Two of the more hotly contested races of the early legislative season could be decided if DFL delegates are able to reach an agreement on candidates in the Senate District 60 and House District 60B races at the district endorsing convention May 11. All four announced candidates said they'll abide by the endorsement process and will not run in a September primary unless endorsement cannot be reached.
Candidates in other major parties have yet to announce their intention to run.
Minneapolis School Board Chair Catherine Shreves is running for the District 60 Senate endorsement against Rep. Scott Dibble, who has served one term in the Minnesota House. The seat opened when Myron Orfield announced he would not seek re-election.
For endorsement in District 60B, (the seat currently held by Dibble), Metropolitan Council Representative Frank Hornstein faces attorney Mark Lindberg. Lindberg is currently a senior program officer with the Otto Bremer Foundation.
In 60A, incumbent Margaret Anderson Kelliher is expected to receive re-endorsement.
The Southwest Journal asked the candidates in 60 and 60B to briefly state their reasons for running (including what they believe they can accomplish versus their current job) and top priorities if elected on November 5.
As a state senator, I could advocate for policy, programs and funding, rather than - as school board chair - having to implement legislative policies with which I disagree.
My top priorities: education (early childhood and K-12) and smart growth (encompassing transportation and housing).
Scott Dibble I bring a needed voice and important experience to the State Senate. My years working on the front lines at the community and policy-maker levels on issues of neighborhood vitality, public schools, transportation, social and economic justice, civil rights, sustainability and metropolitan competitiveness will be an important addition to that body.
A DFL majority, and serving in a body of 67 (versus 134) in a chamber that is less partisan and more deliberative, will greatly increase my ability to move and shape issues important to our city and state.
My top priorities: public education--early ed, K-12 and higher ed, comprehensive transportation policy, and affordable housing.
Mark Lindberg I'm running because I am deeply committed to helping people realize the inherent potential that we are all born with. I've worked to do so in the Peace Corps, the private sector, as a lawyer and executive in the federal government and now in the nonprofit arena. This experience has taught me the fundamental importance of legislators on matters that will affect people directly. I believe my commitment and background will serve the people of the district and state well and with the progressive, respectful representation they expect.
Priorities: affordable housing, early education programs and K-12, expanding opportunities for immigrants and refugees, addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Frank Hornstein I bring over two decades of community organizing and public service experience to the legislature. I will utilize a strong record of leadership and accomplishment on the issues that are top priorities for Southwest Minneapolis residents.
I am aware of the importance that individual legislators can play in making a difference on these issues and promoting strong public involvement and debate. In my current position, I have been actively involved in pressing the legislature for additional affordable housing and transit funding. As chair of the Barton School Leadership Council, I recognize the key role of the legislature in supporting education at all levels.
As former director of Clean Water Action, I am aware of the central role of the legislature in setting environmental policies.
Top priorities: education funding, environmental protection, economic and social justice.