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MRLF’s endorsed candidates win 18 of 21 local races

Election night celebration in Bloomington. Left to right: Abbas Omar, AFSCME Council 5; Jigme Ugen, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota; Mayor-elect Tim Busse; Casey Hudek, MRLF; Kim Nelson, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters; Katie Farber, AFSCME Council 5.

From the Minneapols Labor Review, November 15, 2019

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS —MINNEAPOLIS — In politics, you can’t expect to win them all — but the November 5, 2019 election brought a good night for the candidates for local municipal offices and local school boards
endorsed by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-
CIO. The MRLF endorsed candidates in 21 local races — and 18 of the candidates won election.

The biggest wins came in Bloomington, where the MRLF’s entire slate of candidates for city office won election: Tim Busse for Mayor; Jenna Carter for City Council At Large; Dwayne Lowman for City Council District I, Shawn Nelson for City Council District II.

The stakes were high in Bloomington, which plays an increasingly significant role in regional development.

In the mayor’s race, MRLF-endorsed Tim Busse ran on his record of serving for eight years as an At Large member of the Bloomington City Council.

He won nearly 56 percent of the vote, defeating Ryan Kulka 9,995-7,868.

Busse told the Labor Review: “I couldn’t have done it without the support of Labor and the hard work that union members put in — people coming from across the Twin Cities who knew the importance of this race.”

“The people of Bloomington have given a clear message in a number of ways,” Busse declared to well-wishers at an election night celebration. “We’re going to continue to be bold as a city,” he said, “showing the Twin Cities how do things” with innovative programs for affordable housing, economic development and partnerships with the school district.

MRLF-endorsed Jenna Carter won Busse’s former At Large City Council seat. She defeated Brian “Clem” Clemens by a vote of 10,718 to 6,614 and won nearly 62 percent of the vote.

In a bid to win a third City Council term representing Bloomington’s District I, MRLF-endorsed Dwayne Lowman earned nearly 57 percent of the vote and defeated Al Noard by a vote of 2,521-1,903.

In District II, MRLF-endorsed Shawn Nelson won re-election with nearly 64 percent of the vote and defeated Susan Woodruff by a vote of 3,050-1,704.

Jenna Carter celeberates win with MRLF, affiliates
Celebrating a win by Jenna Carter, MRLF-endorsed candidate for Bloomington City Council At Large. Back row, left to right: Jigme Ugen, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota; Casey Hudek, MRLF; Abbas Omar, AFSCME Council 5; candidate Jenna Carter; Wade Luneburg, UNITE HERE Local 17. Front row, left to right: Kathleen Farber, AFSCME Council 5; Uriel Perez Espinoza, UNITE HERE Local 17; Kim Nelson, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.

Dwane Lowman celebrates win
MRLF-endorsed Dwayne A. Lowman (center) celebrates his re-election to Bloomington City Council District I with AFSCME Council 5’s Abbas Omar (left) and Katie Farber (right).

Bloomington School Board

Two of the MRLF’s three endorsed candidates for Bloomington School Board At Large won election.

With three candidates to be elected, MRLF-endorsed Nelly Korman (an Education Minnesota member) led the field of six candidates, winning 9,015 votes and a third term.

MRLF-endorsed Mia Olson came in third, winning 7,474 votes and a seat on the board.

With 7,387 votes, MRLF-endorsed John Moravec trailed Olson by 87 votes and was not elected.

(Note: As the Labor Review went to press November 8, one precinct’s vote totals still were not reported, so it’s possible that Moravec may yet come in third over Olson and win election instead of her).

Anoka-Hennepin School Board
In another big win, MRLF-endorsed Erin Heers-McArdle defeated 20-year incumbent Tom Heidemann to win a seat on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board. The vote was 1,388 for Heers-McArdle, 1,165 for Heidemann — a margin of 223 votes.

Edina School Board

The race for three At Large seats on Edina School Board was one of the most ideologically contentious and closely-watched contests in the region, with a trio of right-wing conservatives making a run for control of the board. Instead, three pro-public education candidates endorsed by the MRLF placed in the top three spots and all won election.

Janie Shaw led the field of six candidates with 5,882 votes. Julie Greene was second with 5,829 votes. Incumbent Leny Wallen-Friedman ran third with 5,653 votes.

Fridley School Board

All three MRLF-endorsed candidates won election to At Large seats on the Fridley School Board: NALC Branch 9 member Jake Karnopp placed first, wining 1,219 votes; Incumbent Donna Prewedo placed second, winning 1,024 votes; Abdidalam Adam, a former member of the St. Paul Federation of Educators, placed third, winning 878 votes.

Golden Valley City Council

With two candidates to be elected in a four-candidate race, the two MRLF-endorsed candidates won election to the Golden Valley City Council: Kimberly Sandberg placed first, winning 2,763 votes; Maurice Harris came in second with 2,540 votes. Incumbent Joanie Clausen ran third with 1,929 votes and lost her bid for re-election.

Minnetonka City Council

MRLF-endorsed Kissy Coakley won election for the open Minnetonka City Council, Ward 4 seat, beating Paul Lehman by a vote of 1,010 to 912.

St. Louis Park Mayor

MRLF-endorsed Jake Spano sailed to re-election as St. Louis Park Mayor, winning more than 83 percent of the vote.

St. Louis Park School Board

MRLF-endorsed Jim Leuthner, running for St. Louis Park School Board, did not place among the top four candidates to be elected. He ran  seventh in a field of eight candidates. Leuthner is a member of Carpenters Local 322.

Central School Board

In the race for Central School Board (ISD #108) in Carver County, MRLF-endorsed Scott Knight lost his bid for re-election. A 22-year incumbent, Knight came in 12 votes short of placing among the top four candidates to be elected in a nine-candidate race. Knight is a member of IBEW Local 160.

Anoka County Board, District 6

MRLF-endorsed Cindy Hansen advances from 6-way primary

November 5 brought a six-candidate special primary election for Anoka County Board District 6. MRLF-endorsed Cindy Hansen placed second, advancing to the special general election which is scheduled for February 11, 2020.

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