Party leaders give differing reactions

Published 9:38 am Thursday, November 8, 2012

Freeborn County Republican and DFL leaders on Wednesday shared opposite reactions to Election Day decisions in both District 27A and the presidential election.

Freeborn County DFL Party Chairwoman Robin Brown compared watching election results to watching the Super Bowl and having your team win.

Each time a state came back as Democrat or a Democratic Senate or House Democratic leader was elected on election night, the DFL voters would cheer from their banquet room at America’s Best Value Inn while down the way it was quiet and glum in the Republican room.

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“It was everything a Democrat would possibly want in an election,” Brown said.

Robin Brown

When she found out President Barack Obama was re-elected to his seat, she said she became particularly excited.

“His whole message about moving forward really hit a chord with me,” she said.

She also likes his focus on the middle class and on health care.

“He’s just got an inner strength and calm and a vision that I absolutely admire, and I’m proud for him to be my president,” Brown said.

Local Republican Party Co-Chairman Al Arends disagreed.

“I thought if anybody could handle and manage our economy, I would think it would be someone who has had success in doing that, and that would be Mitt Romney,” Arends said.

He said Republicans had a difficult time overcoming the votes of minorities and government workers for Obama.

“I believe as a country we have some very serious economic problems, and it’s going to take definitely cutting back on spending and possibly some increase on taxes,” Arends said. “We’re spending our children’s future at a dramatic rate.”

Locally, Arends said he was disappointed in the 653-vote loss of incumbent District 27A Rep. Rich Murray of Albert Lea to DFL candidate Shannon Savick of Wells.

“We had the hardest working legislator in all of Minnesota,” Arends said. “He did cross party lines, but the negative advertising killed him.”

Arends talked of the money the DFL caucus and other organizations put into advertising against Murray, and he thinks the public ultimately started to believe the ads.

Al Arends

“People hate negative advertising, but it works,” he said.

Brown said she has confidence in Savick and thinks Savick will represent the area with honesty and dignity.

“I really think she will serve us really well, and I think people will find out how easy it is to give her a phone call or give her a suggestion,” Brown said.

Arends noted he will be watching what work the DFL-controlled Legislature is able to do with the governor.

Brown said she has high hopes.

“I look forward to seeing the bills that are brought forward,” she said.

In the meantime, she wanted to thank the people who ran for office.

“It’s such time-consuming work,” said Brown, a former legislator herself. “It just takes up your every waking moment and your thoughts.”