In the Democratic primary on Aug. 14, I am supporting Tarryl Clark. It is not so much that she has been endorsed by Bill Clinton, or that she has outraised her fellow candidates. It is not even that she has articulately called out Rep. Chip Cravaack for his tacit support of Michelle Bachmann's McCarthy-like attacks on loyal-to-America Muslims serving in government. My main reasons are these two.
First, State Sen. Clark is in touch with 21st Century issues including the need to work across party lines, the importance of issues in support of working women and middle class families, and the crucial nature of balancing the federal budget by a fair, balanced approach. She is young, energetic, and intelligent. Much like Sen. Klobushar, Tarryl Clark will serve in a collaborative way in Congress to benefit the entire Congressional District for years to come. What she lacks in seniority, she will make up for in her use of organized energy, openness to input, and willingness to work with others to get things done.
Second, the party preference for a candidate this year is well meaning, but nonetheless is an apparent product of the good-old boys club still thriving in northeast Minnesota. I say this because from the beginning men more than women have spoken up for Rick Nolan. In an initial electronic mass mailing, 23 of his 26 identified first level supporters were male, and two of the women backers cosigned with males with whom they were business or domestic partners. Nolan has not, in my view, taken sufficient steps since to address issues of importance to working women and families -- his viewpoints being indistinguishable from my party's line on the run-of-the-mill issues of the day. The leaning of the party toward a genial, familiar candidate -- who in the long run may not be able to serve the best interests of the district -- is to me valid grounds for Ms. Clark's difficult decision to challenge the party's endorsement this year.
Of course, I will vote in November for whatever DFL candidate challenges Chip Cravaack. Whoever the candidate is, she or he will be more in the mainstream of Minnesotan thinking and acting than the present representative. From my perspective as a retired professor, Tarryl Clark is the best choice for the 8th Congressional District.