A Quick Look At The 5 DFL Candidates In The Minnesota Primary Part 1: Gubernatorial Election
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A Quick Look At The 5 DFL Candidates In The Minnesota Primary Part 1: Gubernatorial Election

The best way to engage in democracy is to know who you're voting for.


The Minnesota primary is coming up soon; August 14th, to be exact. Despite its importance in the democratic process, primary election don't see anywhere close to the turnout that the actual general elections do. In the 2016 Minnesota primary, only 7.42% of eligible Minnesotan's turned up to decide who would be appearing on the ballot in November. In my opinion, the primary election is just as important, if not more important, than the general election.

While the general election essentially decides which party wins, the primary election decides what face the party will actually take on in the coming years. I think these primary elections would see higher turnouts if people knew who the candidates were, so I've decided to compile all the information I can find on the candidates of the DFL party. I'm choosing to concentrate solely on the Democratic party because a) even focusing on only one party is a lot of information to cover, and b) that's the party I support. While I have already chosen the candidates I am planning to support this week, I will not disclose who they are and will do my best to convey information about the individual candidates with as little bias as possible.

All the information in the articles will be taken from either the candidates' own websites and/or Minnesota news sources. Varying lengths in the candidate descriptions is not meant to convey any kind of bias or favor, I am simply presenting the information the candidates have made public through reputable sources. In order to remain as accurate to the source material as possible, some of the candidate descriptions are structured differently, as I have tried to model them after the candidates' websites.

In my next articles, I'll be taking a look at the candidates for both Minnesota senate races happening this year. But first, let's take a look at the Minnesota DFL candidates for Governor.

1.) Tim Holden and James P. Mellin II

Star Tribune

  • Tim Holden identifies as a conservative DFL candidate
  • He is not a career politician, but, rather, a businessman. He has run a contracting business in Saint Paul for 20+ years.
  • Holden is against government funding that primarily benefits big businesses at the expense of working class Minnesotans.
  • He calls for common sense gun-control and prioritizes small business vitality and reducing educational achievement gaps, especially in the inner cities.
  • Access this candidate's website here.

2.) Erin Murphy and Erin Maye-Quade

Insight on the News

  • Erin Murphy identifies as a progressive DFL candidate and is the candidate endorsed by the Minnesota DFL party for the 2018 primary election.
  • Erin Murphy worked in the University of Minnesota hospital, then later became Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association.
  • She is the incumbent Minnesota state-level representative of District 64A, elected in 2007, and was the Majority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015.
  • Erin Maye-Quade is the incumbent Minnesota state-level representative of District 57A, taking office in 2017.
  • Prior to being elected, Erin Maye-Quade worked in the public and private sector as an organizer.
  • Murphy's website shows endorsements by 16 progressive organizations/labor unions, 65 local officials in Minnesota and 28 state legislators.
  • The website offers stances on a wide variety of issues, including healthcare, agriculture, economic justice, education, environmental issues, gun violence, immigration, housing, reproductive justice, cannabis, sexual violence, mining and the current state of democratic practice.
  • Access this candidate's website here.

3.) Ole Savior and Chris Edman

Vote Smart

  • Ole Savior sought the Republican nomination for Minnesota federal-level senator in 2014
  • In addition to working for payback against big oil companies, Savior supports a $15 minimum wage, raising the average monthly payout of EBT welfare payments, improvement of MNSure and redirecting wasted federal government money to the state government.
  • Access this candidate's website here.

4.) Lori Swanson and Rick Nolan

Star Tribune

  • Lori Swanson is the current incumbent Attorney General of Minnesota. She assumed the office in 2007.
  • Lori graduated magna cum laude from WIlliam Mitchell College of Law and has worked as a state public official for almost 20 years.
  • Rick Nolan was the federal-level representative of Minnesota's 6th congressional district from 1975 to 1981, and is currently the incumbent representative of the 8th congressional district, having assumed the office in 2013.
  • Besides being a Congressman, Rick Nolan has been a teacher, small-business owner, an import-export trader and head of the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation.
  • Swanson and Nolan's website lists their stances on the issues of economy, healthcare, education, senior citizens, environment, child care, transportation, agriculture, housing, individual rights and equity, democratic practice and gun rights.
  • Access this candidate's website here.

5.) Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan

Walz Flanagan for Minnesota

  • Tim Walz is the incumbent federal-level representative of Minnesota's 1st congressional district. He assumed the office in 2007.
  • Walz enlisted in the National Guard at age 17. A retired Command Sergeant Major, Walz is the highest-ranking enlisted member to ever serve in Congress. He is also an award-winning high school teacher and football coach.
  • Peggy Flanagan is the incumbent Minnesota state-level representative of district 46A
  • Peggy's career before politics consisted of organizing. She has served as the executive director of Children's Defense Fund Minnesota and worked with Wellstone Action for almost a decade.
  • High priority issues for Walz and Flanagan include agriculture, health care, childcare, economy, gun violence prevention, LGBTQ rights, racial equity, American Indian issues, energy, environment, transportation and workers wages and rights.
  • Access this candidate's website here.

The primary is an extremely important part of the election process, and, this year, much of Minnesota's legislation is being reshuffled. There are other positions that will be on the ballot on Tuesday that I do not have the time to cover, so be sure to take a quick look online for yourself. This election could change Minnesota, so be sure to get out and vote!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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