An engineer for the job
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, August 21, 2020
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNETONKA — “I think we need an engineer to say, come on, we need to start paying attention to our roads and bridges,” says Ann Johnson Stewart. “I want to be the smart person on the side who says we’ve got to start supporting our infrastructure.”
Johnson Stewart is an engineer who literally has helped build roads and bridges and she is running for Senate District 44 in Minnetonka, Plymouth, and Woodland.
The one-term Republican incumbent, Paul Anderson, is not running for re-election. Johnson Stewart is running for the open seat with the endorsement of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. She also is DFL-endorsed.
“I’m running to ensure that all Minnesotans have access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, an infrastructure and transit system that is safe and accessible, and excellent public schools,” Johnson Stewart says.
In the 2018 elections, both of the House seats in the district were won by the labor-endorsed and DFL-endorsed candidates, Ginny Klevorn in 44A and Patty Acomb in 44B. Klevorn and Acomb are running for re-election and now that momentum and their campaigns’ success is boosting Johnson Stewart and her race. “They have a huge volunteer force,” she says. The three candidates’ teams have been making thousands of phone calls.
More than 20 years ago, Johnson Stewart started her own engineering firm, which has grown to 26 employees. Her firm has helped local and state government to build infrastructure across the state and, in doing so, she has seen the value that construction unions add to that work.
Growing up in a union household in Wausau, Wisconsin, “my parents were lifelong teachers in a public school,” she says. “They were union members — they struck — …and really imparted to us the value of unions… and sticking together.”
Johnson Stewart earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a masters degree in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota.
A 25-year resident of Minnetonka, Johnson Stewart and her husband have four children and three grandchildren.