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Voters elect labor-friendly majority to Minnesota House

DFL election night gathering, Wednesday, November 7, 1:05 a.m. State Representative Melissa Hortman announces that the DFL has picked up 18 seats in the Minnesota House, creating a labor-friendly majority.

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 16, 2018

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

SAINT PAUL — For the past year, electing a friend in the Minnesota governor’s office was the primary focus for the Labor 2018 political effort. Assuming the odds favored Republicans would keep control of both Minnesota House and Senate, winning the race for Governor was seen as key to preventing Minnesota from joining neighboring states who have assailed workers’ freedom to join together in unions.

As vote totals came in on election night, however, one win after another in key swing districts came in for the labor-endorsed and DFL-endorsed candidates for Minnesota House of Representatives — a net gain of 18 seats — resulting in an eight vote labor-friendly majority in the Minnesota House.

With labor-endorsed Tim Walz elected Governor, and Republicans now holding only a one-vote majority in the Minnesota Senate, the 2019 legislative session could see real progress.

“Now we can stop playing defense and we can start playing offense and get some real things done for working families in our state,” commented David Gilbert-Pederson, organizer for the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, speaking to a gathering of MRLF field staff and volunteers two days after the election.

Make no mistake. This win didn’t happen all by itself.

“Everybody worked really hard,” commented Terry Nelson, business manager for Painters and Allied Trades District Council 82, one of many unions which helped to field volunteers for doorknocks and phone banks. “There was a lot of energy,” Nelson said. “It was a big night for Labor.”

“When you have candidates who are committed to us, it motivates our members to get involved,” commented Adam Duininck, director of government affairs for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.

The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation targeted ten suburban Minnesota House races as a top priority, helping to win nine of those races for the labor-endorsed candidate. The tenth race? The labor-endorsed candidate came close —losing by only 153 votes. See story.

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