Feb 22, 2024 - Politics

Trail mix: Legislative turnover sparks mad dash for Minneapolis seats, new Trump endorsement

Illustration of trail mix with elephant and donkey pretzels

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The race to replace retiring DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein is already heating up.

The latest: Four Democrats β€” including a well-known pundit online and a former city council candidate β€” have jumped in the race in recent days for the soon-to-be-open Minneapolis seat.

  • Hornstein, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, announced less than a week ago that he's retiring after 22 years in the Legislature.

The big picture: Retirements tend to trigger runs from multiple aspiring elected officials since it's hard to beat an incumbent, especially in a safe seat.

Who's in: Former Ward 10 City Council candidate Katie Jones, legislative aide Isabel Rolfes, and Will Stancil, a U of M researcher and prolific tweeter.

  • Dylan McMahon, a policy analyst who until recently led a local DFL unit in the district, announced his bid last night.

Between the lines: House District 61A isn't the only open seat in Minneapolis attracting competition. Former Minneapolis Park Board member Londel French and political organizer Bill Emory are running to succeed outgoing Rep. Hodan Hassan in House District 62B.

What we're watching: Precinct caucuses happen on Tuesday. That's a crucial opportunity for candidates to recruit delegates who will support them in the eventual endorsing conventions.

U.S. Senate candidate backs Trump

"You know he's strong on defense and from a policy perspective, I support that. I can't answer for his behavior and the way that he carries himself as the President of the United States. But he is who he is."
β€” Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Fraser to MPR News on his decision to throw his support behind former President Trump.

Why it matters: Fraser's 2024 endorsement underscores the influence the presumptive nominee has within the Republican Party β€” especially for those vying for the GOP endorsement.

  • Just a month ago, Fraser, a Navy veteran and one of five GOP candidates running to challenge U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, declined to weigh in on the race.

Zoom in: A similar reversal recently occurred in the GOP primary for the battleground 2nd Congressional District, as candidate Joe Teirab announced his own endorsement of Trump following public pressure from rival Tayler Rahm.

  • Teirab had told Axios in October that he was "staying out of" the White House race. At the time, he declined to say whom he voted for in 2020.

Yes, but: He recently told a group of local Republicans that he voted for Trump both times, according to a recording obtained by Axios.

Trail Mix is Axios Twin Cities reporter Torey Van Oot's occasional column on all things Minnesota politics. Send her your tips and political takes: [email protected].

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