Currently, we have three confirmed candidates for the DFL in Elwyn Tinklenberg, Maureen Reed, and Tarryl Clark. The last few days have seen quite a lot of chatter throughout the blogosphere about this district and this particular race. In that chatter and in the chatter from my personal sources there seems to be a few themes:
1. With Maureen Reed, every indication I am hearing is that apart from her large fund raising numbers she is dead in the water. Don't get me wrong, I like Dr. Reed and would have no trouble supporting her but for one reason or another the people I have contacts with have already counted her out of the endorsement. Does this mean that Reed is really gunning for the IP candidacy? Will she abide by the DFL endorsement? If she were to lose that endorsement, then will she run as an IP candidate or put her name on the DFL primary ballot?
2. Elwyn Tinklenberg appears to have two hurdles to overcome: First, to convince people throughout the district who recall that big blue paw print on his '08 campaign site touting the endorsement by the Blue Dog Coalition that he is NO LONGER a Blue Dog Democrat. Second, much like Reed, there are increasingly loud questions about why he has chosen to ignore the DFL endorsement and take this race to a primary. All of my sources who might have supported him before are abandoning ship because of this decision. Why would Mr. Tinklenberg tell the entire DFL establishment in the district that he will ignore their decision? Could I support Tinklenberg? Sure, but right now his answers to these questions concern me.
3. Tarryl Clark, from EVERYTHING I am hearing, is the early leader in the initial endorsement process. Her one disadvantage might be her initial fund raising which will have to catch up with her competitors. As she has not been very public yet I do not know what her stance is on honoring the endorsement process but given the questions surrounding Reed and Tinklenberg it would interesting to hear what she intends.
UPDATE: h/t to Blue Man on this one...
The Clark website is up with a youtube video message:
Clark makes it clear in the video that she WILL abide by the DFL endorsement which could be an indication that she has called around the district and all but locked up the delegates she needs to win.