Law professor hopeful in Tuesday’s primaries

One St. Thomas law professor hopes to secure her spot as Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District in Tuesday’s primary election.

Photo Courtesy of School of Law, University of St. Thomas
Photo Courtesy: School of Law, University of St. Thomas.

Professor Teresa Collett is the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate for the district and is running against Jack Shepard.

Collett said she’s optimistic about her chances in what she called a “unique race,” and has been working hard to spread the word about Tuesday’s primary.

“It is not unusual for there to be a low turnout, especially in a midterm primary, so we’re not sure what we’re going to see tomorrow,” Collett said. “We’re hoping that the sort of energy that we’ve seen with people coming out for rallies regarding the health care bill, with people’s concern over the bailouts, with their concern over the national debt, that that will motivate them to get out and vote. But we’ll wait and see.”

Shepard, a former Minneapolis dentist who is still wanted on a 1982 arson charge, has been seeking public office since 2002 and got 36 percent of the vote in the 4th District party primary in 2006. He is currently living in Italy.

Collett, in addition to teaching at St. Thomas, is a wife, mother of three and an author who describes herself as a fiscal and social conservative. She said her background as an attorney and St. Thomas law professor would serve her well if she were to represent the 4th district in Congress.

“I’m used to reading law and understanding what it says and what it impacts,” Collett said. “I also have assisted both in the drafting of laws that have been presented to Congress, as well as the drafting of laws that have been presented to the state legislature. That sort of practical experience means that I’ll start with an advantage that a lot of freshman congress people don’t start with.”

All polling places in Ramsey County will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting for Ward 4, Precinct 6 will take place at McNeely Hall.

You can locate your polling place at

Brent Fischer can be reached at

7 Replies to “Law professor hopeful in Tuesday’s primaries”

  1. Thanks for printing the information about Teresa Collett. However, what you as the news media at a Catholic institution left out is that she is a pro-life candidate running against a strong pro-abortion candidate and one who has a perfect voting record with the pro-abortion forces in Congress and voting for every bill to further the killing of our unborn. This is the classic case of Catholics being obligated under pain of serious sin to vote for the pro-life candidate regardless of their party affiliation – Teresa Collett over voting for the pro-abortion candidate. The teaching of the Church is very clear on this issue.

  2. That’s all well and good, Mr. Houck, but what do you think the church would say about blindly voting for the pro-life candidate when it seems apparent that abortion law is not going to change in the country or state? I seem to remember a powerful “pro-life” group of Republicans that had majorities in both houses of Congress and G.W. as president (for six whole years!) who did nothing to fundamentally reverse abortion laws. At some point one must see through the obvious political pandering so many “pro-life” candidates spew.
    I would also assume the church would be concerned with issues like war, caring for and feeding the poor, and the death penalty. The logical combination of these thoughts leads us to the conclusion that there is no obligation by Catholics to vote on one issue alone. To say so is simply innappropriate.

  3. Mr. McNamer,
    I understand where you’re coming from. Yes, there are many issues to be taken into consideration when voting for a candidate, and you’re never going to find a candidate that is completely in line with what the Church teaches, so you basically have to settle for voting for the lesser of two evils.
    In order to determine which candidate is the best one to vote for, the Church has a document on faithful citizenship to help you properly form your conscience when discerning who to vote for. It’s not an endorsement of any candidate or party, since there are parts of both party platforms that are not in line with Catholic teachings. What this document does do, however, is explain Catholic social teachings, and which of the issues to take into consideration are most basic and fundamental. The sanctity of human life and the traditional family, as you will see are two such fundamental issues. Here is the document:

  4. Mr. McNamer, I should clarify that the document on faithful citizenship, in line 42, states that “As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”

    Line 35 is extremely relevant, which reads as follows

    “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil”

    I encourage you, and all Catholic voters, to read the entire document, which can be found here in its entirety.

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