Visiting Duluth on Friday to help publicize a free federal income tax filing program, Rep. Pete Stauber agreed that some constituents were struggling with the Republican-led tax cuts from 2017. Individual taxpayers are seeing the ramifications of the GOP's signature Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for the first time this tax season. "It's kind of a mixed bag right now," Stauber said. "But all of the returns haven't been in either. We've still got a month left."
Rep. Pete Stauber seemed to go against President Donald Trump on Tuesday by pledging to protect federal benefit programs "for those who need it most," he said. Stauber, R-Hermantown, made his statement one day after the White House released President Donald Trump's new budget, which detailed $1.9 trillion worth of cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The scene and setting are familiar: a supper at Sammy's Pizza and Restaurant in Cloquet. A family settles into a booth. Even before the menus come out, a sign on the table draws their collective attention: "Say Naw to the Straw." The family discusses it, nodding in agreement with the policy, which says the restaurant will no longer supply its plastic straws unless requested in order to reduce the impact of plastics on oceans and the environment.
Even candidate Stu Lourey hadn't received his mail-in ballot at his residence in Kerrick, Minn. as of last Thursday. Lourey is one of 3,000-plus registered voters in mail-in precincts in Senate District 11. He's also vying in Tuesday's special election to fill the vacant state Senate seat as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee. Lourey is joined on the ballot by Republican Jason Rarick and Legal Marijuana Now candidate John Birrenbach.
More than 400 mail-in ballots went uncounted in the special election primary in Senate District 11 earlier this month. The ballots were returned following the Jan. 22 primary and arrived too late to be counted. Most of the late ballots came in Carlton County, where 250 ballots arrived Friday — days after the election, said Auditor Paul Gassert, who added that ballots continued to trickle in Monday with 12 more. "If I'm a voter," Gassert said, "it's frustrating."
As the Senate District 11 special election process narrows the DFL side of things in Tuesday's primary, the Republican candidate in the Feb. 5 general election figured to be tied up for much of the day with his current job — representing the Pine City area in the Minnesota House of Representatives. "I'll be in committees and we'll be in session, so I won't be paying attention," Rep. Jason Rarick said on Monday. "I've mainly been focusing on our race and not worrying about who I'll be up against."
Some mail-in ballots in the Senate District 11 special election process risk going uncounted, beginning with Tuesday's DFL primary, and affected voters are being encouraged to cast their ballots in-person.
If the condensed race for the state Senate District 11 special election on Feb. 5 is a sprint, the DFL candidates must feel like they're hurdling, too. On Saturday, Stu Lourey and Michelle Lee will appeal to delegates at a Senate District 11 Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement convention in Barnum. Then no matter what the party endorsement outcome is there, Lourey and Lee will be on the ballot for Tuesday's DFL-only primary across precincts in Carlton and Pine counties, and parts of eastern Kanabec and southern St. Louis counties.
There will be no primary on the Republican side of the special election in Minnesota Senate District 11, where party members endorsed state Rep. Jason Rarick. Rarick outpointed Justin Krych, a GOP loyalist from Esko, at the endorsement convention on Tuesday in Hinckley. Neither Pine City Mayor Carl Pederson and nor Pine County resident Matthias Shir received a vote.
There will be primaries in the Minnesota Senate District 11 special election.