Recommendations for progressive candidates in Minnesota (primary August 14, but early voting has already started)

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Minnesota primary

Note that Minnesota has open primaries, which means you can vote in whichever party’s primary that you want and do not need to be registered in that party.

Below are candidates from our BKAS series that have progressive values. In general, the list contains candidates who have Bernie-like positions – Medicare-for-All, increased minimum wage, getting money out of politics, free college tuition, etc. However, not every candidate may support every position Bernie has. If you don’t know the candidate, check out their linked webpage. If you are not comfortable voting for any of these candidates, you can find others running in these races listed on the Green Papers or Ballotpedia for US Senate, Ballotpedia for US House or Ballotpedia for Governor. Also, here is the link to the BKAS post on Minnesota – Minnesota, but note that it was written way back in early-October of 2017 and candidates will have changed since then. Check the Green Papers or Ballotpedia links above for the most up-to-date list of candidates in your district. The list below includes candidates that have declared since those original Florida posts were made.


The current governor, Mark Dayton, is retiring at the end of his term. Erin Murphy is a strong progressive Berniecrat. Chris Wright, running on the Grassroots Party, also has a strong platform and supports single-payer healthcare.

US Senator:

There will be two Senate races in Minnesota this year. One regular election for Amy Klobuchar’s seat, who is coming to the end of her term and running for re-election, and one for former Senator Al Franken’s seat (currently held by Tina Smith, who was appointed by the Governor).

Klobuchar’s seat:

Amy Klobuchar is a pretty conservative Democrat and has not co-sponsored Medicare-for-All. But the other Dem candidates running against her don’t seem any better. There is a Green Party candidate, Paula Overby, with a good platform. There is also a candidate of the Legal Marijuana Now Party, Dennis Schuller, though his main issue is legalizing marijuana.

Franken’s former seat (currently held by Tina Smith):

Ali Chechem Ali or Nick Leonard (endorsed by Our Revolution). Richard Painter also says he supports Medicare-for-All and getting money out of politics, but note that he is a former Republican and a bit more conservative that some Democrats. He supports fiscal responsibility and balancing the federal budget. There is also a candidate of the Legal Marijuana Now Party, Sarah Wellington, though her main issue is legalizing marijuana.

US Representatives:

MN-01: No recommendation

MN-02: Angie Craig says she wants to support the ACA and move toward universal healthcare. She also supports 2 years free college tuition and ending Citizens United.

MN-03: Dean Phillips has a strong platform, including support for Medicare-for-All. Cole Young is a millennial supporting free college tuition, but his platform has nothing on healthcare.

MN-04: Susan Prendergast is running on the Legal Marijuana Now Party line. She supports legalizing marijuana, but there is nothing on her other positions. There is no other progressive in this race.

MN-05: Margaret Kelliher or Ilhan Omar (Justice Democrat candidate)

MN-06: Ian Todd

MN-07: No recommendation.

MN-08: Lots of good candidates here that all support Medicare-for-All. But their other positions vary somewhat, so read their websites to know who to support. Kirsten Kennedy or Michelle Lee or Jason Metsa or Joe Radinovich. Soren Sorenson may also support progressive policies, but his website is vague. There is also a Green Party candidate, Skip Sandman.

Secretary of State:

There is only one Democratic candidate, Steve Simon, who is the current Secretary of State in Minnesota. He supports “making it easier to vote for all eligible Minnesotans”. There is also a candidate of the Independence Party, William Denney, who “believes that elections should be administered by someone independent of the influence of the major political parties and that our voting structures need to be protected from hacking, including a paper trail”. Denney also wants to make it easier for third parties to get ballot and debate access. I think Denney’s platform is stronger on voter protections.

Attorney General: I think there are strong candidates all around on the Democratic side. Keith Ellison is very strong and endorsed by Our Revolution. But the other candidates, Debra Hilstrom, Matt Pelikan and Mike Rothman also seem like a strong candidates interested in protecting consumers from shady practices and being taken advantage of by predatory individuals and businesses. Noah Johnson is running under the Legalize Cannabis Party and his main issue is legalizing homegrown, recreational marijuana.

Also, here are Ballotpedia links for the Oklahoma State House and State Senate races. I haven’t had time to research these candidates, so you’ll have to do your own research on them.

State Senate:

Next election is not until 2020 for the Minnesota State Senate

State House:,_2018

Finally, I may have missed some candidates, so if anyone else knows of a good progressive I’ve left off this list, let me know.

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SandersForPresident: search results – self:yes

This is a long, harrowing read about a former young KKK leader, who grew up in the Klan, and broke away. He became a Sanders doorknocker in 2015 and flies a Sanders flag outside his home.

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Inside the Radical, Uncomfortable Movement to Reform White Supremacists. As hate groups have surged, so has the number of extremists trying to escape

From the article:

On Maher’s show he heard the phrase “democratic socialism” and thought, “I ain’t gonna agree with no socialist,” but when he looked it up he thought it made a lot of sense: Maybe he and his family hated black and Hispanic people because racism is a way to keep poor people divided and disorganized. “All of us were poor, none of us had any kinda fancy job. So what else could you be proud of? Well, I’m proud to be white. Then you get this idea that you’re fighting this big racial holy war, you’re somebody of importance, you’re a Grand Dragon. It was so much easier to believe in the conspiracies than just look at yourself in the mirror.”

To try out some of his new ideas—and because he was bored silly—Johnson began commenting on the Facebook page of a group of socialists and Anonymous activists based in Indiana. While he still “supported the militias and skinheads who were on the border shooting the immigrants,” he relished having his arguments picked apart by the commenters. Part troll, part student, Johnson was putting his beliefs through a trial by fire. “And man, they demolished me.”


He and A.C. volunteered with the Bernie Sanders campaign, door-knocking and canvassing in the summer of 2015. Even when it was 90-plus degrees, Johnson wore a turtleneck to hide the tattoos on his neck. Standing on doorsteps and stoops, he began telling his story in bits and pieces—not always with the desired effect. “I scared the crap out of some people,” he recalls. “I should’ve door-knocked for Trump. Maybe then Trump would’ve lost.”

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SandersForPresident: search results – self:yes

SFP Book Club: Our Revolution, Chapter Five – The Campaign Begins

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Howdy, y'all. Didn't realize lunch was gonna give me what they call the "postprandial somnolence" like that, and I do apologize for keeping y'all waiting a week, but I was rather busy doing…something.

This is a rather short chapter, and it's even shorter on original content. Yawn. Seems like you're getting a bit lazy, Bernie! No, but it is good to keep something like this down as a matter of historical record. The bulk of this chapter, by which I mean all but 2 pages of it, concern the text of his formal announcement speech from May 26, 2015. Introduced with music from his "favorite Vermont band, Mango Jam" as well as close friends and associates, Bernie stood out there at Lake Champlain and delivered a speech that would pretty well serve as a template for the next year of barnstorming (116). As Ben Cohen noted even back then, "Bernie is the real thing" (116).

Reproduced now is a Reader's Digest version of the speech, which I will also [link here because it's better to hear Bernie when you can]( The speech itself is fine albeit rough, and it seems to doubleback on itself a bit in the middle. Order of elements wasn't quite in place yet, but he got better at it. Anyway, this should give you the gist of it.

Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we being a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially, and environmentally.

Let's be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It is not about Hillary Clinton. It is not about Jeb Bush or anyone else. This campaign is about the needs of the American people, and the ideas and proposals that effectively address those needs. As someone who has never run a negative political ad in his life, my campaign will be drive by issues and serious debate—not political gossip, not reckless personal attacks or character assassination. This is what I believe the American people want and deserve. I hope other candidates agree, and I hope the media allows that to happen.

Let me be clear. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.

American democracy is not about billionaires being able to buy candidates and elections. It is not about the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and other incredibly wealthy individuals spending billions of dollars to elect candidates who will make the rich richer and everyone else poorer.

Climate change is real.

It is no secret that there is massive discontent with politics in America today.

It beings with jobs. If we are truly serious about reversing the decline of the middle class we need a major federal jobs program which puts millions of Americans back to work at decent-paying jobs.

For decades, presidents from both parties have supported trade agreements which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs as corporate America shuts down plants here and moves to low-wage countries.

Let us be honest and acknowledge that millions of Americans are now working for totally inadequate wages….Further, we must establish pay equity for women workers.

This campaign is going to send a message to the billionaire class. And that is: You can't have it all.

If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.

The United States must join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right by moving toward a Medicare for All single-payer system.

Instead of cutting Social Security, we're going to expand Social Security….

As president, I will fight to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lower interest rates on student loans.

We must be part of an international coalition, led by Muslim nations, that can not only defeat ISIS but being the process of creating conditions for a lasting peace.

When people stand together, and are prepared to fight back, there is nothing that can't be accomplished. (117-128)

Well, that really about sums it up, doesn't it?

Solidarity, –/u/writingtoss.

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SandersForPresident: search results – self:yes