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This morning, House Minority Leader Matt Entenza came down to the Mainstreet Coffee Cafe in Lakeville to chat with folks from Senate District 36. I’ve been helping Carolyn Sampson get her Senate campaign organized for this next election cycle, and I need to get to know the territory. Paul Hardt, DFL Senate District 36 Chair, organized this meeting with the caucus. Senate District 36 includes Lakeville, Farmington, Empire, Vermillion, Marshan, Ravenna, Eureka, Castle Rock, Hampton, New Trier, Douglas, Miesville, Welch, Greenvale, Waterford, Sciota, Randolph, Stanton, Dennison, Warsaw and the one precinct of Northfield that is located in Dakota County. It’s been a long time since my office was in Farmington, next to the bakery!

There was a good crowd this morning, a diverse crowd with diverse interests ranging from the usual overt abortion and gun issues to the more subtle issues of message in a conservative community, and it’s all connected! As the House Minority Leader, Matt’s committed to getting out to all of the districts. His thoughts today focused on the importance of investing in community, noting that the DFL controlled politically for 30 years because it represented people’s interests. People trusted that the DFL would take care of our schools, health care. Now that people have had some time under Republican leadership, they understand what that means to them, and we have an opportunity to speak to everyone’s concerns. People have a good sense of what the party is about, but we have to be better at talking about it. The Republican rule has demonstrated that their policies are not the Minnesota way, and that as a whole, Minnesotan’s recognize that when we all do better, we all do better. The DFL closed the gap in the House last year because the voters were asking “What does this mean to me?” Entenza stressed the importance of taking time to introduce candidates to the voters, and that it can take a second run for a candidate to have that necessary name recognition with voters. He noted that the District 36 candidates got a late start, in July, and that running is not a six month commitment, that it takes time and work to chip away and build that base.

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Matt Entenza and Paul Hardt, District 36 Chair

There’s a good group of enthusiastic DFLers in Lakeville. If you want to join in the Senate District 36 efforts, contact Paul Hardt at or call him at (651)463-3798. District 36 is looking for DFLers to staff the Dakota County Fair booth on Friday, August 12, and Carolyn Sampson is coordinating that effort — sign up today! (Doug the barber on the main drag in Farmington tells me they’ll have the road on the edge of the fairgrounds passable by then, stop by and let him vent about it!)

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