Parties seek candidates for House vacancy

A pending special election in southern Minnesota has DFL and Republican party officials looking for legislative candidates.

State Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, triggered those searches this week when he announced plans to resign his House District 19A seat to take a job in Chicago. Senate District 19 DFL Chair Karen Foreman of Mankato said efforts are underway to identify potential candidates for the seat. She said there are several qualified people in the area that she hopes will step forward. But whoever runs, Foreman said a special election requires quick action.

“Our preference, as would be any party, is to try to identify a candidate, get them endorsed as soon as we could,” Foreman said. “Because the times will be very short to give them the time to campaign, so that the constituents in the area can get to know the candidates who are running.”

Morrow ran for re-election unopposed this year. But Republicans insist they won’t be on the sidelines for the special election. Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, oversees the campaign activity of the House GOP caucus. Loon said the search is underway.

“I don’t know when those decisions will be made,” Loon said. “But consideration is being given, and I would expect we will have at least a candidate, if not multiple candidates, interested in running.”

Loon said she believes the Republican candidate will be competitive. Foreman is similarly optimistic about her party’s chances, and suggested that the recent redistricting in her area should favors the DFL.

Election results show President Obama receiving 52 percent of the vote in the legislation district in 2012. Republican Mitt Romney received 44 percent.