Incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison will have a challenger for the DFL’s 5th District nomination—a Minneapolis native whose beliefs sound more Republican than Democrat.
Gary Boisclair will formally announce his candidacy Monday at the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, according to a news release on Christian Newswire.
Although Boisclair seeks the DFL nomination, he cites issues and positions that are traditionally more associated with conservatives. In the news release, he criticized Ellison for taking the oath of office on a Koran. His website proclaims him as “Pro-Life” and a “Tea-Party Activist” and features an ad for another candidate that centers on graphic images from abortions.
He also condemned Ellison’s support of Planned Parenthood, calling it “a racist, criminal syndicate, which covers up the crimes of pedophiles, rapists and sex traffickers.” He opposes gay marriage.
"I urge all DFLers to put their most sacred beliefs about God, ethics, and human life first in this election, and to vote for a candidate who truly represents those beliefs," the release quotes Boisclair.
Boisclair told Patch those views aren’t antithetical with DFL positions. He said he’s running for that party’s nominations because he always appreciated what he sees as the DFL’s emphasis on fighting for the little guy—and combating abortion, he said, is sticking up for the little guy. He’s convinced that there are many more Democrats who feel as he does.
“Their party has been hijacked over the years by people who don’t care about the littlest ones. I’m helping to return the DFL to its truest roots,” he said. “I expect that there’s going to be an awakening among many DFLers.”
Boisclair’s opinions are not in line with the DFL platform, said Carlie Waibel, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota DFL party. But she added that the party is focused on supporting Ellison in his push for job creation and ensuring that he gets re-elected—not weighing in on the primary.
The party does not vet those who want to run in the primary, she said. Candidates decide on their own whether to run and what issues they want to advance.
“The process is designed to elect the best candidate, and we trust that system,” Waibel said. “The best candidate will prevail in the endorsement process.”
Boisclair supports fiscally conservative positions as well as socially conservative positions. He accuses Ellison of pushing legislation that “in effect make us the slave labor force of the federal government. Under his agenda, we are enslaved to heavy taxation, crushing debt, runaway inflation, and we are forced to 'give' our hard earned money to his favorite 'entitlements.'” Echoing Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s comments, he called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and wants to phase out Medicare.
“They’re dragging down our country,” he said.
Boisclair, a Catholic, wants private individuals and organizations to serve as the safety net instead—noting the role that Catholic, Jewish and Methodist hospitals played in the past.
“The safety net needs to be provided by people with heart who care,” he said. “It heightens the dignity of the person. An institution can never meet your dignity. Only another person can.”
Boisclair was born in Minneapolis and raised in Buffalo. He is currently a “Pro-Life, Tea-Party Activist” at the Society For Truth and Justice in Washington, D.C., and splits his time between Minnesota and the nation’s capitol.
He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and French from the University of St. Thomas and then got a master’s in education from St. Thomas.
He was a teacher from 1998 to 2003 at Normandale French Immersion Elementary and in Honolulu from 2005 until 2009, according to a resume on his campaign website. He’s also worked in youth ministry, college outreach and construction and painting, as well as managed a Country Kitchen in Buffalo.