State Senator Cohen was challenged in the primary by someone who basically was unhappy that the Senator did NOT have a magic wand to make all the bad go away. One might have thought that without any recent challenges that Senate District 64 would not have an active experienced campaign team. Actually, Senate District 64 has a incredible number of experienced campaigners because of its strong tradition of helping out other campaigns and senate districts. Plus every year, Macalaster University seems to generate a cadre of new young campaigners who are smart and savvy.
The senate district also was taking on the opportunity to speak out about the constitutional amendments, to advocate for voting "No" on the constitutional amendments. The super-high turn-out vote of senate districts like 64 generates the needed votes to re-elect President Obama, to stop the voter suppression amendment and to stop putting discrimination into our state constitution.
Senator Cohen knows his senate district. It might surprise you that some of the strongest anti-stadium people are in this senate district (like me). Senator Cohen approached us with a proposal. He said the stadium deal is going through in Minneapolis because the governor wants it but we can get something out of this for St Paul's poor finances. Some agreed, and some still disagreed but not very strongly. And this is how a base of supporters is kept happy.
Perhaps the nicest part of the primary was seeing Senator Cohen in action. He is an awesome campaigner. When Senator Cohen started, a Democrat winning in this area was a upward battle. He barely won in the beginning. This 89% victory was sweet because in many ways, it is the culmination of all of Senator Cohen's hard work. All the people that he brought into politics along the way had the pleasure of rallying for him. I am so active because of the support that I received when I moved to this area.
I am proud that my precinct went 90% for Senator Cohen. Senator Cohen was personally talking to people in this precinct which really made people excited. The senate district organization provided targeted doorknocking, sample ballots, mailings and GOTV calls. The greatest danger is people forgetting about the primary. The lawn signs had a bright yellow stickers highlighting the primary date.
My precinct has been redistricted with new boundaries. I personally worked the new area with my personalized GOTV notes on doors. I expect that just one contact did not get that many votes, but I will keep contacting these folks in the new area until they become energized about elections. I am following in the tradition of Senator Cohen to keep building support for now and the future.