‘Constitutional conservative’ Nathan Miller’s bid for folks to jot his name on the ballot comes up short

Nathan Miller, left, lost his write-in campaign to Republican-endorsed Jordan Rasmusson, center. Cornell Walker, right, was the DFL-endorsed candidate.

By Louis Hoglund

 With a Harvard man, a former Texan, and a write-in candidate with a Texas-style hat in the race, Senate District 9 was probably the most unusual legislative race in history around these parts.  

Jordan Rasmusson, the Harvard-educated mainstream Republican, found himself challenged to his right—by Nathan Miller.  Rasmusson won the August primary over Miller, but Miller launched a spirited write-in campaign. With his red-white-and-blue shirts and a western hat, Miller captured the imagination of the Christian right, the pro-Trump faction, and the gun rights activists. 

Meanwhile, Texas native Cornell Walker was the Democrat of the trio. He was endorsed by the DFL but faced an uphill battle—until Miller joined the fray as a write-in. 

With Miller drawing a segment of the Republican vote, Rasmusson needed to hold the base to maintain a winning margin.  

He did. 

By a landslide margin.

The young Republican captured 25,372 votes in a district that covers a good chunk of West Central Minnesota—from Perham all the way to Browns Valley in the southwest. 

Democrat Walker actually did quite well by historical standards.  His 11,560 votes were as many as any Democrat has received in this territory. 

Meanwhile, Miller’s idealistic write-in challenge sputtered—with only 3,507 votes.  Still, his success was somewhat of a surprise, given the difficulty of convincing voters to pencil a name on the ballot.