ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Minnesota is seeing the highest amount of candidates running for office in recent years after a filing frenzy ensued at the Secretary of State’s Office Tuesday.
It seemed that the candidate filings would never stop. For governor, Congress, Attorney General. At times, it was chaos. In reality, it was democracy.
“But I can say, I felt yesterday as I’m sure you and people did, an intensity that just has not been there,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.
The numbers prove it: 392 Minnesotans filed to run for state offices. When you take out the races of state senate, that’s a 20 percent increase over 2016. It’s a 12 percent increase over 2014, the last off-year election.
The filing frenzy started on Monday after long-time Attorney General Lori Swanson announced her run for governor. By Tuesday, 12-year Congressman Keith Ellison filed to run for attorney general. By the Tuesday evening filing deadline, eight Democrats including Ilhan Omar, jumped in to run for Ellison’s seat in Congress.
“Just in the last 24-48 hours, all of a sudden there were these openings for seats and folks had to make a decision within an hour or two,” said Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “But the reality is they had already been thinking about it, in some cases for months or years waiting for their chance to jump in.”
Among them, former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher filed to run for Ellison’s seat in Congress.
“I think that is a healthy thing, regardless of the political party or political orientation, it is a good thing to have a fresh chance to look at new people,” said Simon.
The primary is not until August 14, but you can vote early. Starting June 29, you can register for an absentee ballot and lock in your vote. You can even have it mailed to your home. For more information about primary voting, click here.