The Minnesota AFL-CIO recently released its legislative report and scorecard for individual representatives and how they voted with Labor’s interest over the past term. Scores for Northeastern Minnesota representatives were strong, with some notable exceptions.
According to the report, legislative priorities were aimed at crisis relief, maintaining and expanding workplace rights and safety, extending paid leave for all workers, tax justice, and creating jobs and infrastructure.
The report looked at 12 key votes in the Senate and 14 votes in the House. Not every vote resulted in policy passing, and some votes were adding amendments.
SENATE DISTRICT 3
Tom Bakk, I, 30%
Bakk was the Labor-endorsed candidate in the 2020 race, and as a longtime member of the Carpenters, had a solid Labor voting
jobs omnibus, and a vote on voter ID, which did not become law.
HOUSE DISTRICT 3A
Rob Ecklund, DFL, 100%
A Steelworker, Ecklund was the Labor-endorsed candidate in the past election.
HOUSE DISTRICT 3B
Mary Murphy, DFL, 100%
Murphy has long been known as a friend of Labor.
SENATE DISTRICT 6
David Tomassoni, I, 50%
Tomassoni also bolted the DFL earlier this year. His voting record was similar to Bakk’s, although Tomassoni voted against the private school voucher program, and also voted with the AFL-CIO’s recommendation on the refinery safety amendment and the voter ID program that ultimately did not become law.
HOUSE DISTRICT 6A
Julie Sandstede, DFL, 93%
HOUSE DISTRICT 6B
Dave Lislegard, DFL, 93%
Sandstede and Lislegard were the Labor-endorsed candidates in the past election, with Sandstede winning a recount in a close vote. The two had identical voting records, voting with the AFL-CIO recommendation in all but one of the 14 House votes targeted. They both voted for an amendment on a “restore the vote” proposal. The proposal would have restored the right to vote to people who have been convicted of felonies and are no longer incarcerated; the amendment would have excluded people who had been convicted of violent or election-related felonies. The AFL-CIO opposed the amendment to the proposal; Sandstede and Lislegard voted for the amendment, but it failed.
SENATE DISTRICT 7
Jen McEwen, DFL, 100%
McEwen successfully challenged incumbent Sen. Erik Simonson in 2020 and notched a couple of Union endorsements, but was not endorsed by the Duluth Central Labor Body. She had 100% AFL-CIO rating in her first session.
HOUSE DISTRICT 7A
Jen Schultz, DFL, 100%
HOUSE DISTRICT 7B
Liz Olson, DFL, 100%
Schultz and Olson were the Labor-endorsed candidates in the past election.
SENATE DISTRICT 11
Jason Rarick, R, 0%
On his website, Rarick touts endorsements from IBEW 110 (which he has been a member of for more than 25 years), the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, the Minnesota Pipe Trades and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49.
HOUSE DISTRICT 11A
Mike Sundin, DFL, 100%
Sundin is a retired Painter and strong Labor supporter; he had the Labor endorsement in the past election.
HOUSE DISTRICT 11B
Nathan Nelson, R, 0%
Nelson was endorsed by International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49.
“These legislative priorities represent the Labor Movement’s shared state policy vision and our commitment to racial and economic justice,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy when these priorities were announced in January. “Working Minnesotans have been tested over the last year like never before and are ready for a more just and equitable state for everyone, no exceptions.”