Working Minnesotans come together, emerge victorious in midterm election

11-16-2018
AFSCME members joined our labor allies for Labor Day of GOTV Action on October 27
AFSCME members joined our labor allies for Labor Day of GOTV Action on October 27

November’s midterm was, as we’ve all heard, one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. Our rights, our freedoms, our health, safety, security and dignity were all on the line.

Working Minnesotans didn’t just get the message – we shouted it from the rooftops.

Hundreds of AFSCME members stepped up in droves to phone bank, door knock, and mobilize Minnesota voters to help elect candidates who support working families and will fight for a future where every Minnesotan has access to the resources, care and opportunities we all deserve.

For months, AFSCME members have been spreading out across the state, talking to workers and neighbors about our Minnesota values, our vision of unity and hope for our state, and the candidates who share those values and that vision.

In the final days leading up to the election, AFSCME members came out in force to ramp up our GOTV efforts in every part of the state. We knocked hundreds of doors for our endorsed candidates in Rochester, Minneapolis, Saint Cloud, Duluth, Brainerd and everywhere in between.

On November 6, all that hard work paid off. As the results came rolling in, it became clear that working people across the country were the true winners of this crucial election.

Here in Minnesota, our endorsed candidates swept the statewide races. Our candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan, beat out Republican Jeff Johnson, who’s said he’d love to “go all Scott Walker” on Minnesota.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a proven champion for working Minnesotans and strong labor ally, was elected as Minnesota’s next Attorney General. In the race for Secretary of State, incumbent Steve Simon was easily re-elected. Julie Blaha, a former math teacher and longtime union activist, was victorious in her bid for State Auditor.

In the race for U.S. Senate, our endorsed candidates Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith easily beat out their opponents. Klobuchar and Smith have both been tireless advocates for working people in Minnesota and across the country.

In another major victory, Minnesotans elected State Representative Ilhan Omar in her bid to fill Ellison’s Fifth District seat in the U.S. House. Omar will be the first Somali-American to serve in Congress (she’s also a former AFSCME member). Additionally, we successfully elected Angie Craig (District 2), Dean Phillips (District 3), Betty McCollum (District 4) and Collin Peterson (District 7) to represent working people in the U.S. House.

This election season also featured dozens of hotly-contested local races. We proudly endorsed candidates who will stand with working people, who are committed to working across our differences to bridge gaps and bring Minnesotans together.

We were especially thrilled to help elect AFSCME Local 2938 members Kelly Moller (District 42A) Zack Stephenson (District 36A) to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Stephenson and Moller will join four AFSCME members who are already serving in the State Legislature: Local 2938’s Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (District 42B); Local 3318’s Rep. Erin Koegel (District 37A); Local 2864’s Rep. Diane Loeffler (District 60A) and Local 8’s Rep. Dave Pinto (64B).

The list of victories for working people in this year’s midterm goes on. At the doors, on the phones, in our workplaces and around our kitchen tables, AFSCME members played a major role in making those victories possible. Our solidarity and our hard work truly paid off.

Through thousands of conversations with our neighbors, coworkers, friends and loved ones, AFSCME members mobilized voters and helped elect powerful candidates who share our union values: health care everyone can access and afford; quality public education for every kid of every race, creed and income; security, safety and dignity at work and in retirement; and living wages that allow every working family to thrive – not just survive.