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Folks… He’s Running

Plus 'The Daily Show' visits Duluth, Japanese burgers, and violent beer in today's Flyover news roundup.

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It’s Will!

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Will Stancil or Won't He?

When Jay sat down with Twitter-famous political disputant Will Stancil a few weeks ago, Stancil seemed to have no plans to run for political office. “Has anyone from the Democratic Party reached out to you to be a…?” Jay asked. Stancil didn’t even let him finish the question. “No. Nobody. No. Anyone who has followed me for more than six months knows I would not be a reliable messenger,” he replied. 

But yesterday, Twitter user @aidan4progress noticed that Stancil had an account on the ActBlue fundraising website that listed him as a candidate for the Minnesota House District 61A seat. Later that day, Stancil confirmed the news—how else?—on Twitter. (And today he boasted of having already raised almost $13,000.)

Did Racket launch Will Stancil’s political career? You gotta think yes! 

The political situation in 61A has changed in the time since Stancil spoke with Racket. Last Friday, Frank Hornstein, the chair of the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee, who has held the seat since 2003, announced that he won’t be running for reelection this year. And three other DFL candidates have already been announced: Isabel Rolfe, a legislative assistant to the Minnesota House majority leader; Katie Jones, a former Ward 10 Minneapolis City Council candidate who made some headlines for constructing the “Uptown Straw House”; and Dylan McMahon, a former DFL chair of District 61.

Whoever receives the party's nod for this safely blue district will almost certainly win the House seat in November, and stay there for as long as they want. But they’ve all got to get their campaigns in gear quickly: The DFL caucus is next Tuesday.

Stay Outta Minnesota, Daily Show!

I, Jay, (privately) defended The Daily Show last week, when MSNBC-brained blowhards like Keith Olbermann attacked its returning part-time host, the great Jon Stewart. But last night's segment from correspondent Michael Kosta, of whom I know almost nothing? It did not sit well with this lifelong Minnesotan who was too young to get offended by the national reaction, circa 1996, to the way we talk in Fargo.

So I reserve the right to be offended by Kosta's opening line, which drew a laugh from the studio audience: "Millions of coastal elites like myself will one day be flocking to… Minnesota?" And also this one: "So you're telling me people are moving here from the good states?" Oh, let's not forget this one: "It's basically that baren ice planet from Star Wars." And who could forget, or much less forgive, the time he said: "Let's be honest, this place fucking sucks, right?" And also the hack bits about being cold, being unable to pronounce Duluth, and attempting to walk in snowshoes. Look, our townie asses don't take kindly to even the most in-character, ironic, tongue-in-cheek ribbing!!!

In any event, feel free to watch the Chief Smugness Correspondent chat with Mindy Granley (the city's chief sustainability officer), Emily Larson (the ex-mayor who lost her reelection fight last fall), and a Californian who moved to Duluth seeking climate refuge. Perhaps Racket's Duluth correspondent, Kaylee Matuszak, can talk this agitated Minneapolitan down in the comments... or co-sign my rage.

Coming Soon: New Japanese Burger Joint TokiDoki

Who doesn't love cheeseburgers? We’ve profiled online burger fan groups, waited in line for hours to try new ones, and raved about burgers both meat- and plant-based. So when we saw signage at Nicollet & 34th for something called “TokiDoki Burger,” our interest made like our cholesterol and piqued. The new burger spot, opening March 1, is from Yuichiro Matthew Kazama, who also owns Ramen Kazama in the same building. TokiDoki, which translates to “sometimes,” will be a mix of American and Japanese flavors that draw inspiration from Japanese McDonald’s: think tonkatsu, teriyaki, fluffy buns, sides of rice, and ice-cold beer. “I’m not a fancy type of person. I like affordable,” Kazama tells Anna Koenning at Southwest Voices. “I want to make things really good within the range of not too expensive.” Vegetarians and vegans will have options, too; Kazama says he’s come up with a patty made from tofu, edamame, and oatmeal. 

Beer That Knocked Guy on Ass Monetized

Remember when, earlier this month, worker Brendan Babcock of Spring Park's Back Channel Brewing Co. turned a malfunctioning valve on a beer tank, which then shot out a geyser of IPA that knocked him on his can? Well, two important bits of information came from that accident: 1) The assurance that Babcock wasn't hurt, rendering the whole ordeal funny; 2) The fact that Back Channel went ahead and branded the renegade beer (Blow Back New England IPA), and began selling it as a limited taproom release last weekend. Cheers to marketing ingenuity! Here's video of Babcock's sudsy journey across the brewery floor:

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