May 3, 2022 - Politics

Trail mix: Minnesota congressional candidate's drop in driving

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Welcome to Trail Mix, Axios Twin Cities reporter Torey Van Oot's occasional column reporting on Minnesota's midterm campaigns.

Congressional candidate Tyler Kistner took his foot off the gas during the first three months of 2022, per his campaign finance disclosures.

Driving the news: A report filed last month shows the 2nd Congressional District Republican reimbursed himself about $1,350 for about 2,300 miles of driving related to his challenge against incumbent DFL Rep. Angie Craig between January and March.

  • That's a drop from his 2021 reports, which showed average reimbursements of about $3,800 per quarter, or roughly 6,800 miles, given IRS rates.

Flashback: Campaign finance experts have questioned Kistner's 2021 mileage reimbursements as unusually high given the suburban swing district's size.

What they're saying: A Kistner campaign aide told Axios that he drove to fewer events and meetings due to winter weather.

  • The campaign has not released his mileage logs, but he reimbursed himself about $2,964, the equivalent of more than 5,000 miles in the first three months of 2021.
Another female legislator retires

State Sen. Carrie Ruud is stepping down after four terms.

Between the lines: Redistricting left Ruud in the same district as fellow Republican Sen. Justin Eichorn. The two went head-to-head for the GOP endorsement and Eichorn prevailed.

The big picture: Ruud, who chairs an environmental committee, is one of a number of veteran female legislators leaving the Capitol after being "paired" with a male colleague under the new maps.

Go deeper with our legislative retirement tracker.

Quote du jour: A labor limerick
"In my speech I am rattling my saber
Tough candidate but also a good neighbor
But my breath starts to quake. Did my water just break?
Oh no! I just went into... labor!"
A weekend limerick on NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" about DFL Senate candidate Erin Maye Quade's endorsement experience.

Have a question or story idea about Minnesota politics? Send to Torey at [email protected].

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