There's no getting around it: Election Day 2005 is still 36 weeks way.
Nevertheless, DFLer are holding city-level precinct caucuses Tuesday, March 1 - with the main event (so far) a showdown between incumbent Mayor R.T. Rybak and challenger Peter McLaughlin.
Any caucusgoer who plans to participate - or who needs the glow of potential political fireworks - should plan to attend the Southwest mayoral debate Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30-9 p.m. at Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St.
The event is organized by Southwest's Senate District 60, and the moderator is Minnesota Public Radio host Kerri Miller.
The precinct caucuses are the first step toward candidate endorsements by the Minneapolis DFL, the city's dominant political party. City Council endorsements are made at ward conventions in the spring, with the mayoral endorsement contested at this summer's city DFL convention.