We wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t heard of Elizabeth Bangert.
She’s a conservative activist, “patriot,” and daycare provider out in south-central Minnesota. If you’re in the Mankato area, you might be familiar with her business (Here We Grow Childhood Center) or her frequent editorial bylines in the Mankato Free Press.
You might also be familiar with her lobbying work, which is largely critical of the way the Department of Human Services regulates childcare providers. (Not for nothing; she once got the book thrown at her when a child fell off a slide about two feet off the ground).
The Republican Party of Minnesota hopes you'll get to know Bangert a lot better. The party's endorsed her as its state Senate candidate for District 19, which is currently being represented by Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato), but voted for Trump in 2016.
Bangert didn’t respond to interview requests about her platform. She doesn’t appear to have an official campaign website, per se, but does have a few social media pages. Her campaign’s Facebook page comes out against omnibus bills, for Stand Your Ground laws, and hard on the idea that “the role of government is not to be provider.”
"Elizabeth, you haven't laid out your platform. What issues are you running on?" We live in both exciting and dangerous...Posted by Bangert for Senate on Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Meanwhile, her campaign Twitter profile, started in April, sums her up with the brief description: “Unashamed follower of Jesus, defender of children, founder of MN Citizen Lobbyist.” The latter's Facebook page is probably where you’re going to get the most candid look at her political philosophy.
Last week, she released this video on how “socialist programs” (like the federally funded early childhood education program, Head Start) are designed to “destroy” the American family unit and eventually lead to children becoming “the property of the government.”
The root of America's problems is the destruction of the family and socialist programs are to blame. But if you say that then they label you as "divisive" or "against women".Posted by Minnesota Citizen Lobbyist on Tuesday, June 30, 2020
“Their little song and dance of, ‘Oh, we need people to be able to afford housing, we need people to have health insurance, we need someone to watch their kids while they go to work.’ That’s not their goal. Their goal is to get people into those so they never get out,” she said.
…And, on a related(?) note, mandatory mask-wearing policies are also “destroying the family.” (She refuses to wear one.)
The week before, she released a timely video informing the public she would not “apologize for being born with white skin” (okay) and that “disparities” in this country are caused by… you guessed it… “socialist programs like the childcare assistance program.”
I will not apologize for the way God made me - White. Minnesota: The land of 10,000 panderersPosted by Minnesota Citizen Lobbyist on Tuesday, June 23, 2020
And this video, directly in the wake of the George Floyd protests, when she complained the “state is on fire when it needs to be on fire for the Lord.”
Minnesota is on fire, meanwhile leaders are roasting marshmellows over it making political s'mores. Enough.Posted by Minnesota Citizen Lobbyist on Saturday, May 30, 2020
It doesn’t look like Bangert is under any illusions that the road ahead is going to be an easy one, or that her views are particularly palatable. According to screenshots, on her personal Facebook (under the name Elizabeth Joy), she was doing some real soul-searching on May 30.
“I’m asking you to pray for me,” she said. “It will get worse for me. They will attack me verbally. They will try and make me uncomfortable so I go silent. But God is using their evil for His good.”
She said “the Devil” was “trying to use fear” to get her to, among other things, “drop out of the Senate race,” “take campaign finance donations,” and “attend political trainings.”
“But God told me He was going to be my campaign manager,” she wrote.
...God may have His work cut out for Him.