by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol Reporter
Former Democratic Rep. Jeremy Kalin, of Minneapolis, has declared his candidacy for Minnesota secretary of state.
“I’ve always been passionate about protecting democracy,” Kalin said July 9.
Kalin, 38, served two terms in the Minnesota House, representing a portion of Chisago County. First elected in 2006 — Kalin proudly talks of wearing out four pairs of shoes that run — Kalin did not seek a third term.
He is hoping to replace Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who recently announced his intentions not to seek a third term. Kalin credits Ritchie with rebuilding and strengthening the Office of Secretary of State’s nonpartisan credentials.
Kalin cites running in his old House district, a swing district, as evidence of his nonpartisan tenor.
In terms of readiness for office, Kalin heralds his small business experience and legislative work on military voting issues.
Kalin speaks of keeping a fair, accurate and transparent election system while the state works toward even higher percentages of voter participation.
“It’s got to fit everywhere in the state,” Kalin said of making election reforms.
At a State Capitol appearance with supporters, Kalin spoke of supporting the Safe At Home program run by the secretary of state’s office. The program protects the addresses of voters who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
“Victims of these crimes of violence should be able to go about their lives without fear that the simple act of voting could expose their whereabouts to their aggressor,” Kalin said in a statement.
A number of Democrats are eyeing the opening seat. Rachel Larson Bohman, elections manager for Hennepin County, has announced her candidacy. State Reps. Steve Simon, of St. Louis Park, and Ryan Winkler, of Golden Valley, have expressed interest.
DFL State Party Chairman Ken Martin recently said one reason why quite a few Democrats are interested in secretary of state is because there’s currently little room for moving up the political ladder. Democrats currently are in the majority in state government.
Kalin and wife Hope have 2-year-old twin children. Kalin was born in St. Louis Park. He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, according to a Minnesota House biography.
An architect, Kalin has been active in energy issues.
Kalin said he would abide the DFL State Party endorsement.
Tim Budig can be reached at [email protected].