Democrats have said that they’re focused on beating back Republican majorities in the Legislature this cycle. But Republicans seem focused on the Legislature too, and some high-profile Democrats in Grand Forks may be in for a battle.
I wrote about the legislative races in District 42 yesterday, but my post got a little messed up because the Grand Forks Herald article it was based on initially, and incorrectly, reported that former lawmaker and city councilman Curtiss Kreun was running for the state House.
He’s not running for the House, though the error is understandable because he served there previously. Rather, he’s running for the state Senate and taking on Democrat Minority Leader Mac Schneider. And that could be a tough race for Schneider.
Schneider has been elected in the district twice previously – he took over the seat from a Republican – but has never won by more than 800 votes. And the candidates he’s faced haven’t had the pedigree that Kreun has, both in the Legislature previoiusly and in city government. Kreun served on the Grand Forks City Council for 12 years, and also on the local school board for 16 years. He also served in a mixed partisan district previously, proving he can win elections in relatively liberal areas.
If Republicans took out the Senate Minority Leader for the Democrats that would be a big, big deal.
Also in trouble is state Rep. Kylie Oversen, who in addition to being the chair of the state Democrat party (for some reason) is just finishing up her first term in the state House. She’ll be facing challenges from Republican Jake Blum and, announcing today, Emily O’Brien.
O’Brien’s press release is below, and she comes across as a formidable candidate. Neither O’Brien or Blum have the experience Kreun has, but being on the same ballot as he is will help.
Legislative races don’t typically captivate statewide audiences, but this is definitely one to watch.