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A House candidate in Apple Valley used race and sexual orientation to criticize her opponent at a recent GOP convention.

Ali Jimenez-Hopper earned the Republican endorsement in House District 57A which encompasses parts of the southern Twin Cities suburbs of Apple Valley and Lakeville. Jimenez-Hopper is running following the retirement of Rep. Tara Mack who was embroiled in a scandal 2015 after a police officer alleged that she and fellow Republican Rep. Tim Kelly were making out in a car parked at a campground near Eagan.

Jimenez-Hopper will face DFL endorsed candidate Erin Maye Quade. Quade is a longtime organizer having worked for the Obama presidential campaign, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s campaign, Gov. Mark Dayton’s campaign, and in Rep. Keith Ellison’s office. It’s through organizing that she met her wife, according to her campaign website. Like many candidates (including Jimenez-Hopper), Quade had shared pictures of her family on her website and social media. To Jimenez-Hopper, that seems to be an issue.

In a speech at the Republican endorsing convention in mid-May — which has since been posted to Youtube — Jimenez-Hopper took a shot at Quade’s family and ancestral background:

She brings up that she is half black and she uses that as a strength. She brings up that she is in support of LGBT and that lifestyle and puts out pictures on twitter of her and her wife. She is for more socialist programs which is against what our party believes in. Now while I don’t have a speech formally prepared, I know from the bottom of my heart that I am not for socialist program. I believe in small businesses and I believe that hard work will prevail. I believe in low taxes. I believe in the traditional marriage in the sense that it’s between a husband and wife and that family is important. We need to have these values so we can go forth and think about your community.

In that speech, Jiminez-Hopper made a great deal about her own Christian faith:

As you all know, my DFL opponent is Erin Maye Quade. Erin is pro-government to lift up all Minnesotans. I believe in small government. Erin appears to be collectivist. I believe in personal responsibility. Erin works with representative Keith Ellison, a known progressive whereas I believe in less spending and lower taxes. This is a highly contested seat and we as a party need to come together and make sure that it remains ours. If we ever needed a strong and vocal leader for HD 57A, now is the time. If we ever needed a leader that holds true to our values as a Christian and as a mother, now is the time. If we ever needed a leader to claim our responsibility to make the right choices to shape ourself [holding the unique] values of integrity and honor, now is the time. Lombardi believed that someone’s character is made up of small, everyday decisions to do the right thing. I am a fighter and I fight for what is right. I’m ready to take on the responsibility to make the right choices to better shape our state and our community.

Jimenez-Hopper’s view towards same-sex couples appear to run congruent with her church’s views. She attends Hosana! Church in Lakeville which severed ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after the denomination voted to allow churches to ordain LGB clergy if they wished.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Another example of Religion creeping into our government which the Constitution says not to do. If you do not see the Republican agenda as a threat to Honest government you are not paying attention to their Mendacious acts against any LGBTQI people. They waste your tax dollars on their vengeful attacks all over the USA and Minnesota is not left out. Jiminez-Hopper is another Republican Bigot trying to be one of the boys.

  2. There’s a error in the transcript, not that it changes the meaning, but Hopper is adding a religious appeal. “it’s between a husband and wife AND GOD”

    As dumb as she sounds, she can actually form complete sentences better than Trump. Not much better, but a bit. They’d have been better off running the incumbent with a sex scandal.

  3. Here in Minnesota the true story is: “HOW LOVE WON” as recorded by the movie of the same name. Thousands of Minnesotans spent their time and funds to bring about a reversal to the proposed hienous Constitutional amendment to sanction only heterosexual marriage. The conflicting beat goes on and on. Love will finally win, dumb GOP not with standing.

  4. “She brings up that she is half black and she uses that as a strength.”

    I would like to hear the GOP candidate expound on this. Is the DFL candidate being half black actually a deficit and in what way? Don’t hold anything back ma’am, your full thoughts.

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