Let the 2006 election season begin

With municipal elections less than a week away, most political observers are focused intently on the mayoral races in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Not the St. Paul Police Federation.

In a bizarre move, the union issued a press release this afternoon announcing that it has endorsed Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher for re-election--in 2006.

The suspiciously timed annoucement is notable for a few reasons. For starters, the police federation is the only union of any size to endorse St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly. Secondly, former St. Paul police chief William Finney is Fletcher's primary opponent in the sheriff's race. He also happens to be one of the most visible supporters of mayoral challenger Chris Coleman. Finally, if you believe the polls, Kelly is in for a historic electoral drubbing on Tuesday.

In other words, the announcement seems like a desperate ploy to shake up next week's mayoral race. "In their flawed logic they must hope that it's going to help Kelly," concurs Finney. "I really don't understand their logic--except that it's vindictive towards anyone who's supporting Coleman."

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