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Key primary election races:
Smith, Fernando, McLaughlin, Winston

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, July 27, 2018

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

US Senate: Tina Smith

Longtime DFLer Tina Smith is running for U.S. Senate in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Al Franken. She is endorsed by the AFL-CIO and DFL  Party. Smith has served in the seat since January 3, 2018, appointed by Governor Mark Dayton.

With Dayton’s announcement tapping Smith — his Lieutenant Governor — to replace Franken, union leaders were quick to endorse the choice.

“Tina Smith in the United States Senate is good news for working Minnesotans,” said Bill McCarthy, Minnesota AFL-CIO president.

“Tina has been a champion for the Building Trades community here in our state,” said Craig Olson, secretary-treasurer Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council.

“I will be a fierce advocate in the United States Senate for economic opportunity and fairness,” Smith pledged.

For more information:

Hennepin County Board, District 2: Irene Fernando

Irene Fernando, candidate for the open District 2 seat on the Hennepin County Board, is endorsed by the AFL-CIO and DFL Party. West to east, District 2 stretches from Plymouth and Medicine Lake to Golden Valley, northeast Minneapolis and St. Anthony.

“There are many ways we can improve the lives of families,” Fernando says. “Who are we employing? Who are we working with when we’re building something? What businesses are getting opportunities?”

“I have a deep commitment that we ought to be leading and serving from the perspective of those who are closest to implementing the work and those who are receiving services,” she adds.

At the U of M, Fernando earned a BS in Business and then a Master of Education degree in Youth Development Leadership. She has lived for 12 years in Harrison Neighborhood in Minneapolis.

For more information:

Hennepin County Board, District 4: Peter McLaughlin

Peter McLaughlin is running with AFL-CIO endorsement for re-election to a ninth term on the Hennepin County Board, representing District 4 in south Minneapolis.

“The biggest problem we’ve got in the community right now is the economic disparities,” he says, adding “the only way we’re going to tackle that is with jobs.”

McLaughlin sees a historic opportunity with the local economy’s high demand for workers. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime being able to attack disparities and get people working,” he says.

McLaughlin has a long record of creating policy solutions that work.

McLaughlin has been the key leader in the development of the region’s growing and successful light rail system. “I’ve been trying to get a transit system for the 21st century built during my time on the board,” he says. “That I consider a great achievement.”

For more information:

Brooklyn Park Mayor:
Hollies Winston

Hollies Winston is running for mayor of Brooklyn Park with the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. He also is endorsed by the DFL Party.

“The one thing I’m hearing at the doors is property taxes,” he says, which have jumped 30 percent in recent years. “It’s making Brooklyn Park less and less affordable.”

“We need to attract new businesses who are willing to pay their fair share of taxes,” says Winston, who serves as commissioner on the Brooklyn Park Budget Advisory Committee.

Winston also has been involved in the Northwest Suburbs Community and Labor Coalition. “It’s driven by what people in the community care about,” he says.

Winston earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and has been a Brooklyn Park resident for seven years.

For more information:

Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, mnvotes.org, for voting information, your sample ballot, and links to candidate websites.

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