ST. PAUL, Minn. — The deep disappointment among progressives which was felt with the election of George W. Bush to a second term was tempered somewhat in Minnesota by the gains made by the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party in the state House, a gain of 13 seats, leaving the Republicans with only a two-seat majority.

Of even greater comfort is the fact that John Kerry prevailed in the state of Minnesota. In St. Paul, the vote was 73 percent for Kerry and 26 percent for Bush. Minnesota had the highest voter turnout in the country, 72 percent.

The fact that we were able to get so many first-time voters to the polls, young people as well as immigrants voting here for the first time, bodes well for our ability to engage in effective struggle against the right-wing agenda.

In St. Paul, of particular importance is the election for mayor in 2005. The current mayor, Randy Kelly, a token “Democrat,” not only endorsed Bush for president, but also actively campaigned for him. If St. Paul progressives are able to mobilize the same degree of participation in 2005 they did for the presidential election, it may be possible to elect a truly progressive mayor.

— Janet Quaife (