For Iron Rangers considering their DFL vote for the next governor, there is no duo on the ballot with a background more supportive of the Range than Attorney General Lori Swanson and Congressman Rick Nolan.
Both have been strong supporters of Minnesota’s mining operations, most notably Nolan’s continued efforts toward jumpstarting copper-nickel in PolyMet during his three terms as the 8th District U.S. Representative.
If Iron Rangers are seeking that hands down approach during Tuesday’s primary election, the choice for governor is clearly Swanson and Nolan.
But their campaign comes with a caveat. Allegations surrounding the candidates separately have dented the armour of the early favorites: Nolan accused of mishandling sexual harassment in his office and Swanson directing state employees to bust union in the office and pressuring them to work on her campaign. Both have vehemently denied the allegations.
With that said, Rangers uncomfortable or wavering with their vote have a fine option as well in Congressman Tim Walz and State Rep. Peggy Flanagan.
The Swanson-Nolan ticket derives its strength from a deep well of experience at the state and federal level, and also common sense approaches to the state’s problems. On mining issues, they are clearly stronger than the rest of the field with Swanson voting mining leases as part of the state’s Executive Council.
Setting mining aside and the Walz-Flanagan team is an equally good choice. A veteran and former teacher, Walz can provide a bold education platform that could reform Minnesota’s system in a needed fashion.
The ticket has also offered real-life solutions for Minnesota through the One Minnesota plan that could offer a break from the status quo.
State Reps. Erin Murphy and Erin Maye Quade are also on the ballot on Aug. 14.
If voters in Minnesota’s Iron Range want the tried and tested candidates in the DFL, Swanson and Nolan are the best choice for their next governor. But if they’re wavering over allegations, Walz and Flanagan present a capable and exciting duo for the state’s top office.