Republicans have occasionally referred to District 8 legislator Russell Olson as their next big up-and-comer. I think I've even heard the term "golden boy" used to refer to this beneficiary of Janklow-Prostrollo patronage.
I would suggest that the next big thing to come from District 8 is less likely our Republican State Senator and more likely our Democratic State Representative Mitch Fargen. Read his formal candidacy announcement in Friday's MDL, and you'll see a campaigner on the climb.
Senator Olson has spent two terms in the Legislature bragging that his job isn't to pass lots of legislation. That sounds like a hired man on the farm saying his job isn't to shovel a lot of cowpoop. When Olson does deign to put forward a bill, it's an edge-nibbler like the amazing LAIC-bingo bill.
Meanwhile, Representative Fargen has spent his freshman term getting to work on important issues like ethanol blender pumps. Work like that has sent Fargen on a sharp upward trajectory in the party. He was working hard at the convention in June, lining up candidates for campaign training sessions. He sounds like he's spending as much time helping other Democratic candidates as he is knocking on doors for his own race.
Fargen is building a valuable role for himself in the party. Local and state Republicans, if you're not nervous, you should be.
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