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Paquin, Beaulieu get few write-ins

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Two Warriors for Justice candidates secured only 17 write-in votes total in the Nov. 2 election for Minnesota Legislature.

Greg Paquin and Nicole Beaulieu registered write-in campaigns after failing to win DFL endorsement and then failing to gain the ballot as Warriors for Justice candidates for lack of enough valid petition signatures.

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Paquin took the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which ruled that Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack made the right decision in discounting signatures on Paquin's and Beaulieu's petitions for having post office box numbers but not actual residence addresses.

While Election Day totals showed numbers of write-in ballots, only a few were cast for either Paquin or Beaulieu, according to the State Canvassing Board, which met Tuesday in St. Paul.

It showed Paquin with six votes in his race for Senate 4, with four votes in Beltrami County, one in Cass and one in Hubbard, with none in Crow Wing or Itasca counties.

In that race, incumbent Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, was defeated by Republican John Carlson of Bemidji.

Beaulieu, in her House 4A bid, received 11 write-in votes, with seven in Beltrami, four in Cass and none in Itasca County.

Another registered write-in candidate, Phillip L. Nelson, received three votes, all in Beltrami County.

In that race, incumbent Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, beat challenger GOP candidate Richard Lehmann of Bemidji.

The State Canvassing Board certified 55 write-in votes for the Senate 4 race, 28 alone in Beltrami County. In the House 4A race, the board certified 91 write-in votes, with 74 in Beltrami County.

Beaulieu, in a statement, says she will run again in 2012 as a social reform candidate.

"I attempted to join the race for House 4A last March, simply because I was disappointed in candidates that continuously misappropriated matters that reflect poorly on conditions of the less fortunate," she said. "I had only eight months of actual 'campaigning,' not to mention all the obstacles I encountered."

It was an eye-opening experience for Beaulieu, who said the key issue wasn't necessarily to win the race.

"It was about setting a platform for issues that are constantly ignored," she said. "Native Americans need a leader that isn't confined to corrupt tribal politics, a leader they can trust and that is willing to commit to correcting the routinely neglected and mishandled circumstances we encounter outside the reservation."

Beaulieu said she would again in 2012 for the House 4A seat.

"I refuse to put corporate policy before people," she said. "I believe the time is upon us to where we as a community of fellowship can elect someone that will commit to repairing the image and mending the obvious injuries that are endured due to racism. ...

"I will debate those that are not willing to adhere to the socio-economic plight holding my people hostage," she said. "Warriors for Justice will continue to strive to be a party where not only the Ojibwe reclaim our humanity, but a party where all men and woman embrace us and allow us to reassert ourselves as caretakers of this land we all have come to love."

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