kline – but had narrowly gone for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. That is why, in 2014, Bill Maher chose this as his “Flip a District,” but failed to do so and Kline was re-elected.

Heading in to the 2016 election, John Kline decided not to run again. And so I now live in one of the few House districts that has a chance to flip this time around. Enter Jason Lewis.

There are actually five candidates running for the Republican nomination in this race. It’s hard to know who is ahead, but as has recently been reported by Uptake, it is probably going to be either Jason Lewis (who has very high name recognition) or David Gerson – who has previously been a Tea Party challenger to Rep. John Kline. So the Republican nomination will likely come down to a contest between a conservative shock-jock and a tea partier.

On the Democratic side, the candidate will be Angie Craig.

Over the past decade at St. Jude Medical, Angie’s responsibilities have included health policy, media relations, corporate communications, and government relations. She led the company’s Global Human Resources group over the past four years, where she helped create jobs in Minnesota and build a program that led to more women in management…

Angie and her wife Cheryl Greene live in Eagan. Cheryl taught middle school for over 20 years and now trains teachers and administrators on how to prevent bullying and create safe and welcoming schools for all students. Angie and Cheryl have four boys, Josh, 18, Jonas, 18, Jacob, 17 and Isaac, 13.

I’ll continue to post occasional updates here at Political Animal on this race – as it is one of the few competitive House contests in this election. We’ll get a better idea of who the Republican candidate might be after the March 1st caucuses.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.