As the 2016 campaign comes to a rapid end, it seems as though every where you look there is a cut throat campaign fighting for your attention. Whether it be at the presidential, state, or local levels, it does not appear that there are any fair or peaceful campaigns being ran this year. However, there is calm in the storm. The state senate seat for District 1 in Minnesota is open for the first time in over 30 years, and two political novices have matched.
Republican Mark Johnson and DFL candidate Kip Fontaine both have their roots in this district, growing up just a few miles from the other. They each have extended social ties and their lives have overlapped in more ways than one, their churches overlap and they know each others parents. From the beginning, each man decided their competition would be a fair, clean grass roots race.
This civil race is a product of the district they are running in. District 1 is not interested in petty moments or backhanded advertisements. It is an area where the term ‘Minnesota Nice’ thrives. Each candidate has a legal background but their values and beliefs vary. Johnson owns a construction business and a small legal firm. Fontaine has been a prosecutor in the area for over 20 years. Unlike the house race in district 8 between Paulsen and Bonoff, where each candidate is pulling punches in every direction, these men are focusing on the issues and how they will make a more positive impact on the district.
While the district leans conservative, they have had a democratic senator for three decades. It will not only come down to the stance each candidate has on key issues, but the person the district resident believes the candidates are. It seems like it is going to be a very close race.