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Local DFL Chair: 2012 Candidates Recall 2006 Sweep

Susan Kent, JoAnn Ward and Ann Marie Metzger were endorsed at Saturday’s District 53 event.

What impressed local DFL Chair Alberder Gillespie most about this year’s slate of legislative candidates?

Their ability to mount strong campaigns over a short time period since announcing.

But there was something else about this year’s crop: Gillespie said they reminded her of the DFL field from 2006, when three female Democrats—Kathy Saltzman, Marsha Swails and Julie Bunn—took hold of area seats.

The District 53 DFL endorsement convention was held Saturday at Tartan High School, where local delegates chose their three candidates to represent the ticket.

In Senate District 53, was endorsed. In House District 53A, Ward was endorsed, and in House District 53B, won unopposed.

Gillespie said she wasn’t sure why delegates opted for the trio, but added that during a question-and-answer session, “Voters just liked what they heard.”

Overall, Gillespie said it was a good event, and residents from —coming together for the first time—“really gelled.”

There were about 125 delegates at the convention at Tartan, Gillespie said, with staffers and supporters bringing the total to about 170. That was a good number, especially considering the new district formed a short time ago following redistricting, she said.

The Matchups

Following the Republican endorsing convention last week, the local field for this fall’s legislative election is set.

Senate District 53 will pit incumbent Sen. Ted Lillie against Kent.

House District 53A— the western portion of Woodbury, along with parts of Maplewood and Oakdale—will see newcomers Pam Cunningham (Republican) face off against JoAnn Ward.

The House District 53B race will be between Metzger and Republican Rep. Andrea Kieffer. (.)

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