Angie Craig visited with DFL58 on Tuesday night at the DFL58 monthly meeting. I’d met Angie before in Eagan, when I was sometimes visiting the Eagan DFL group trying to learn from and transfer their successes to Farmington and Lakeville, but I didn’t know her. What I’ve learned about her since her announcement to challenge John Kline has all been great, but the most distinctive thing that struck me immediately when actually hearing her Tuesday night was her southern accent.
There is something friendly sounding about a person with a certain southern accent. Maybe it is a Mayberry thing, with that gosh darn sweet Andy Griffith and sweeter Aunt Bea, or maybe it is more chauvinistic, deep down affection for a charming cheerful lilt of a southern girl that I may be offending people with.
Angie has that pleasing accent, not the Texas good ol’ boy accent or the southern sheriff’s deputy accent, it’s the “I’m going to get you a sweet tea, you sit on the couch right there and I’ll be right back in a sec” accent. Hers is specifically from Arkansas, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you she is from down south, in Eagan, south of the cities. And while her accent is captivating, it is her story, the drive she seems to have, her integrity that she learned from her mom, and the intelligence and confidence she exudes that make her maybe the best candidates our district has had in the 19 years that I’ve lived in the district. I don’t want to insult my friend Mike Obermueller, or discount former Congressman Bill Luther’s success, but Angie comes to the table with a different perspective, different political backing, a well thought out plan for success, and an opportunity for national financial backing and support that Mike had little chance of ever receiving.
It is a huge boost for those of us who had begun to feel like all we can do is wait for John Kline to retire. While many of us felt like if everything fell into place Mike could win, it seems like a whole different race with Angie’s campaign starting to build steam. Why wait until retirement, let’s make Kline retire!
Her story is a political storyteller’s dream, growing up in a trailer park with a single mom and two siblings. Her mom worked her way through college to become a teacher and instilled a drive for success in her children. Angie said despite her surroundings, she always felt like she was going to college and would have success no matter the obstacles. She did, and rose through the corporate ranks to become an executive in a Fortune 500 company.
But being a Fortune 500 executive did not distort her perspective. Her story is one of family success through education, college affordability, equality, and opportunity. She is running for Congress to make sure all families have the same path to success and to preserve the American Dream for future generations.
I was very impressed, and am now very excited. We still have 18 months until the election, and 11 months until the CD2 DFL endorsing convention, but in an election year with a woman likely leading the ticket for Democrats, what a great opportunity for a woman in CD2 to join her in Washington to change the country for the better.