Surprising Twists in Local Races

Calvin BahrMinnesota GOP Politics took an interesting twist in several districts this past weekend. In Senate District 31 GOP incumbents like House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senator Michelle Benson readily welcomed votes for their endorsements, but one GOP incumbent was not so lucky. Representative Tom Hackbarth (31B) lost his endorsement bid on the second ballot to Calvin “Cal” Bahr of East Bethel, MN.

Bahr, a U.S. Army Veteran and married father of four ran during the last election cycle against Hackbarth and lost. Talking about his current bid for state representative, he said, “I will not change who I am.” Bahr says that regulating compliance while running a small business has really shaped his views on politics.

Bahr would also like to see the Metropolitan Council reformed into a sewer and water board that is run on a multi-county level and is funded by those counties.

Representative Hackbarth has yet to make an official comment on the outcome of the endorsing convention. According to social media, Rep. Hackbarth did stand up and thank the audience after his loss.

Hackbarth (R- 31B) was not the only incumbent to lose the nomination in an endorsement convention this week. Senator Sean Nienow (R-SD 32) also lost his endorsement this weekend. Sen. Nienow has yet to comment on whether he would go forward with challenging winner Mark Koran in an August primary. Koran is a married father of three whose campaign site describes him as a “no-nonsense, common-sense conservative.”

In another surprising turn of events, Representative Tara Mack (R-57A) announced Saturday that she would not be seeking re-election, and would continue to focus on her family in this next chapter in her life. SD 57 plans to have a special nominating convention before the end of the month.

The upcoming week will see a number of interesting endorsing conventions as well, as Alpha News previously reported on.  Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to track elections in Minnesota.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.