After Decrying 'Ron Paul Libertarians' in GOP, Lynne Torgerson Ends Campaign for Congress
Her new Christians United group 'may make some peoples' heads explode'
A day after slamming Republican delegates in Minnesota's Fifth District as "Ron Paul Libertarians," GOP candidate Lynne Torgerson said she is leaving the race for the seat in Congress occupied by three-term DFL incumbent Keith Ellison.
"No, I am not going to continue running in this election cycle," Torgerson wrote in an email to Fridley Patch Tuesday. "The Party is free to fully support Chris Fields."
Fields is the rival Republican candidate who won the backing of Fifth District party delegates on the first ballot at their convention Saturday.
Not Done Yet
"By the way, I am not done yet . . . just going to have some fun for awhile," Torgerson said Tuesday. She is forming a new organization:
I recently founded Christian[s] United in Politics, although it is not yet fully operational. The purpose of this organization is toget people with the right values, conservative Christian values, to take leadership roles in political party(ies), run for and be electedto political offices of all levels, and back candidates who have the right values. Christians United in Politics stands for:
- Pro Life, and back Life with legislation
- Oppose gay rights legislation
- Pro Israel
- Take care of the earth
- Strong work ethic, yet take care of the poor
- Stop radical Islamism
We will probably meet 1 time per month in the 5th Congressional District. Candidates that we expect to support are those whovocally and obviously support these values. We are not going to support candidate who hide their positions, even if they support these values. No one can rally around a position that is not stated and no one can be rallied to support a non-stated position. Further, setting forth a position one, strengthens it just by stating it, and, will draw like minded people to support that position. There are many conservative Christians in this district and they need someone to draw them into politics. I wish to do that. If these people do not come forward, the right values will not be represented by those in political office. Conservative Christians must come forward. They cannot just stay home and pray. If people just stayed home and prayed for an income, and did notgo to work, they would have no income. The same principle applies in politics. People must be willing to attend political meetings a couple times per month, and take leadership positions in the political party(ies). We are Political Christians. I understand that that may make some peoples' heads explode. Lol.
Past Paul Problems
Torgerson has a history of running as a candidate within the Republican and Independence parties, as well as as an independent.
In 2008, the Minneapolis criminal-defense attorney unsuccessfully sought election as an independent to the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 59A. Republican delegates endorsed Felix Montez in that race; the Independence Party candidate, David DeGrio, told the Minnesota Independent he ran in part to keep her views out of the IP. (Incumbent DFLer Diane Loeffler won the election with 13,785 votes; Montez had 2,530, Torgerson 1,238 and DeGrio 723.
Torgerson's rivalry with supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul goes back at least that far. Carlton Crawford, then chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Fifth District committee, told the Minnesota Independent that Torgerson failed to get the Republican Party endorsement because delegates favored someone more in line with Paul’s 2008 presidential candidacy. By email, Crawford said:
Felix Montez associated his campaign with the Ron Paul movement. I don’t think Ms. Torgerson’s defeat had much to do with the strengths or weaknesses of her campaign (or for that matter of Mr. Montez). She simply was not part of the movement that happened to be steering local Republican politics at the time.
In the 2010 election cycle, Torgerson took on Ellison for the first time, running from the outset as an independent. She shook off criticism that her views on Islam's influence in America are extreme:
“I think we as Americans are very tolerant. I’m very tolerant,” Torgerson told the Minnesota Independent in 2009. “There’s a problem of a good number of Muslims being intolerant. … They need to become tolerant of us.”
Torgerson brought Ellison's religious faith—he was the first Muslim elected to Congress—into her campaign again when she announced last September:
It is important ... to support our U.S. Constitution. I think I still need to expose Keith Ellison for being a radical Islamist.
I do believe that he says he does eventually want to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia law. I recently had an opportunity to ask him in public what he believed to be supreme, the U.S. Constitution or Sharia law.
He evaded the question. He refuses to state that the U.S. Constitution should be supreme over sharia law, which is to me quite surprising.
He talked about how the Constitution has been amended and it appears that he would amend the Constitution to incorporate Sharia law.
The issue had already garnered Torgerson national television exposure in an interview last summer with Al Sharpton on MSNBC.
With Torgerson out of the race, another candidate remains who has offered heated rhetoric on Islam. DFLer Gary Boisclair's graphic online-only campaign videos have featured gruesome imagery along with an anti-Muslim message.