Reader's View: DFL convention worked as intended
A delegate who attended the DFL 8th Congressional District convention, I read with interest the piece about Leah Phifer's decision to withdraw her congressional campaign ('Did I change anything?' Now finished, Phifer reflects on her 8th District campaign," May 9).
I understand the disappointment she and her supporters are experiencing. They worked hard and were passionate about their candidate, primarily due to concerns for watersheds in northern Minnesota and the threat from proposed copper-nickel mining.
That said, I observed a fair process at the convention, and complaints about said process reflect poorly on delegates like me who voted to adopt the rules and stick through the entirety of the day. Though Phifer received more votes than the other candidates, she didn't meet the threshold of 60 percent. There were five candidates, three after the first ballot. With all other ballots combined, she received 50 percent and 51 percent for two of the 10 cast. The 60 percent is required to ensure solid support, an indicator for a successful run.
Unfortunately, a congressional campaign requires a lot of money. DFL delegates recognize this and take it into consideration when backing candidates. Phifer lacked experience and money.
Because of Phifer's background as an ICE agent and an article she wrote titled, "In Defense of the Executive Branch," for MinnPost shortly after President Donald Trump's first attempt at a Muslim ban, the Latino DFL caucus had concerns about Phifer holding a congressional seat. Delegates like me voted to allow them to speak at the convention for two minutes so we could understand their concerns. Evidently, Phifer felt attacked.
My opinion is the convention worked as intended; I'd have preferred an endorsed candidate, but the process was fair.
As a footnote, I was puzzled why the article claimed prominent space on the front page. It seemed to me it would have been more appropriate for the Opinion section.
Mary A. Kirsling