Over the past few years, Kim Crockett has emerged as a notable figure in Minnesota Republican politics. Crockett gained statewide attention during her 2022 campaign as the GOP nominee for Minnesota Secretary of State, where she ultimately lost to Democratic incumbent Steve Simon in the November general election. However, Crockett’s background and her fiery conservative rhetoric have made her a rising star within the state’s Republican ranks.
Crockett was born and raised in Minneapolis, earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, embarking on a legal career after graduation. In the 2010s, Crockett became more active in Minnesota Republican politics, aligning herself with the party’s conservative wing. Prior to her Secretary of State run, she served as vice president and general counsel for the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank based in Minnesota.
Crockett’s 2022 run for MN Secretary of State
In 2022, Crockett set her sights on a statewide elected office, securing the Republican endorsement for Secretary of State over two primary challengers. Her campaign emphasized issues like election integrity, voter ID laws, and eliminating ballot drop boxes. While she energized the GOP base, Crockett ultimately lost handily to Simon as moderates swung toward the Democratic incumbent. However, her spirited campaign and unabashed conservatism have made her a force within the state Republican Party.
Crockett’s Early Life and Education
Born in Minneapolis
Kim Crockett was born in 1964 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she spent her childhood. Growing up in the Twin Cities area had an early influence on Crockett’s future political leanings.
Earned undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota
Crockett stayed in her home state for college, attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and earning a bachelor’s degree in 1984. Her time at the U of M allowed her to experience the state’s flagship public university.
Went to University of Pennsylvania Law School
While Crockett completed her undergraduate studies close to home, she ventured out of state for law school. In 1987, Crockett graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. This Ivy League law education helped pave the way for her later legal career.
Crockett’s Professional Career
Worked as an attorney
With a law degree under her belt, Crockett embarked on a career as an attorney after finishing law school. She gained experience in legal practice which assisted her future political endeavors.
Legal policy work
In addition to her work as a lawyer, Crockett became involved in conservative legal policy initiatives. She served on the board of the Minnesota Free Market Institute, aligning herself with free market economic views.
Crockett’s Entry Into Politics
Started getting involved in GOP politics in early 2010s
Crockett’s initial political activism came through the state’s Republican Party structure. In the early 2010s, she began taking on roles within local and statewide GOP organizations.
Ran for MN Senate in 2016
Crockett’s first run for public office came in 2016 when she was the Republican nominee for a Minnesota Senate seat. She lost to incumbent Democrat Scott Dibble in the general election.
Began working for Center of the American Experiment
In 2018, Crockett was named vice president and general counsel for the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank based in Minnesota. This bolstered her reputation on the right.
Crockett’s 2022 Campaign for Secretary of State
Secured Republican endorsement
Crockett set her sights on Secretary of State in 2022, pursuing the GOP endorsement at the party’s state convention. She succeeded in garnering the official party backing, besting two Republican rivals.
Defeated primary challenger
With the endorsement in hand, Crockett still faced a primary challenge. But she dispatched her opponent Erik van Mechelen, winning the August GOP contest by over 60% of the vote.
Lost general election to Steve Simon
Facing DFL incumbent Steve Simon in November, Crockett lost by nearly 10 percentage points. Simon’s strength with suburban moderates overcame Crockett’s turnout operation targeting the base.
Key issues and priorities
Crockett’s campaign fixed its rhetorical guns on issues like election integrity, voter ID requirements, and eliminating ballot drop boxes. She frequently claimed the 2020 election was “rigged”, attempting to motivate GOP voters.
Crockett’s Political Views and Positions
Ideologically, Crockett stakes out territory on the furthest right flank of the Republican Party. She embraces hardline stances on fiscal, social and cultural issues.
Views on election integrity
Much of Crockett’s campaign emphasized election security issues, where she pushed for voter ID, eliminating Election Day registration, and banning private grant funding for election administration.
Advocating for voter ID laws
In particular, Crockett championed requiring a photo ID to vote in Minnesota. She made this a prime focus of her messaging throughout the campaign.
Criticism of Democratic policies
More broadly, Crockett harshly criticizes progressive policies and politicians at every turn. She delights in skewering Democrats as representing dangerous socialism.
Reactions and Responses to Crockett’s Campaign
Support from MN GOP
Within the Republican Party, Crockett enjoys strong backing from the activist base who cheer her fiery brand of conservatism. Party leaders also lined up behind her.
Criticism from liberal groups
Unsurprisingly, progressive organizations slammed Crockett’s policy positions and rhetoric as extreme. They painted her as dangerous for the Secretary of State’s office.
Attention on election denialism claims
Media also zeroed in on Crockett’s embrace of 2020 election conspiracy theories and false fraud claims as disqualifying for overseeing elections.
What’s Next for Crockett?
Will she run again?
Despite her loss, Crockett remains a player in Minnesota politics. It seems likely she will mount another campaign, whether for Secretary of State again or another office.
Role in MN Republican politics
At minimum, Crockett seems destined to have an influential role shaping the policy direction and messaging of the state GOP in the years to come.
Recap of Crockett’s background and 2022 run
To sum up, Crockett has quickly risen from GOP activist to a far-right star of the Minnesota Republican Party. While she fell short in her 2022 statewide election run, she will continue making an impact thanks to her law career, political experience, and fiery conservative philosophy.
Her impact on MN politics
Crockett represents the combative brand of politics embraced by much of the GOP base. Her prominence ensures she will remain an influential force within Republican circles as she pushes the party in a populist direction in the coming years.
What is Kim Crockett best known for?
Crockett gained statewide prominence for her unsuccessful 2022 campaign as the Republican nominee for Minnesota Secretary of State, where she lost to incumbent Democrat Steve Simon.
What office did Crockett run for in 2022?
In 2022, Crockett was the GOP nominee for Minnesota Secretary of State. She lost in the November general election to Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon.
What is Crockett’s professional background?
Professionally, Crockett has worked as an attorney. She also served in legal policy roles for conservative organizations like the Center of the American Experiment.
What are some of Crockett’s key political positions?
Crockett’s views align with the most conservative wing of the GOP. She advocates for policies like voter ID laws, eliminating Election Day registration, and banning private grants for election administration.
What’s next for Crockett after her 2022 loss?
Despite losing in 2022, Crockett remains active in Minnesota Republican politics. She may run for office again soon and seems poised to keep impacting the party’s direction with her staunchly conservative stance on issues.