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From the Lefthand Corner: Comparing congressional candidates: It comes up Radinovich

For a lot of crazy reasons, our 8th District congressional campaign has been pushed to a back burner by the media the last couple months.

The craziness started with our respective Republican and DFL conventions, compounded by the following craziness in switching offices to run for, calls for resignation and changing minds in runs for governor and attorney general, all of which has pretty much dominated media attention.

Getting back to our 8th District primary race, a careful comparison of the five DFL candidates this year causes one to conclude that Joe Radinovich is by far the best candidate for Echoland, and for the whole district.

It will be an advantage to all of us if the hometown candidate gains office. In all likelihood, he will have a local office, which enhances regular and constant communication, which is very difficult in the sprawling, Canada to Twin Cities and Wisconsin to Wadena 8th District.

Radinovich has a geographical advantage in another way. His hometown of Crosby makes him the central westernmost candidate. That puts him in the best position to prepare for the inevitable 8th District expansion to the west that will come after the 2020 census and redistricting.

Of the viable other candidates, one is the most provincial from the east Iron Range, one is bordering on Wisconsin, and another - although popular in her immediate area - is way down in Chisago County, at the southern tip of the district.

Joe grew up as a Crosby kid, in a family of miners, building tradesmen and health care workers. He developed an unbelievably strong work ethic from family and his own variety of part-time jobs.

Joe's background and experience have led him to a strong belief in a public education system that involves the whole community.

Radinovich exhibits a level of maturity beyond his years. As the youngest of candidates, his youth gives him easy identification with the younger segments of our voters and means he will likely be around to represent us as a longtime representative, gaining real clout in Washington.

Joe is the most prepared of all candidates to represent the sprawling 8th District, border to border. His work with the IRRRB covered the northern half of the district and his job as a union organizer covered a lot of territory; but working with Rick Nolan on his campaigns and being his campaign manager in 2016 got him in constant contact with the whole 8th District.

Radinovich is not a single-issue candidate. He has his campaign priorities well in order. His No. 1 focus is on protecting Social Security, Medicare and pensions.

His second area of emphasis is on real investments in our community financial well-being by providing single-payer health care for all, and free education from early childhood up through community college or technical college academic or job preparation.

His third focus area will be doing everything he can to rid us of the insidious effect of unlimited money flooding campaigns. Joe has done his part by refusing PAC donations from the beginning.

If you haven't already voted, the primary election date is less than two weeks away.

My choice for Congress is Joe Radinovich. He is the best DFLer to meet the challenge of the well-funded, Trump-supported Mr. Stauber in November.

Whomever you support, please vote! What is left of our democracy will be the better for it. The more participation, the better government we will have.