[State Rep. David] FitzSimmons, a 35-year-old agricultural project manager, also became a political whipping boy for the social conservatives who control the dominant Republican Party in his Wright County district. Since May, he’s been the target of vitriol, untruths and threats severe enough to be turned over to law enforcement.
At last Saturday’s District 30B GOP convention, he became a lame duck. FitzSimmons announced before the balloting that he would not seek a second term in the face of Dayton City Council member Eric Lucero’s endorsement challenge, which focused almost exclusively on the marriage vote. Lucero then won the party’s nod for the seat.
As a result, a promising legislative career has been cut short — but that’s not what’s most lamentable about FitzSimmons’ impending departure from elective office. What’s worse is that his fate will become a cautionary tale, both discouraging similarly able people from running for the Legislature and deterring sitting legislators from seeking middle ground in the midst of controversy.Of course, the folks who voted FitzSimmons out were not really the people who "control the dominant Republican Party" in Wright County; instead, those individuals were newcomers to the process mobilized by Lucero and the Family Research Council.
Nice of the Strib to notice FitzSimmons after he gets voted out. But their point in the quoted passage is well taken, even if their headline (the entire "GOP?") is misleading.