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Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:29 AM

How a Hmong candidate won the Democratic primary

in an MN Senate district:

Foung Hawj (Pronounced Fong Her) won a three-way Democratic primary for State Senate District 67 in St. Paul, MN yesterday, with 44% of the vote. This unexpected result demonstrates how important primary elections are. He came in third in the voting at the District 67 Convention, which did not endorse a candidate. The incumbent, who later pulled out of the race, left two remaining candidates, Foung Hawj and Tom Dimond. Near the filing deadline, another candidate, Robert Humphrey became the third candidate, and had the endorsement of the incumbent, who had withdrawn earlier. A strong TV and radio advertising campaign was made by Humphrey, who came in second in the primary.

As expected, turnout for the primary in Senate District 67 was low. Foung Hawj won for one reason, and for only one reason: He turned out the Hmong community in St. Paul, who went to the polls en masse. A grassroots GOTV effort enabled the candidate to come from third place to first in the actual election. Given the heavily Democratic majority in this Senate District, it's almost certain that Foung will become the State Senator in November. We have had one other Hmong State Senator from this district in the past. Foung is a good, progressive Democrat and will be a great State Senator.

The bottom line here, is that GOTV efforts can change the results of elections. Yes, this is a local race, but so are Congressional races. Unexpected results can occur in any Congressional or state legislative district if a serious, effective GOTV effort is made. This is the key to retaking the House of Representatives in November. It is the key to a successful election of any kind. The party that turns out the most voters wins. And individuals who work on GOTV efforts can make an enormous difference in those elections. If you can, please help with GOTV efforts in your own districts.

GOTV 2012!

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply How a Hmong candidate won the Democratic primary (Original post)
MineralMan Aug 2012 OP
Brickbat Aug 2012 #1
MineralMan Aug 2012 #2
Brickbat Aug 2012 #4
MineralMan Aug 2012 #6
Scuba Aug 2012 #3
grantcart Aug 2012 #5
MineralMan Aug 2012 #7
grantcart Aug 2012 #8
MineralMan Aug 2012 #9
MineralMan Aug 2012 #10

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:35 AM

1. Interesting race. I was pulling for Humphrey in that one, myself.

But Hawj will be a good advocate for the area.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:40 AM

2. I was a delegate to that convention.

I voted for Foung on the first ballot, but switched to Dimond on the second ballot. After none of the candidates got the required 60% majority to win the DFL endorsement, I went back to supporting Foung. Humphrey didn't get my support, due to the Harrington endorsement. I wasn't too fond of Harrington, since he voted with the Republicans on a couple of important issues.

Another note: after the convention failed to endorse a candidate, a motion was introduced and passed prohibiting the District's DFL leadership from issuing an endorsement after the convention. That is a very unusual step to take at a convention, but it passed overwhelmingly. The delegates were emphatic that they did not want Harrington endorsed. It was maybe the first really interesting Senate District convention I've attended, just for that process.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:46 AM

4. I feel like the endorsement process is changing across the state.

This is an inexact feeling. Maybe it's just because of this primary in the 8th, but from what I've heard from other areas, there's a little more pushback against the endorsement process.

We always skip our SDC up here because there is nothing to do. No one ever goes up against Bakk, which is fine. If someone does, then we'll go.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:52 AM

6. Those conventions are usually pretty boring.

In our district, we have good incumbents for most of the positions. The Senate District race this year was more interesting. I keep going, because I'm a precinct chair, and because I'd like to go to a state convention one year or another. This year, I couldn't, due to work stuff. Maybe in 2014.

The District 67 convention is also a great place to meet up with other dedicated Democrats who believe that it all matters. I like that, and have made some good friends there.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:40 AM

3. Congratulations Foung Hawj!

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:47 AM

5. . . . .

ขอแสดงความยินดี


This



defeated this

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Response to grantcart (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 09:53 AM

7. + 100

I have several Hmong neighbors and admire their dedication and hard work.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:03 AM

8. If they moved from 1978 to 1985 I put em on the plane. Not personally but that's what I was running

in those days.

The reason that Hmong and Cambodians were concentrated into just a few areas, Hmong in Saint Paul and Montana and Cambodians in Long Beach as an example, was so that appropriate community services could be built to support them and sustain their culture and language.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:20 AM

9. Thanks for helping them.

The community in St. Paul is very strong and the strength of the Hmong community here is a great thing to see. There is some prejudice visible, but acceptance and welcome is more prevalent. I like my Hmong neighbors very much.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:21 AM

10. Note: I just updated my precinct's website with these Primary Results.

You can find a link in my signature line.

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