David Benson-Staebler is seeking the Republican endorsement in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District (CD2), but several conservatives have questioned whether or not he is actually a Republican. Benson-Staebler has a history of affiliating with Democrats, including experience with United States Representatives Jim Oberstar and Betty McCollum, as well as consulting on Democratic campaigns. The Morris resident is currently a real-estate development assistant and works in technology development internationally.
The five candidates seeking the Republican endorsement recently participated in a debate where Benson-Staebler was confronted about his Democratic past by an audience member. In an interview with Alpha News later that evening Benson-Staebler claimed he has long held conservative values, saying, “In 2010 I joined the Conservative Party in England, and since then I have been a Conservative, even though I have had contracts with Democrats.” Benson-Staebler says his conservatism stems from “a number of things” including religious and philosophical beliefs.
Benson-Staebler believes that his opponents are behind the momentum the accusations are gaining, stating, “Gerson, without doubt, and very likely Lewis have engaged their supporters to promote this ludicrous unhealthy attack.” Adding fuel to the fire, Benson-Staebler has repeatedly said that he stands apart from his opponents because of his ability to reach democratic and independent voters.
In an email to Alpha News Benson-Staebler explained that Democrats did not necessarily welcome him with open arms, saying, “Democrats never liked me as a spokesperson for them, but the ones I worked with needed my reason, leadership, and tempering hand.” Benson-Staebler also said he has publicly spoken out against liberals, explaining, “I joined the Oxford University Conservative Association in 2010 and have publicly decried the Liberal Democrats and Labor Party in the United Kingdom.”
Benson-Staebler’s insight in to Democratic campaign tactics could give him an advantage in the election, but first it is up to the conservative voters of CD2 to decide if they believe that Benson-Staebler is truly a Republican. With all of the questioning and suspicion surrounding his loyalty to the Party, Benson-Staebler has a lot of work ahead to prove if he is a stable conservative vote.
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