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Why Didn’t Anyone Vote for Ilhan?

Plus more election thoughts, putt putt conquers Mpls, and Famous Dave's goes global in today's Flyover.

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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

What Happened Last Night?

The big election night story, of course, is how narrowly Ilhan Omar defeated Don Samuels in the DFL primary for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. In some quarters, this is being interpreted as a firmly reactionary and/or sensibly liberal surge, depending on your bias. But a look at the actual numbers tells a different tale—Samuels didn’t over perform, Omar underperformed. Omar prevailed 57,683 to 55,217, a difference of about two percentage points. In contrast, Omar received 103,535 votes to 68,524 against straw man Antone Melton-Meaux in the 2020 primary. Election results, of course, are notoriously easy to use to justify our own preferences and prejudices. For instance, Samuels believes he speaks for an “exhausted majority” while adding, “We had to climb over the huge barrier of a DFL endorsement from a DFL that has lost touch with the voters,” a sentence that appears to be some sort of riddle. But it does seem like Omar has some work to do in shoring up her base in the district. And an Omar underperformance in November doesn’t seem good for statewide Democrats.

Still, a Not-Bad Night for Progressives

And yet, despite Omar’s concerning margin, progressive candidates fared well in the Twin Cities metro last night. Mary Moriarty, who Racket profiled in September 2021, placed first in the Hennepin County prosecutor’s race, though it remains to be seen how the forces align in November when she’ll square off directly against establishment-backed candidate Martha Holton Dimick. And it was a night of firsts as well. The Minnesota State Senate has never had a Black woman member. That’s certain to change next year, with the primary victories of Zaynab Mohamed Erin Maye Quade n Districts 63 and 57, respectively. (Three other Black women, Clare Oumou Verbeten, Farhio Khalif, and Marla Helseth, will also be on the ballot in November.) And with her win in the House district 66A primary, Leigh Finke will likely be the first openly trans legislator in Minnesota history.

This Time Next Year, Minneapolis Will Be a Putt Putt Town. Deal with It.

Watch out frisbee golf, muggle Quidditch, and bike polo: The OG goofy sport is returning to claim its crown. For years, there has been a dearth of putt putt in Minneapolis. Sure, the Walker’s Artist Designed Mini-Golf has been a mainstay for 15 years, but the course is only up and running during the summer months. Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul is a joy, but you gotta drive all the way over to St. Paul to play. Betty Danger’s also had putt-putt, but unless someone buys the space and keeps it as-is, it’s not coming back. Now two businesses have plans to bring more putt putt to Minneapolis, thank god. Yesterday, upscale chain The Puttery announced that it would be opening a spot in downtown Minneapolis’s 207 Hennepin Avenue. There will be a full bar, electronic scorecards, and, judging from the photos on their website, a young, rich person on shrooms kind of vibe. Meanwhile, Uptown’s Art & Rec, which opened its rooftop bar last weekend, also plans to add a putt-putt course to its offerings. However, both projects probably won’t be up and running until sometime next year.

Famous Dave’s: Now Canadian

Barbecue chain Famous Dave’s is living the American Dream: Launch an idea from scratch, grow into a chain, then walk away with a big-ass check from a giant conglomerate. Yesterday, they announced the Montreal-based MTY Food Group had purchased BBQ Holdings, their parent company, for a sweet $200 million. Baker’s Square, Barrio Queen, Granite City, Tahoe Joe’s, and Village Inn are among the chains housed under the BBQ Holdings umbrella; MTY is a franchiser of around 80 restaurants, such as Papa Murphy’s, Cold Stone Creamery, and Planet Smoothie. Famous Dave’s peeps in town have assured folks that the Minnetonka corporate office will most likely stay unchanged, and, despite new ownership, Dave’s has a soul that can’t be killed. “Famous Dave’s doesn’t happen in the corporate office,” founder Dave Anderson told the Star Tribune. “The spirit of Famous Dave’s is really in the restaurant.” Famous Dave’s currently has 180 locations in the U.S. plus digs in Winnipeg, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai.