Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik sure knows how to trigger a reporter’s curiosity.
Weik, of Woodbury, has supported GOP governor candidate Marty Seifert for months.
So imagine how curious this reporter became when, just minutes before Seifert’s announcement this morning of his running mate, Weik was contacted on her mobile phone as she was heading to the news conference and would not directly answer this question:
"Are you Marty Seifert’s running mate?"
Her response was: "I guess I have no comment."
In politics, that answer could be translated into: "Yes, but I can’t say that. "
Now, that wasn’t the case with Weik — Seifert picked Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah — but it certainly did not quell at least this Woodbury reporter’s speculation in the minutes leading up to the announcement.
So why would someone think Weik, a new elected official little known beyond Washington County, could be a lieutenant governor candidate?
Well, given that governor candidates often try to bring balance — political, geographic and demographic — to their ticket, consider the following:
– Seifert is a veteran state representative from rural southwestern Minnesota. Weik has been elected to county office in one of the all-important Twin Cities suburbs where voters swing from the moderate left to the conservative right, depending on the candidate.
– Seifert has roamed the Capitol halls for years. Weik would be a fresh face.
– They obviously are of different genders, another important political consideration.
– In her brief time on the Washington County Board, Weik has pushed for reforming how government services are delivered and for cutting spending. Seifert’s political agenda is similar in the Legislature.
Weik unintentionally continued to leave this reporter wondering about her political future when she answered another question about the running mate announcement by saying: "I’m not allowed to leak any news ahead of time."
That brief conversation, a few minutes before the 10 a.m. news conference, ended with Weik saying she was standing outside the news conference room and someone was gesturing to her, so she had to get going.
Weik was informed in a phone call after the news conference that her earlier non-answers were curious and really left this reporter wondering if a local official was about to become a surprise candidate for statewide office.
Weik chuckled at the confusion.
For the record, she likes Seifert’s pick.
"I am very excited by that because Rhonda is an excellent county commissioner," she said, later adding: "I think that she’s going to be bring a great local government skill set and just this knowledge of what is broken in the system. "