Candidates, PACs Gearing for Momentous Election

Candidates, PACs Gearing for Momentous Election Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

ST. PAUL, MN (KNSI) - The 2013 Minnesota Legislature is guaranteed to take on a "new look" following the upcoming November elections.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen says there are guaranteed to be at least 40 new members of the House of Representatives, mainly due to incumbents who chose not to seek re-election. The changes and new faces are a good thing in Thissen's mind.

"I think bringing some fresh ideas to the table is good, it is important, a lot of it has to do with redistricting too, even some of the incumbents are going to be running very new areas," Thissen said. "I think the most exciting part of that for citizens is they probably have the most chance to get to know each other, kind of in a new way again."

With all of the spots up for grabs, Thissen said DFL Party leadership has spent a lot of time recruiting candidates to fill open seats in the Legislature.

"We have some really great candidates running, all across the state, people who are deeply engaged in their communities and really understand their hometowns, their communities, and hopefully bring that voice and will represent those areas in a really meaningful and strong way just because of those connections they have," Thissen said.

Meanwhile with the fall election a little more than three months away, groups across Minnesota are coming out with shows of support for those they'd like to see elected in this important election.

The Political Action Committee of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees has already endorsed 104 candidates for the state legislature. PAC Chair Carrie Wasley says they believe each and every race is important.

"This is a really hot political year because of the presidential election all the way down," Wasley said. "So we are looking for a labor friendly legislature that will also help us strengthen the middle class as we go forward."

Most of the people endorsed by the PAC are Democrats, but Wasley says the group supports candidates regardless of political affiliation, instead looking at their values and priorities.

"It is about building the middle class, and just having a basic respect for workers out there," Wasley said. "I've never lived any place but Minnesota and I never would, because we are the best. We have a national reputation for being smart, for being innovative, for caring and also for hard work."

All 201 state House and Senate seats are on the ballot this fall, with control of the Legislature at stake. Republicans currently hold majorities in both chambers.

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