Letter: Simonson counts on Labor support in primary

Dear Friends:
In 2012, I was proud to earn the endorsement of the Duluth Central Labor Body that in turn led to support from the Minnesota AFL-CIO, and several individual labor unions in my first run for the State Legislature. With your help, we won that race by working together.
During the 2013-14 legislative session, we made significant progress for working families and organized labor unions all across Minnesota. I was humbled by your continued support in 2014 and again in 2016. I am thankful to all of you for the work done together to unite the broad and diverse coalition of labor interests in our effort to advocate for all.
I’m sure you’ve already heard I am running for re-election to the Minnesota Senate this year. A few months ago, I proudly received your backing again. I have the support of the MN AFL-CIO, and several individual labor unions. I believe we will flip the Minnesota Senate this fall to DFL control, and we can again work together on behalf of labor.
We are living through incredibly trying budget times that are unlikely to improve anytime soon. We need strong, experienced advocates in St. Paul as we focus on getting through a probable economic recession and a rebuilding of our state economy. I am prepared to do that work, but I will need your help.
You may have also heard that I am being challenged in the August DFL Primary by a political extremist. It was not unexpected, yet it is unfortunate. I have chosen not to abide by the DFL endorsing process, simply because we cannot let less than half of one percent of Duluth voters dictate who represents us in St. Paul.
My challenger has a history of opposing labor endorsed candidates like Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith and Congressman Rick Nolan.  She is also an outspoken anti-mining, anti-development and anti-jobs candidate.  We simply cannot let them win.  Duluth has always been a labor town, and when labor stands together, we can win and we can win big. We simply cannot afford to be single issue focused. 
I am counting so much on your support as we move toward the August 11th Primary Election.
As a long-time union member, local union president, and delegate to the CLB before I ran for the legislature, I have had your backs because you have always had mine. I strongly believe the needs of Steelworkers on the Iron Range are just as important as the needs of our teachers in Duluth. The needs of our nurses are equally as important as the needs of our AFSCME employees across local units of government. And the needs of our firefighters are just as critical as the needs of our law enforcement organizations. I am not going to single one group out as more important than the other – rather I will continue to do what I have always done – stand with all of my brothers and sisters in labor and work collectively with other community and business partners to enact policies that benefit us all. 
My record is about finding compromise in order to facilitate solutions. You can find more information at simonsonfor
duluth.com
Thank you for your support – and by working together we can win!

Senator Erik Simonson (DFL)
Assistant Senate Minority Leader
Proudly Labor Endorsed

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