Monday, August 29, 2005

RM EXCLUSIVE: Bush to appoint Yecke

I can confirm through multiple sources that Cheri Yecke will be dropping out of the 6th District race within the next few hours.

Although a rumor has been floating around for a few weeks now that she is dropping out, I can tell you that what you’ve been reading on blogs and hearing in smoke filled back rooms is only half true.

Yecke is not dropping out for financial reasons as some would think. Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2008 contender, has asked Yecke to be his Chancellor of Education. Yecke, of course, has accepted. While Yecke’s supporters will no doubt miss her in the race, they can take comfort that she will be formulating education policy in Florida over the next few years. As always, Yecke has the potential and is qualified to be the US Secretary of Education when and if the post ever opens in the Bush White House. No word on who, if anyone, Yecke will be endorsing.

While the ramifications for this are not yet know, it is speculated that Dan Nygaard is getting ready to jump in the race. Apparently his op-ed in the Star Tribune a few weeks back was meant to test the waters, and was well received within the 6th. This could be the break that Nygaard needs, with delegates and voters alike disillusioned with the three legislator/candidates, which leaves just Esmay, who has yet to generate a great deal of buzz.

Excuse me as I get my popcorn and watch the four remaining candidates trip over themselves trying to take advantage of one of their fellow candidates dropping out. The one to watch is Michele Bachmann: with her chief advisor rumored to have left the campaign over the weekend, one wonders if Bachmann will be able to woo Yecke's delegates before the other candidates can.

Good luck Dr. Yecke. Here's to hoping that Florida treats you better than Minnesota.

UPDATE: Here's the campaign press release.

Governor Jeb Bush Taps Yecke for Florida K-12 Education Position
Yecke leaves sixth district race

Blaine—Cheri Pierson Yecke today announced that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has invited her to play a lead role on his education team. Yecke will end her Sixth Congressional District bid to help implement Governor Bush’s reform agenda.

“I am honored to have been asked by Governor Jeb Bush to be such a significant part of his education team,” said Yecke. “It is therefore with deep regret that I announce that I will no longer be a candidate for Minnesota’s sixth district Congressional seat.”

“I will be forever grateful to the many people who have given me support in this congressional race. The volunteers and delegates who have worked for me, and the donors who have sent financial support, have served to create a strong and dynamic campaign. However, the opportunity to work for Governor Jeb Bush on an issue for which I am so passionate is an honor I cannot pass up.”

“The accomplishments of Governor Bush’s administration in the area of student achievement hold national significance. For example, since 1999, the percentage of black fourth grade students reading at grade level has increased from 23 percent to 56 percent. It is obvious that the Bush team is making significant progress in the area of academic achievement, and I am looking forward to being a part of that effort.”

“As I leave Minnesota for Florida, I look back on the educational accomplishments of the Pawlenty administration and am honored to have been a part of that effort,” said Dr. Yecke. “Repealing the Profile, creating new, rigorous academic standards, and establishing the state’s first comprehensive system of school accountability is a legacy of which to be proud.”

According to Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Florida is fortunate to have Cheri Pierson Yecke coming on board to lead their K-12 reform efforts. Her leadership in Minnesota provided strong and rigorous academic standards and the first ever statewide accountability system for schools.

“Dr. Yecke has a strong appetite for change and reform and has never been afraid to challenge the status quo. We are confident she’ll do great work in Florida.”

Dr. Yecke concluded: “There are a number of very strong and honorable candidates seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party in the sixth district. I wish each of them well, and am confident that the delegates to the convention will make a good decision to ensure that Congressman Kennedy’s seat remains in Republican hands.”

Yecke will start her new position in Florida in early October.

- 30 -

Keep checking RM for updates.

UPDATE 2: Check out what KvM has to say about risk of spoiling it, they point out that Yecke is close to not one, but multiple 2008 GOP possible nominees.

UPDATE 3: MN Lefty Liberal, the only semi-decent liberal blog out there, has posted a press release from the Steve Kelley for Governor campaign. Kelley may have been able to lead the ouster of Yecke from her MN education post, but looks like Yecke has had her revenge. Kelley’s little claim of a GOP “power grab” will most likely go unnoticed in tomorrow’s papers with news of Yecke leaving the race. I’m sure that somewhere, Dr. Yecke is smiling.

UPDATE 4: Andy, my new favorite blogger, has Michele Bachmann's reaction here. Yes Andy, your lights are better than mine.

UPDATE 5: Check out SCSU Scholar's take on it.

UPDATE 6: First MSM article on Yecke leaving the race.

UPDATE 7: The First Ring takes a look at what this means to the race here.

UPDATE 8: Check out the Star Tribune's article. It goes indepth, unlike the AP article.


At 3:58 PM, Blogger North Star Politics said...

A hearty good luck to her...Jeb Bush will be the President of the United States when Hell freezes over.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

While I agree with you on Jeb, the fact is that Yecke will be Sec. of Education, whether you like it or not.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger lloydletta said...

I think King's comment is interesting:

"I am a bit shocked, though her bid at the Congressional seat was probably against long odds with such a deep field of candidates. She certainly must have felt the same to have dropped out at this point for a position that appears to be less than another commissionership."

I think the rumor posted on Draft Pawlenty (blog now defunct) but posted on DB proved prophetic.

Yecke had had a fundraiser with George Allen (big name) - and only raised $3000.00 - very poor showing.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

I would say it's a minor set back, but "poor showing" isn't too far off.

Remember that Sullivan out spent Pawlenty and Linda Runbeck out spent Kline a few years back. Money isn't everything in the endorsement, it would however be an issue in a primary.

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RM - You actually made me audibly laugh when you wrote "with delegates and voters alike disillusioned with the three legislator/candidates."

Thanks for the chuckle. If you spent 10 million dollars and 10 million days searching you couldn't find two Republican people in the state who naturally appeal to conservative delegates more than Krinkie and Bachmann.

I think you're confusing general election contexts with delegate contexts.

Yecke's withdrawal is a likely boon for Krinkie - Yecke supporters, both inside and out, are natural Krinkie folks who look at both conservative credentials and electability factors.

Good luck and congratulations to Yecke . . . looking forward to seeing her as U.S. Secretary of ED in the near term - the MN Senate should be tarred and feathered for not confirming her.


At 7:08 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

No, if anyone, it'll help Bachmann. Krinkie will get a marginal boost from the news.

Speaking of laughs, saying Krinkie's supporters and Yecke's supporters are one in the same is a farce. Hate to beak it to you, but Krinkie is weak among social conservatives because of a perceived weakness on pro-life issues.

You should read the First Ring's piece on the racehere. It will open your eyes to the harsh reality that Krinkie won't see much gain in this one.

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you uttered that Bachmann wasn't picking up steam and that Nygaard would potentially join the race by dint of this? Consistency is the indicia of a principled mind . . .

Krinkie's percieved weakness is just that - percieved, wishful-thinking by backseat, shill wanna be's. Krinkie has authored and voted for more pro-life legislation than anybody in the 6th contest. And the others with voting records are not blemish-free I'm told.

I'm also told that Krinkie has key MCCL supporters in his corner . . .

I'm fairly certain that when all is said and done the guy with the most pro-life notches in his belt will be vanquished due to not being pro-life enough.

Folks regurgitated the same hypothesis re: Pawlenty in 2002 . . . i.e., not conservative enough to get the nomination, etc . . . And Tim Pawlenty is no Phil Krinkie.

Go sell playtime-story somewhere else . . . we're all stocked up here!!!!


At 8:23 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...


They haven't picked up steam AS TO DATE. Now, if anyone of the candidates benefits, it will be Bachmann.

The truth matters little to delegates, only perception. So, a perceived weakness is just as bad.

You make no sense on the pro-life notches statement, but that matters little. Krinkie may get the endorsement, but Yecke's leaving will have little, if nothing to do with it.

Being in the legisature is not the best thing for the candidates right now, the past session has left a bad taste in the mouths of voters. It's bad for Krinkie, it's bad for Bachmann, and it's bad for Knoblach.

I'm not trying to start a war with the Krinkie rank and file...and trying to be a bully on someone else's blog, someone that could've been an ally, isn't the smartest thing.

There are a lot of things on which someone could criticize Krinkie for...

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Tony said...

I don't think there will be any boost. The thing that I hear year in and year out at the 6th convention is "electability". This year's convention I heard a lot of conversations about the intangibles. The general consensus is that all 5 candidates were good for the who has the better intangibles. Mostly it was thought of (by the delegates that I overheard...I moved around alot to listen into many places) that platform-wise what one candidate did not have they made up for in other places of the platform.

Is that the feeling of ALL the delegates? No. But that was the dominate tone I overheard throughout the 6th convention.

A friend of mine (insider of the 6th) said that most delegates actually are conflicted between 2 choices, most of the delegates had Krinkie as one of those top 2, and as such they are planning a 2-day convention in May.

Take that for what it is worth.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger lloydletta said...

King has updated the post I quoted from. He now says Yecke's new position is equivalent to her position in MN.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

Wow, your shameless self promotion never ceases to amaze me.


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