MRLF votes final round of 2023 endorsements
Seven candidates endorsed for races for Hopkins mayor, Hopkins and Minnetonka city councils, plus St. Louis Park mayor and school board
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 21, 2023
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS —Delegates to the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO voted October 11 to approve a final round of endorsements for the 2023 elections, supporting seven candidates — including three current or former union members — who are seeking local elected office.
MRLF delegates voted endorsements for Hopkins mayor, Hopkins city council, Minnetonka city council, St. Louis Park mayor and St. Louis Park school board.
Early voting is now underway for the November 7 general election.
For all local elections in the MRLF’s seven-county jurisdiction, the MRLF endorsement is the AFL-CIO endorsement.
Patrick Hanlon endorsed for re-election
The MRLF voted to endorse Patrick Hanlon for re-election as mayor of Hopkins. He first won the seat in 2021, defeating the incumbent mayor in a three-candidate race and winning nearly 59 percent of the vote. Hanlon is running unopposed this year. He is a former member of AFSCME Local 9 and also a former member of the Minneapolis Professional Employees Union as well as the Minneapolis Supervisors Union. Hanlon currently works as a deputy commissioner for the Minneapolis Health Department.
Hopkins City Council:
Incumbent Brian Hunke endorsed
The MRLF voted to endorse Brian Hunke for re-election for Hopkins city council at large. Hunke has been a member of the city council since 2018. Four candidates are in the race, including another incumbent, with the top two vote-getters to be elected.
Minnetonka City Council:
Dana Minion, Rebecca Schack, and Paula Ramaley endorsed
In the races for Minnetonka city council, the MRLF voted to endorse Dana Minion in Ward 1, Rebecca Schack in Ward 2, and Paula Ramaley in Ward 3.
In the Ward 1 race, the incumbent is not running and four candidates are seeking the seat. MRLF-endorsed Dana Minion is a former 20-plus years member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 10. “I now work for the Minnesota Twins and enjoy supporting all the great union labor here at Target Field,” Minion told the Labor Review. “I believe the reason we receive so many awards and positive comments is due to the quality that union labor offers.”
In the Ward 2 race, MRLF-endorsed Rebecca Schack is the incumbent and faces one opponent. Schack is an attorney practicing family law and provides pro bono legal services for low income individuals.
The incumbent is not running in the Ward 3 race, which has three candidates.
MRLF-endorsed Paula Ramaley is a fourth-generation Minnetonka resident. If elected, she identifies one of her priorities as promoting “a wide range of housing options and opportunities.” Her website states, “everyone who works in Minnetonka should be able to afford to live here — from CEOs to teachers and firefighters to our neighborhood barista (and our adult children).”
Minnetonka has ranked-choice voting, which could be a factor in the city council races in Ward 1, Ward 3, and Ward 4, which all have more than two candidates.
(The MRLF previously endorsed incumbent Kissy Coakley in Ward 4).
St. Louis Park Mayor:
Nadia Mohamed endorsed
The MRLF voted to endorse Nadia Mohamed for mayor of St. Louis Park. The incumbent mayor, Jake Spano, is not running and has endorsed her campaign. Mohamed has served as the At Large B member of the St. Louis Park city council since 2020. She is a 17-year St. Louis Park resident.
St. Louis Park School Board:
Saul Eugene endorsed
The MRLF voted to endorse Saul Eugene for St. Louis Park school board.
Five candidates are in the race, including two incumbents, with the top four to be elected.
The MRLF previously endorsed incumbent Virginia Mancini.
Saul Eugene works as a national political account executive for NGP VAN, a tech provider for Democratic candidates. In that job, he is a member of Boston-based Communications Workers of America Local 1400, which represents NGP/VAN’s remote workers. Eugene is the son of a public school teacher and a former substitute teacher himself. He previously worked as a staff member for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and for U.S. Representative Dean Phillips.