It’s a candidate name game

Published 6:26 am Monday, March 1, 2010

If Minnesota Republicans aren’t confused on political issues, they can be forgiven for being confused on some of their leading politicians or candidates for office—at least confused by the names of some. This, then, can serve as a score card for the country convention on Saturday in Albert Lea.

Let’s see, now. There was Al Quie who was governor and now there is Allen Quist again, now running for congress from the First District. At the same time, there is Randy Demmer, also running for the First District, but also Tom Emmer, who would be governor as Quie had been. So there you have it: Quie and Quist; Demmer and Emmer.

Al Quie would be less confused with Allen Quist if he would use his full name of Albert Harold Quie, but I never heard him do so. To avoid such confusion might be why Quist goes by Allen and not Al.

This doesn’t avoid the confusion, however, of referring to Quist in his quest for congress. I wonder if his telephone provider is Qwest. This is Quist calling on Qwest in my quest.

Both are Lutherans, although of different synods. Quie was from Dennison and graduated from St. Olaf and Quist from Gustavus Adolphus. Quie, a World War II navy pilot, began as a dairy farmer until he found people liked him enough to vote for him. He won a seat in congress in a special election to fill a vacancy, and then was re-elected an impressive ten times. His quest for greater influence led him to serve as Minnesota governor from 1979 to 1983.

Quist has served four terms in the Minnesota legislature, 1983-1988.

Quist twice requested to be governor as Quie had been. In 1994 he unsuccessfully attempted to replace fellow Republican Arne Carlson. He quested again in 1998 but withdrew in favor of Norm Coleman, who was elected. He currently teaches political science at Bethany Lutheran College in St. Peter.

But let’s not forget Demmer and Emmer. Randy Demmer of Hayfield is trying for congress, and Tom Emmer of Delano wants to be governor.

Demmer is trying for congress from the First District, as is Quist, which was also Quie’s district. He is a state legislator and has been since 2002. Like Quie and Quist, he is Lutheran.

Tom Emmer lives in the First District, but he wants to leave the state legislature (where he has served since 2004) to become governor, as Quie was and Quist tried to be.

If all their children would vote for them, Allen Quie would win with his ten. Tom Emmer would be second with seven. Randy Demmer only has three.

Now, do you have this Republican scene straight? There’s Quie and Quist, Demmer and Emmer. That’s all you have to remember.