Mary Franson -- Remember Her? -- Involved in Another Tight Race


Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) has kept a much lower profile this election cycle than she did two years ago, when she said many outrageous things before winning what had to be the tightest House race in the state. (Recall that Franson went to bed on election night ahead by a single vote.)

Since Franson represents a solidly red district, the avoid-headlines strategy is probably shrewd politics, but the DFL is confident they'll take her out next Tuesday nonetheless.

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It's an important race for reasons that go beyond Franson's district -- with the DFL currently holding a 73-61 majority in the House, the MNGOP needs to pick up seven seats to regain the control they lost two years ago.


Shawn Olson serves as co-campaign manager for Jay Sieling, the DFL candidate who is running against Franson. Though his team hasn't had the budget to do any polling, Olson says he's encouraged by what he's hearing from voters in the Alexandria area and believes "everything will boil down to turnout."

Olson says the recent appearance of glossy, full-page mailers attacking Sieling indicates whatever polling the MNGOP did "scared their socks off." He also pointed to the most recent campaign finance reports, which show Sieling having more cash on hand than Franson -- roughly $11,000 to $6,000.

"The funds have definitely been flowing in and we're very happy about that," Olson says.

Franson seems to be feeling the heat too. She took to Facebook in recent days and suggested there's some sort of conspiracy between the League of Women Voters and the DFL to oust her (the following post is about a debate Franson is reluctant to participate in):

And she also decried people again defacing her campaign signs with what looks to be a spray painted penis:

Polling and finances aside, Olson argues, "I think we have a decent change of winning because Franson is so far extreme right, she's way out of bounds of her district."

"She's moderated her tone a bit and learned how to keep her mouth shut, but she still has extreme views and lets them out once in a while," he continues. "I think we have a decent chance to flip this district back to the moderate DFL side."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.