When it comes to Minnesota's U.S. Senate and First District races, the choices are stark. Two hard-working, effective DFL?incumbents - Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tim Walz - opposed by two candidates, one who is having a hard time getting his name to register with voters, the other who is having a hard time getting voters to overlook the name recognition he built up in past losses.
We would have liked to see the Republican Party look harder for candidates who could present a challenge. Klobuchar's opponent, Kurt Bills, is a high school economics teacher who has a couple of years as a Rosemount city councilor, and two years in the state House of Representatives. He's having a hard time gaining traction in challenging one of the most popular politicians in the state, and in the Senate. Klobuchar has a record of constituent service, and has shown the ability to work across the aisle on issues of importance to the state.
Walz is opposed by Alan Quist, whose record as a state legislator in the 1980s was peppered with statements and legislation that sprung from his ultra conservative Christianity. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994, when he lost in the primary to Arne Carlson, and 1998, when he withdrew in favor of Norm Coleman. He ran for the Republican nomination to Congress two years ago, losing to Randy Demmer. He speaks the conservative agenda on spending and taxes, but we question his ability to be effective if elected.
Walz has brought great energy to Congress during his tenure. He has made himself the "go-to guy" on veterans issues. His work on the STOCK act helped plug a loophole and ban members of Congress from profiting on insider trading information. We may not agree with his approach to the economy, but we don't believe he is waiting around for marching orders from President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, either.
The Journal believes that Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Walz have provided good service to Minnesotans, and we encourage voters to return them to Washington.