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MRLF targets six key races
for Minnesota legislature

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, June 29, 2012

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO plans to target six races for state legislature in the 2012 election.

“Our effort as we move forward is about winning a labor-friendly majority in the House and Senate,” said MRLF president Bill McCarthy.

“The six races we have targeted are critical to us taking back the legislature,” said Chelsie Glaubitz, MRLF political director, speaking to MRLF delegates June 13.

The targeted races all are in suburban districts with significant numbers of union members, districts where labor endorsed candidates have some years won —and some years lost — close contests in recent election cycles.

MRLF will be reaching out to union households in these districts with phone calls and doorknocks to discuss the issues and the candidates.

Redistricting and retirements have created open seats in four of the races.

In two of the races, anti-labor incumbents targeted for defeat are in the position of running within new district lines.

 “We’re confident if we get going early in these districts,” Glaubitz said. “All of our targeted races have been filled with good, quality candidates.”

The targeted races include:

Senate District 49 in Edina and Bloomington. This is an open seat. The AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed candidate is Melisa Franzen. The Republican candidate is anti-labor Keith Downey, who is seeking to move from the House to the Senate.

House District 49A in Edina. Former State Representative Ron Erhardt is the AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed candidate. This seat was Representative Downey’s seat, now open as he attempts to win election to the Senate.

House District 49B in Bloomington and Edina. Former State Representative Paul Rosenthal is seeking to win back this seat. He is AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed.

Senate District 36 in Brooklyn Park, Champlin and  Coon Rapids. John Hoffman, an Anoka-Hennepin school board member first elected in 2005, is running for State Senate as the AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed candidate. He is challenging a one-term incumbent, Republican Benjamin Kruse, who has represented the former District 47.

House District 36A in Champlin and Coon Rapids. With the retirement of incumbent Denise Dittrich, union member Grace Baltich is seeking election to this newly-drawn House seat. She is AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed.

Senate District 37 in Blaine and Spring Lake Park. Former State Representative Alice Johnson is the AFL-CIO and DFL endorsed candidate. She is coming out of retirement to challenge a one-term Republican incumbent, Pam Wolf, who has represented the former District 51.

To volunteer for the Labor 2012 campaign, contact MRLF organizer Adam Robinson at 612-312-5672 or e-mail him at adam@minneapolisunions.org.

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