Minnesota candidate thankful parade accident wasn't worse

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Photo credit John Howe

The campaign trail can be rough enough as is, but for one Minnesota candidate, it led to a trip to the hospital.

John Howe, a republican candidate running for Minnesota Secretary of State, hit the pavement when the parade float he was in lost control on Sunday. He has since been released from the hospital and said he is doing OK.

The candidate had just finished the Steamboat Days Parade in downtown Carver and was trying to get his daughter and campaign team back to their cars, so they hitched a ride onto a trailer attached to a tractor.

The tractor later hit the curb, sending him and his campaign manager onto the ground.

“We sped up to maybe about 18 miles an hour or so, and then all of a sudden the tractor just jerked and lurched to the right, and he said there was just no steering. So it was a steering malfunction,” Howe said.

Howe becomes emotional when he thinks about how the accident could have turned out differently.

“Can you imagine if it happened during the parade and we ended up running over parade-goers?Unfortunate it happened to us, but I’d rather it be me than someone else,” Howe said.

The two were quick to thank fellow candidates and first responders who rushed to their aid and got them to the hospital.

“It happened so fast. When I hit the pavement, I hit it hard and right away I was worried about my campaign manager because I saw him roll over,” he said. “I tried to lay him flat and then noticed that the ground around him was turning red. I thought maybe there was a compound fracture somewhere, but then I realized the blood was coming from me.”

Howe suffered road rash and had to have 14 staples in the back of his head after the accident. His campaign manager remains in the hospital, but is hoping to be out soon.

As the final push toward Election Day nears, Howe is reminded how things can change in an instant.

“A lot of people I haven’t talked to in a long time and even people from the other side of the aisle reached out, and so that’s a great sign and hopefully this won’t hold our campaign back; hopefully my campaign manager will be released from the hospital soon.”