MNGOP Chairman Tony Sutton has called on Hibbing County Clerk Pat Garrity to recuse himself because of his open support for Carly Melin, the DFL-endorsed candidate for the seat formerly held by Tony Sertich:
St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton today called on Hibbing City Clerk Pat Garrity to recuse himself from his official duties in the February 15, 2011 House District 5B special election due to his political support for Democrat Carly Melin.
“Given Hibbing City Clerk Pat Garrity’s vocal political support for Democrat Carly Melin, I believe it is only appropriate that he recuse himself from administering the February 15th special election. To avoid any appearance of impropriety and to ensure election integrity, it is essential that this Melin supporter step aside as city clerk for Tuesday’s election in favor of a non-partisan city official. The voters of House District 5B deserve no less.”
Hibbing City Clerk Pat Garrity’s Conflict Of Interest
“The Clerk’s Office In City Hall Coordinates The Elections For All City, County, State And Federal Elections That Are Held In Hibbing.” (City of Hibbing Website, Accessed February 10, 2011)
Pat Garrity Is The Hibbing City Clerk And Is Openly Supporting Democrat Carly Melin In Tuesday’s Special Election In House District 5B. “It is important to have someone who understands how law affects our communities. …That is why I decided to join the Melin for Representative Campaign Committee. I have served Hibbing for 29 years as City Clerk and know she’d make a great contribution to our communities.” (Carly Melin for State Representative Website, Accessed February 10, 2011)
First things first. Carly voted in the August 10th DFL primary in St. Paul. How would Mr. Garrity know whether she’d “make a great contribution” to the district? Is that opinion solely based on the fact that she’s got a D behind her name?
Mr. Garrity’s enthusiastic endorsement of Melin calls into question whether he’d be an unbiased election official in this special election.
Still, that’s only part of the story. A faithful reader of this blog attended the debate last night. This faithful reader called me and said that Aaron Brown of Minnesota Brown introduced the moderator of the event. This reader said that there were supposed to be 8 questions for the event.
At the end of the event, Brown was able to get a ninth question to the moderator. My contact didn’t say that it was a softball but I suspect it was. Brown certainly wouldn’t rush a difficult question to the moderator to make his candidate look bad.
This special election has all the feel of a fair fight as defined by Richard Daley machine politics rules.
We aren’t sure that Melin is qualified as a resident. The city clerk, who supervises elections in Hibbing, has endorsed the DFL candidate even though she hasn’t lived in Hibbing in years. Now we find out that the agreed-to format was altered by the event moderator.
Thank goodness there’s no hint of corruption in this special election.