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Republicans on a Socialist Candidate: She’s Not a Democrat!

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As voters go to the polls today in Minneapolis for a municipal election, the city could be poised to elect its first socialist candidate in nearly a century, as Ward’s 3 Socialist Alternative city council candidate Ginger Jentzen has run a robust and well-funded campaign.

Her campaign has brought the ire of Minneapolis’s big developers and wider business community, who have barraged the district with mailers attacking her as “nutty“; the business PAC Minneapolis Works! late last week started running ads featuring a baby with a set of matches, calling Jentzen “dangerous”:

Another #MinneapolisWorks attack, the GOP-linked PAC funded by groups that ACTUALLY taxed wrking ppl 4 @USBank Stadium #SendItBack #Mpls2017 pic.twitter.com/48NmRH15MU

— Ginger Jentzen (@gingerjentzen) October 31, 2017

Although Minneapolis City Council elections are technically nonpartisan, candidates are allowed to declare a party on the ballot. The mailer focuses heavily on the fact that Jentzen is running as a Socialist Alternative ticket candidate; two of her three opponents are running as Democrats. It notes that she has “rejected the DFL” (the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the state’s Democratic Party) and is not planning to caucus with them. The intent is clear: This is a Democratic ward, so why vote for someone who isn’t a Democrat?

The irony is, while the newly formed group is backing a number of conservative DFL candidates this election to try and prevent the city council from moving left, it has ties to the GOP.

Disclosures released last week show that the group paid $26,518 to the 1858 Group for “Polling/Consulting/Research.” Although the firm has virtually no web presence, Minnesota’s database of business disclosures reveal that it is headed by Mark H. Drake.