Publisher of several papers in 6th District endorses Clark

ECM Publishers has endorsed DFLer Tarryl Clark for Minnesota’s 6th District Congressional race over GOP incumbent U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson.

ECM serves 6 of the largest population centers outside of St. Cloud in the 6th District.

“That makes the 2 largest 6th District newspaper circulation endorsements this week,” Lucking says. The other major endorsement came from the St. Cloud Times.

Here’s what ECM says:

As one of the leading figures in the Tea Party movement and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Bachmann has expanded her national platform even more, much to the Sixth District’s loss.

Rep. Bachmann’s repeated absence from the district is one reason that ECM Publishers chooses to endorse Sen. Clark for election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The St. Cloud state senator was convincing in that she will be an advocate for people and needs of the district, not a national campaigner.

She is one of the Republican Party’s top rock stars, trailing only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in national recognition. And Rep. Bachmann is a heavy hitter, too. She has raised more than $10 million in campaign contributions this year, raking in more than $5 million in the most recent quarter. And through MICHELE PAC, she has provided endorsements and campaign contributions to 46 conservative candidates from around the country, including U.S. Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell from Delaware, Rand Paul from Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida.

As editors from ECM newspapers that serve the Sixth District converged as an editorial endorsement panel to screen candidates in this election, we had hoped that the incumbent would grant an interview to assist the panel in its deliberation. Repeated attempts in late August and throughout September to schedule an interview were not successful. That was disappointing and the panel had no choice but to move on.

We understand that Rep. Bachmann has been part of the House minority, Still, in the four years that she has served in Congress she has authored only one piece of legislation that became law. Still worse, she has not supported important construction projects in St. Cloud and Stillwater — projects of great value in this district.

To her credit, Clark is no rookie to the legislative process and has been willing to work in a bipartisan arena for the betterment of the state. Sen. Clark’s life experiences in teen counseling, parenting, senior citizen advocacy and work with groups like Habitat for Humanity and the Minnesota Community Action Program give her a solid foundation that will help her succeed in Washington.

She demonstrated deep understanding and knowledge of national and international issues. Raised in a conservative Republican family, she has matured to form a philosophical view that draws on her upbringing and world views today.

The editorial panel also found Bob Anderson to be an interesting candidate. After collecting 10 percent of the vote in the Sixth District race in 2008, Anderson is certainly a factor again this year. As a third-party candidate, he believes he offers a choice between Sen. Clark (too far left for the district) and Rep. Bachmann (too much of a rock star).

It is clear that many voters in the district have a deep affection for Rep. Bachmann. She’s likable, independent, savvy and a candidate who has gone far from her start as a school board member in Stillwater. Where Anderson draws votes from could decide the 2010 contest.

If voters in the Sixth District truly want a representative who will put them and the district first in how the duties are performed in Washington, their vote on Nov. 2 should be for Sen. Tarryl Clark. — An editorial from the ECM Editorial Board, ECM Publishers

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