Dan Powers challenges John Kline in the 2nd District. Who is he?

If you are reading this, it is because of one of two reasons.  One, you are a regular reader at MNDem.com, or two, and probably more likely, you are interested in finding out a little about Dan Powers. 

I know there is an interest in Dan Powers.  My blog tracks searches that people use to access MNDem.com.  There have been several recent web hits that were the result of searches for Dan Powers. Unfortunately, the only two posts that mention Dan Powers are old meeting notices.  A quick search on the internet doesn’t bring up much either.  Even his website is just a single page with little information right now.  With the lack of information out there, and people looking, is this a lost opportunity on Dan’s part for people to find out who he is?

In an era of practically perennial campaigns, I think Dan is missing out every day he isn’t out there for the casually interested person to get information.  In Dan’s defense, he is not yet an officially declared candidate.  But within the Party, he has been running for months.  He even explored a candidacy in 2008.

Dan will officially announce his campaign to defeat John Kline on November 17.  He expects to have a “robust” website completed in the next week or so, which should provide more information.  But what he needs are more objective stories, issue stories and character stories out on the internet for people to find.

DSC_0859So what’s with Dan?  Who is he?  I’ve met Dan a few times at local DFL meetings.  He is a nice friendly guy who smiles a lot.  According to Dan’s old website which isn’t up anymore, Dan Powers is a husband and a father to three, two stepsons and a daughter.  He attended the U of M studying aerospace engineering, received a commercial pilot’s license and has worked in construction for over 20 years as a contractor and business owner.

In terms of what he supports, he is a supporter of investing in energy independence, infrastructure, healthcare and education.  Those are all good, strong DFL values.  But what is Dan Powers going to do to defeat John Kline that is different from what Steve Sarvi, Colleen Rowley and Theresa Daly did?

Powers plans to concentrate on issues important to people, something John Kline is not particularly strong on.  John Kline tends to care about GOP issues, which are not always issues that affect middle class residents in the 2nd District.  Dan plans to really work on the voters who vote out of name recognition, rather than considering how ineffective John Kline has been for the 2nd District. 

Dan also plans to use Kline’s lack of presence in the district to his advantage.  He is committing to meeting with the constituents on a regular basis once he is elected.  Dan Powers wants to represent the 2nd Congressional District.  I’ve said before that John Kline is no representative.  He might be a Congressman, but he is no representative of the 2nd District.

Dan is also confident that recent history is on his side.  While Kline has won the last few elections, several state seats in the district have been gained on the DFL side.  People are realizing more and more that the DFL is working hard to make our communities better, while the GOP concentrates on buzzwords, negativity and self interest.

Dan is upbeat, but it is going to be a difficult road for him.  It doesn’t appear there are going to be any other DFL challengers, but right off the bat I see two big financial challenges that Dan is going to have to overcome.  The first is money in the bank.  It is never easy to raise money.  It is even harder when so many people are worried about their own finances.  The second challenge will be the fact that fewer national resources will be invested to challenge Kline in what is considered a safe republican district. 

There are obviously other challenges, but it is important to support Dan Powers if you want to rid the 2nd District of a Congressman who ignores the needs of his constituents.  I think 2008 proved that money will be the biggest factor in the fight to defeat John Kline.  We can work to prevent that.

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2 thoughts on “Dan Powers challenges John Kline in the 2nd District. Who is he?”

  1. Good to hear that Dan Powers will officially join the race, but are there any other candidates ? Nothing against Powers, but internal competition can generate motivated field workers.

    You’ve asked the GREAT question :
    But what is Dan Powers going to do to defeat John Kline that is different from what Steve Sarvi, Colleen Rowley and Theresa Daly did?

    Powers must define himself before the MN-GOP does. When I read his website (awhile ago), I do not recall any legislative experience. I recall that Dan Powers was mentioned as a candidate in 2008 but eventually backed Steve Sarvi. He will need some natural allies, and issues that focus on the district as Kline will no doubt want to promote his standing on the Education /Labor and Armed Services Committees. Promoting himself as a GOP leader in Washington will re-enforce his name recognition which you have cited as a prime factor for too many voters.

    The task will be difficult. The Twin Cities media market has not been kind to DFLers in the Second District. McCain easily won the District and in the legislature it is dominated by Laura Brod et al … heck, in her last election, Claire Robling did not even have a challenger in District 35 – Shakopee.
    That is really the key. The Second District can have a significant impact on the Governor and Legislative contests. They need a candidate that can compete and help each other out.

    Now, here’s the bad news.
    Sarvi’s best showing was in Rice County … winning 50.7% versus 49.1% with a margin on 497 votes. Couple of points to consider: Rice County had a lower voter turnout with only 83% while most of the other counties were at 88%; second, the number of registered voters in Rice County has declined by 1,181.
    Contrast that with Kline’s performance in Scott County (the home of Robling and Brod) … winning 62.1 –vs- 37.7 with a margin of 15,757 …. And Scott County’s registered voters have increased by 1,615.

    Yes, money can be a factor, but you cannot beat a good ground game !

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