Labor 2022 Election Results
17 of 23 candidates endorsed by MRLF win election
The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO hosted a meet-and-greet and fundraiser for some of the local MRLF-endorsed candidates October 13.
Left to right, front row: Scott Rosochacki, candidate for Blaine City Council, Ward 1; Raymond Zeran, candidate for Anoka County Commissioner, District 4 (and a member of IBEW Local 292); Donta Hughes, candidate for Eastern Carver County School Board, At Large; Julie Jeppson, candidate for Anoka County Commissioner, District 6. Left to right, back row: Ellie Krug, candidate for Eastern Carver County School Board, At Large; Nicole Klonowski, candidate for Brooklyn Park City Council, Ward C; Lori Norvell, candidate for Minneapolis School Board, District 5; Caroline Long, candidate for Robbinsdale School Board, At Large (and a member of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers).
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 19, 2022
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS — In 2022, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation endorsed 23 candidates for municipal and county offices — and 17 won their races.
Notably, “we swept Brooklyn Park with all four of our labor-endorsed candidates winning,” said Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, MRLF president, discussing election results with MRLF delegates November 9. “We’re really excited about what happened in Brooklyn Park.”
For local races, the MRLF endorsement is the AFL-CIO endorsement.
Some local races were close, decided by just 200 or 100 votes — or less.
The results reported below are based on unofficial results available November 10 on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Three of the MRLF’s four endorsed candidates for the Anoka County board of commissioners won election.
In the District 4 race, however, MRLF-endorsed Ray Zeran lost by a big margin to incumbent Scott Schulte. Zeran, a member of IBEW Local 292, won 27.49 percent of the vote compared to 72.02 percent for Schulte.
In the District 5 race, MRLF-endorsed incumbent Mike Gamache won re-election, winning 53.08 percent of the vote.
With the retirement of Robyn West, the District 6 race was an open seat. MRLF-endorsed Julie Jeppson won election with 56.08 percent of the vote.
In District 7, MRLF-endorsed incumbent Mandy Meisner won re-election with 70.44 percent of the vote.
The 2022 results marked a big difference from 2020, when all four of the MRLF’s endorsed candidates for Anoka county commissioner lost their races.
The MRLF did not endorse in the races for Anoka county attorney or Anoka county sheriff.
Two candidates ran as a team for Blaine city council with MRLF endorsement.
In a special election for a two-year term to represent Ward 1, MRLF endorsed Lori Saroya won election with a 74-vote margin. She defeated former Blaine city council member Dick Swanson by a vote of 3,801-3,727.|
In the race for a full four-year term to represent Ward 1, incumbent Dan Newland defeated MRLF-endorsed Scott Rosochacki by a vote of 4,248-2,928.|
One-term incumbent Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliot, who was MRLF-endorsed, lost to challenger April Graves. The vote was 4,321 for Graves, 3,646 for Elliot.
Graves currently is a Brooklyn Center city council member. The MRLF endorsed her city council campaign in 2018.
MRLF-endorsed candidates led all races in Brooklyn Park, winning the race for mayor and three city council races.
MRLF-endorsed Hollies Winston, in his third run for mayor, won election with 59.06 percent of the vote. Winston made history in becoming the city’s first Black mayor.
In the Ward E city council race, MRLF-endorsed Christian Eriksen won with 58.32 percent of the vote.
In the Ward C city council race, MRLF-endorsed Nichole Klonowski won with 52.99 percent of the vote.
In the Ward W city council race, MRLF-endorsed Maria Tran won with 51.77 percent of the vote, defeating her opponent by a margin of 233 votes.|
No incumbents ran in any of the Brooklyn Park city council races.
In the race for Chaska mayor, MRLF-endorsed Jay Rohe lost his bid to unseat incumbent mayor Mark Windschitl. The vote was 5,956 for Windschitl, 5,225 for Rohe. Rohe previously served 14 years as a Chaska city council member.
MRLF-endorsed Amada Marquez Simula, the incumbent mayor of Columbia Heights, won re-election with 65.52 percent of the vote.
In the four-way race for Columbia Heights city council, with two candidates to be elected, MRLF-endorsed Rachel James ran in first place by a wide margin and was elected. The two incumbents on the ballot ran in third place and fourth place and did win re-election.
MRLF-endorsed incumbent Therese Kiser won re-election for the Ward 1 Crystal city council seat with 69.7 percent of the vote.
In a race for an open seat, MRLF-endorsed Forest Eidbo won election with 58.62 percent of the vote for the Section II Crystal city council seat.
This election now means that four of Crystal’s six city council members will have won their seats with MRLF endorsement.
MRLF-endorsed incumbent Irene Fernando ran unopposed for Hennepin County Commissioner District 2 and was re-elected.
In the District 3 commissioner race, MRLF-endorsed incumbent Marion Greene won re-election with 69.7 percent of the vote.
The MRLF did not endorse in the races for Hennepin county attorney or Hennepin county sheriff.
Seven candidates contested for two At Large seats on the Maple Grove city council.
MRLF-endorsed Kristy Janigo ran first in the field, winning election. Janigo works as a policy aide for Hennepin county commissioner Kevin Anderson.
Two years ago, Janigo also ran with MRLF endorsement but placed third and was not elected.
MRLF-endorsed Samba Fall, who ran fourth, was not elected.
MRLF-endorsed Mary Supple ran unopposed for Richfield mayor and was elected. Incumbent mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez chose not to run for re-election.
In 2018, Supple ran for Richfield city council At Large with MRLF endorsement and won election.|
Supple worked for 33 years for the Richfield Public Schools as a teacher, retiring in June 2021. She was active in her union, Education Richfield, serving as president and in other roles.
In the race for Richfield city council At Large, MRLF-endorsed Husniyah Dent Bradley narrowly missed winning election. Bradley won 5,745 votes, falling just 180 votes short of defeating opponent Sharon Christensen, who won 5,925 votes.
In the 2017 and 2018 election cycles, Bradley worked as part of the MRLF’s field staff.
Christensen is an AFSCME Local 2181 member who works for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. At Local 2181, she is the treasurer and an executive board member.
In Robbinsdale, MRLF-endorsed Aaron Wagner won election for the Ward 4 city council seat, defeating the 11-year incumbent.
Wagner is a MAPE Local 802 union member who works at the Minnesota State Retirement system. He participated in the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s union member candidate program.