‘Pass bills and get things done’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2018
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
SHAKOPEE — “It’s really important we have a functioning legislature that can pass bills and get things done,” says former Shakopee mayor Brad Tabke. “When I was mayor, working with the legislature was exceptionally frustrating.”
Tabke now is running with AFL-CIO and DFL Party endorsement for election to the House District 55A seat representing Shakopee, Jackson Township, and Louisville Township.
He entered the race only after DFLer Mary Hernandez, who ran two years ago, decided late not to run due to a family illness.
The two-term incumbent, Republican Bob Loonan, has earned only a 14 percent voting record on working family issues tracked by the Minnesota AFL-CIO.
Tabke ran for Shakopee mayor in 2011 and defeated a 10-year incumbent “by talking about the future and how Shakopee was growing and developing.”
Tabke served two terms as mayor of Shakopee, from 2012-2016. He has served previously as chair of the local chamber of commerce and as chair of the city’s park and recreation board.
As mayor, Tabke says, “we worked really hard with our businesses in growing high-wage jobs.” Now, he says, “we have a lot of union jobs in Shakopee we didn’t have before.”
“We accomplished what we set out to do and we did that by building coalitions and getting community support,” Tabke says. “It’s a skill that I bring to the table and hope to leverage at the legislature.”
“I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, 4H kid, lots of hard work,” says Tabke, an Iowa native. He earned a horticulture degree from the University of Iowa.
He and his wife Katy moved to Shakopee when she got a teaching job there and they’ve lived in the same house ever since 2003. The couple have two daughters, ages 7 and 11. A teacher at Shakopee high school, Katy Tabke is an Education Minnesota union member and active as a building rep and negotiating committee member.
“I think that strengthening unions so we can all work together is important,” Tabke says. “That’s how we get out of the mess we’re in today — by empowering people and labor to make good decisions.”