My Take on Minnesota’s Fifth — and Remembering Martin Olav Sabo

Antoine or Ilhan?

If you are a Democrat in Minnesota’s Fifth District the question is front and center. Primary day is upon us.

I’ll be upfront, I have had a lawn sign for Antoine in my back seat since precinct caucuses. It would have been in my yard, but my wife would not allow it.

You see she, like many in my family, like Ilhan. And why not?

Anyone Trump hates so much can’t be all bad.

Many also like the fact that she is 100% Single Payer and a champion of it as well.

There I part company. Too timid I guess, fearful of transition dislocations and unforeseen issues to numerous to debate. Just say I prefer the build on Obama Care policy and would prefer someone representing this district to be 100% supportive of President Biden when he seeks to quickly and effectively deal with the pandemic and more. I certainly do not want him to be sniped at by my representative.

But that's me, and you may disagree. I did want to bring up Martin Olav Sabo though. Clearly a giant of a representative who should be honored with more than a pedestrian bridge across Hiawatha, but that is another issue.

I first meet him when he knocked on my door in 1972, running for reelection to the Minnesota House. Shortly later he helped me get elected to the city council and we became mutual supporters. It was an honor to see how he effectively was able to bring together the democratic caucus in the Minnesota House and then become Speaker.

His skill and leadership lead to his congressional seat where he once again rose in leadership and frankly was able to bring home the bacon.

But more importantly, while in either the statehouse or the nation's capital, Martin was almost always the most liberal member in the room. The difference was merely in style.

I liked that style. I like a representative that actively worked with and on the issues in the city. And that is the focus I prefer any new representative take.

They really have to decide to focus on the fifth or focus on the windmills.

I prefer Antoine, who is focused on the fifth to Ilhan who is on a different campaign, one that I do not believe fully reflects the DFL of the district and certainly not the district as a whole.

Yes, I would prefer a more centrist Democratic Congress that focused on getting things done during the coming first Biden term. Antoine fits that bill in my book.

You may disagree. That great after all it is your vote and your decision.

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