‘Fully-funding education is critical’
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 22, 2022
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
SHAKOPEE — “Fully-funding education is critical for our future,” says Brad Tabke. “One of our major advantages in Minnesota is a well-educated workforce.”
Tabke is running for the new House District 54A seat with the endorsement of the Minnesota AFL-CIO and the DFL Party. District 54A includes most of Shakopee plus all of Jackson Township.
The race will be Tabke’s third match-up with Republican Erik Mortensen. Tabke beat Mortensen in 2018 by 900 votes to win election to the House. But, in 2020, Mortensen beat Tabke by 554 votes.
“The number one difference between 2022 and 2020 is this year we’re able to get out and doorknock and talk face to face with voters,” Tabke says. Two years ago, because of the pandemic, DFL candidates were not out doorknocking.
By mid-August, Tabke says, he already knocked 3,000 doors this year.
“The number one thing people are talking about is women’s right to choose,” Tabke says. “I’m 100 percent pro-choice.” In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the issue of reproductive freedom has become “the dividing line in the race,” he says. “It’s not a partisan issue — it’s a human issue.”
Tabke’s record in his one term in the Minnesota House also stands in sharp contrast with Mortensen’s record. Tabke earned a 100 percent Minnesota AFL-CIO voting score on working families issues during the 2019 and 2020 sessions of the legislature. In 2021, Mortensen earned only a 7 percent AFL-CIO voting record on working families issues. In 2022, Mortensen earned a zero percent AFL-CIO voting record — voting against the interests of working families on all ten of the ten votes scored. Mortensen’s lifetime AFL-CIO voting score is four percent.
“We will need to have all hands on deck to get him out of there,” Tabke says. “I’m really proud to have the support of labor and other folks to get that done.”
Tabke is a former two-term mayor of Shakopee. His wife Katy is a Shakopee teacher and is vice president of her Education Minnesota local.