Fourth candidate enters 2nd District race

Matthew Erickson

Matthew Erickson formed Minnesotans for Trump

There are four people vying in the 2nd District Republican primary after Matthew Erickson, a Minnesota spokesperson for presidential candidate Donald Trump, entered the race last week.

Erickson, a sales consultant, owner and founder of Minnesota Snow Angels snow management service, held a press conference at the State Office Building on May 31, when he said politicians are “stupid, lackluster cowards.”

Those other candidates in the 2nd District race include longtime radio talk show host Jason Lewis, Burnsville businesswoman Darlene Miller and former state Sen. John Howe of Red Wing.

Lewis earned the 2nd District endorsement on May 7.

Miller, who has been endorsed by outgoing U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Burnsville, has indicated from the outset of her campaign that she would run in the primary, while Howe made his decision recently to continue his campaign after he finished third in the endorsement process.

Several media outlets have noted the late entry of Erickson, of Cottage Grove, into the race and the fiery nature of his press conference that included criticisms of both Lewis and Miller.

Erickson said the Republican Party is broken, the endorsement process is filthy and that primary voters will represent the grassroots choice.

“We have to cut the bull if we want to have a great nation again,” Erickson said.

Among the issues he outlined were saving the Social Security trust fund, making Medicare costs adjusted to the cost of living, destroying the terrorist threat of ISIS and building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out terrorists, drugs and human trafficking. These are issues he says the GOP candidates aren’t talking about.

“We need real leaders with brains, energy and guts,” he said. “Matt Erickson is the only one in this race who can win. I am the only one with brains, energy and guts. These others running for Congress, they don’t have it. They will not build America first.”

Erickson touted his “guy down the block” credentials of putting himself through St. Cloud State University in three years, working as a janitor and hot-tar roofer, being homeless, starting his own business and serving in the U.S. Army.

He said he loved his country so much that he enlisted in the Army.

“I am the only candidate in this race that made that sacrifice for our country, and I am the only one who can win,” he said. “I know the sacrifice our brave men and women make to keep America safe.”

He said he was an early supporter of the military surge in Iraq and that America should have finished the job rather than cutting and running.

“I’m the guy who gets up each day just like you and wonders what happened to my country,” he said. “It belongs to the people and not the political insiders.”

Erickson leads the “About” section of his campaign website with a Clint Eastwood quote from the movie “Gran Torino” that says: “Yeah, I blow a hole in your face. Then I go in the house and I sleep like a baby.”

He then relates a story from September 2004 when five men broke the window of his pickup truck, and Erickson chased them down the block when they “traded blows.” When police arrived, Erickson said the men were caught with items from a dozen neighborhood vehicles and were found to be stealing from vehicles all summer long.

“There is always a man who is hot for a fight and, ladies and gentleman, Matthew David Erickson is that man,” the website says.

The Democratic Party has endorsed St. Jude Medical vice president of global human resources Angie Craig, of Eagan. She was endorsed by 2nd District DFLers on May 7.

Kline said in September 2015 he would not seek another term after first winning election in 2002.

To view a video of Erickson’s press conference, go to http://theuptake.org/2016/05/31/trump-spokesman-runs-for-congress.

More about the 2nd District race is at SunThisweek.com/tag/2nd-District-2016.

Email Tad Johnson at tad.johnson@ecm-inc.com. Follow him on Twitter @editorTJ.

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