OUR REVOLUTION MN: Take Back The House

While we are a nonpartisan organization, Minnesota currently has a DFL Governor and majority in the senate, a Republican controlled house, and we have an opportunity to support progressive DFL candidates to take back the house from the Republicans. This will make it possible to pass campaign finance reform, student debt relief, pro worker policies, and environmental protections at the state level. If Republicans maintain control of the house, those policies will have no chance of passing. If Democrats win 7 swing seats this election, they take back the house. To get an understanding of the races this year, check out Ballotpedia.


We have identified four key races where, if we focus our energy, our members could have a major impact on progressives candidates’ campains in tight swing districts.

Erin Maye Quade MN House 57A (Apple Valley)

Erin is an Our Revolution (national) endorsed progressive who worked for Keith Ellison and was an activist in the fight for marriage equality in Minnesota. As a champion for education, Erin will work with our legislature to end food insecurity in our communities and make all-day pre-K a reality for every family in Minnesota. To keep our economy growing, Erin will fight to freeze college tuition and allow students to refinance student loans the same way large corporations and CEOs can. Erin will also continue to lead the fight in her community for equal pay for equal work and paid sick and family leave.

Zachary Dorholt MN House 14B (St. Cloud)

Zachary is an Our Revolution National endorsed progressive who served 2 terms in the legislature before losing by 69 votes in an election that saw nearly a million dollars of dark money funneled to his opponent from special interests including the Koch brothers. Zachary has the vision and experience needed to help fight for equality, protect the environment, make education and basic rights more accessible, and stimulate an economy that works for everyone through St. Cloud and across Minnesota.

Lindsey Port MN House 56B (Burnsville, Lakeville)

Lindsay is a progressive who caucused for Bernie who is fighting for equal pay for equal work, paid parental leave and paid sick days for all workers, and making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. Lindsay vows to make critical investments and ensure workers have good jobs, fight for better roads, ensure we have universal pre-K, and support new entrepreneurs.

Alberder Gillespie MN House 53 (Woodbury)

Alberder is running for house in a conservative side of Woodbury. As a women of color, she hopes to work on issues such as economic disparities, Reducing domestic and gun violence, funding for K-12 education, Fair tax structure, and environmental stewardship She has been Supported by Rep Frank Hornsten, Take Action MN, and many more.


Congressman Rick Nolan (Incumbent) – CD 8

Here’s what Bernie said in his endorsement: “Rick represents one of the most competitive congressional districts in the country, but he’s been a strong fighter for enacting single-payer health care, overturning Citizens United and ending offshore tax havens. He’s running against a multimillionaire CEO who thinks he can pour millions into television ads, win himself a congressional seat, and then cast votes to cut taxes on the ultra-rich.” Rick was one of the vocal supporters of our revolution and put himself in a tough spot among DFL party leaders to stay true to his progressive constituents.

Congressman Keith Ellison (Incumbent) – CD5

Congressman Keith Ellison has represented Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. His policy agenda is based on four key priorities—peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and support for civil and human rights. He is currently serving his fifth term. Kieth was also one of the first super delegates to support Bernie Sanders.

We The Podcast, with keith ellison, is a show about how people outside the billionaire and millionaire class, you know, most of us, engage with the economy. You can subscribe to “We The Podcast” by visiting the iTunes website. You can also listen to every episode on Soundcloud.


Don Slaten – 54B (Afton, part of Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Hastings, and Nininger)

Since running in the 2014 race, Don has picked up more endorsements, including Bernie endorsers MNA and the DFL Progressive Caucus.  A fair living wage and a wide array of environmental policies that led to endorsements from Sierra Club and the DFL Environmental Caucus top his objectives. Don understand a strong educational system is needed to tackle the challenges of the future and vows to make investments in all levels of schooling.

Marla Vagts – 58B (Farmington, Northfield)

Marla has endorsements from Clean Water Action and DFL Progressive Caucus.  After losing her husband to cancer in 2010, her primary issues have turned to worker, student, and environmental justice with a focus on renewable energy and a clean environment. She is also a champion for woman’s rights, equal pay,

Melissa Hortman (Incumbent) – 36B (Brooklyn Park)

Melissa has endorsements from MNA, TakeActionMN, Clean Water Action, and Sierra Club.  She’s reliably created and voted for bills expanding clean energy and early childhood education and care.  She played an important part in getting the DFL state platform changed to include eliminating financial and corporate influence on elections and opposing discrimination of candidates based on their economic means.  Student debt reduction is also on her list of goals.

Raymond Dehn (Incumbent) – 59B (North Minneapolis)

Being in power hasn’t lessened Dehn’s community activity and activism for workers rights and higher wages.  He’s been a constant at protests of Walmart on cold Winter days after Thanksgiving.  He’s also been the leading force in the House for the state to support a Constitutional Amendment to end money as free speech and corporations as people, which helps to explain why he’s part of OurRevolutionMN and endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.

John Wayne Austinson – 26B (Olmstead)

John, a former teacher of 25 years is a progressive, open minded, forward thinking candidate who caucused for Bernie. He will focus prioritize passing Transportation, Bonding, and Health Care relief bills. He will fight for reducing college debt, promoting rural broadband, support ending last minute legislation and ‘omnibus’ bills. He is dedicated to getting more young people involved in the political process.

Steve Kilburn – 29B (Wright)

Steve, the current Precinct Chair for Buffalo and SD 29 Director, is dedicated to working for Economic equality/justice, towards Medicare for all, promoting renewable energy, and criminal justice reform. Steve, is a former teacher, pastor, and worked for a non-profit health center serving disadvantaged citizens in Florida. As an experienced counselor and therapist, he is passionate about affordable and accessible mental health care. He wants to be an engaged and visible representative in his community and looks forward to working with Our Revolution MN.

Ami Wazlawik – 38B (White Bear Lake, North Oaks, Hugo)

Ami is a near lifelong resident of 38B, growing up in White Bear Lake and White Bear Township. She’s spent years working and volunteering in schools and is a fierce advocate for education and economic security issues. Ami studied social policy as a student at the Humphrey School and hopes to use what she learned to make informed policy-making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Minnesotans.

Jay mCNamar – 12A (Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, StevenS, Traverse)

Jay is a strong progressive voice in rural Minnesota. After retiring from teaching Jay was elected Mayor of Elbow Lake and served one 4-year term when he was then elected to the MN House of Representatives in 2012. He has spent his whole adult life in public service. In 2014, Jay lost by 660 votes most likely because of his support for the Marriage amendment. He voted knowing it may cost him his seat but says it was the right thing to do. Jay caucused for Bernie, and while he’ll be voting for the candidate that best fits his own values, his “heart still belongs to Bernie”

Brad Brothen – 33B (Carver, Hennepin)

As an English professor and former school counselor, Brad is passionate about fighting for universal pre-k and early childhood education.  He caucused for Bernie is looks forward to being more involved with Our Revolution MN. He will fight hard for a true representative democracy and focus on the local issues that are important such as improving public transportation and infrastructure and raising the minimum wage instead of simply aligning with an ideology.  Has a passion for LGBTQ issues and felt compelled to run against his current Tea Party opponent who at one point praised current the anti-gay legislation in NC.

Liz Olson – 7B (St. Louis)

Liz worked hard to defeat the Voter Registration amendment in 2012 and supports restoring voting rights to those on probation or parole. She has been a strong advocate for access to healthcare, worker protections, and ending homelessness.  She is dedicated to helping ensure strong pre-k programs, making public College and Universities more affordable, and fighting for livable wages and paid family and sick leave.

Susan Allen (Incumbent) – 62B (Hennepin)

Susan caucused for Bernie and represents the diversity of her district well as a Native American and a member of the LGBT community.  Susan is an experienced tax and Tribal Law attorney on the Board of Directors of the ICWA Law Center, Indigenous People’s Task Force, and Indian Neighborhood Club on Alcohol and Drugs.  She has a long history of nonprofit and pro bono work and vows to fight for closing the gender pay gap, single payer health care, 15 dollar minimum wage, protecting natural resources, and create a fair and progressive state and local tax structure.

Mike Sundin (Incumbent) – 11A (Carlton, Pine, St. Louis)

Endorsed by the MNA,  Mike is a long-time union member and labor activist who also served on the Cloquet school board for 5 years and as President of the board of Northeastern Minnesota’s only labor newspaper.  He was out front in his opposition to Voter ID in 2012 and has protected the environment with his vote for 50-foot buffer zones around waterways.

Andrew Falk – 17A (Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Renville)

Andrew is a fifth-generation family farmer in Murdock. He served in the house from 2008 to 2014 and working hard to win back the seat and the house. In his own words… “I was proud to support and caucus for Bernie Sanders. He has been a strong and consistent voice fighting for working people and against the special interests in all of his public service…..I know first hand the corrosive influence of corporate money in our elections.  When I last served in the Minnesota Legislature in 2013-2014, we closed more than $600 million worth of corporate tax loopholes and made the top 2% start paying closer to their fair share of taxes.  Many of those special interests didn’t like having to play by a fair set of rules so they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads against me to elect a Tea Party Republican who will vote for their interests ahead of the working people.. This election isn’t about me or any single candidate but about us.  And what we can accomplish together.”

Elise Diesslin – 21B (Dodge, Goodhue, Wabasha)

“I believe in an affordable education system, from grade school to grad school. I believe healthcare should be not only affordable, but also accessible to all citizens. We need healthy community members to create a healthy community, including our environment, this means creating sustainable energy sources, and a working infrastructure for rural Minnesota.” Elise also says, “Minnesota has always succeeded at being a progressive state, and we need to continue down that path. We cannot deny basic rights to LGBTQ communities, women, or people of color.”

Ilhan Omar – 60B (Minneapolis)

Ilhan believes in building an economy for everyone. She supports a minimum wage of $15 an hour, fair scheduling, and paid sick leave. She will fight to make childcare more affordable, will support policies to reduce income disparities between families of color and white families, and will work to ensure men and women are paid the same for equal work. Ilhan is dedicated to advancing an agenda focused on economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. If elected, she will be the first Black Muslim woman in office in the United States, if not North America. Her key issues are building an economy for everyone, closing the opportunity gap, advancing equity for all, making higher education affordable and accessible, protecting our environment, criminal justice reform, and police reform.

Tina Liebling – (Incumbent) – 26A (Rochester, Marion Twp)

Tina is the Minority Lead for Health Care, and for the Health and Human Services Finance Committee. She says, “Minnesota should move toward a unified health system, so Minnesotans can  get the health care they need without the extra cost and aggravation of dealing with insurance companies.” She wants to close corporate tax loopholes to make sure that everyone—including the small group of people who earn over $500,000 per year—pay their fair share in taxes.

Frank Hornstein (Incumbent) – 61A (Minneapolis)

Frank was a national delegate for Bernie Sanders. He views health care as a basic human right, and co-authored legislation known as the Minnesota Health Plan, www.healthplan.org which envisions a single state-wide plan to cover all Minnesotans. He is a staunch defender of reproductive choice, and is committed to addressing the climate crisis. Frank supports reforms in criminal justice and sentencing guidelines to reduce the prison population, and also supports efforts to reduce the incidence of officer involved shootings, particularly in communities of color. He believes in economic justice; he chief authored bills to close corporate tax loopholes, and strongly supports efforts to increase paid sick time and family medical leave. He advocates for increasing the minimum wage. Frank also supports granting driver’s licenses for all aspiring citizens, and will continue to work for LGBTQ rights. He supports efforts to provide increased transparency for campaign spending.

Karen Clark – (Incumbent) – 62A (Minneapolis)

Karen Clark is a champion for progressive values in Minnesota. She has worked on affordable housing, voted to raise the minimum wage, voted for a 5% funding increase for home health care workers and nursing home employees, and voted for the marriage equality law, among many other things. She advocates for environmental justice, funded American Indian Language immersion in schools, supported health care for all uninsured Minnesotans, supported requiring the wealthiest 2% to pay their fair share of taxes, funded MN’s first East African women’s domestic violence shelter, and supported “second-chance” laws that allow criminal record expungement for non-violent crimes.

Barb Yarusso (Incumbent) – 42A (Arden Hills, Mounds View, Shoreview, Spring Lake)

Barb has introduced bills that would protect the environment working on issues like transportation and groundwater, and protecting natural resources.  Barb has worked on education from PreK funding for families and freezing college tuition.  Barb has supported human rights issues such as Voter ID, Marriage Equality, and Transgender rights. She has been endorsed by Minnesota Nurses Association, AFL-CIO, Clean Water Action, Take Action, Planned Parenthood, AFSCME and many others.

David Bly (Incumbent) – 20B (Le Sueur, Rice)

As a 4 term MN House Member, David has been a very strong advocate for the middle class supporting single payor health care, clean energy production and green jobs,  environmental protection and climate change initiatives, minimum wage increases, campaign finance reform.  David was a teacher in the Mpls school district for 30 years and fully supports early childhood education and making the necessary investments to reduce the financial burden on college students.  David is one the most progressive members of the MN House of Representatives.


Phil Sterner – SD 56 (Burnsville, Lakeville, Savage)

MN House Member 2008 – 2010. Lifelong activist and resident of the South Metro area. Worked with MPIRG for 5 years as organizer, executive council member, staff member.  Since 2010 has continued his activism including twice working for causes in Guatemala and  Pine Ridge Reservation as well marching against Monsanto and Big Oil.  Former Rosemount City Council member 4 years working on Complete Streets programs.   Former Rosemount Park  and Rec member 6 years.  As House member he worked on Clean Car, BPA, Recycled shingle legislation.  Phil is an active progressive with a long list of accomplishments.

Patricia Torres Ray (Incumbent) – SD 63 (South Minneapolis)

Patricia has been a constant force for a living wage as the minimum wage and earned time off along with universal health care for children, which explains her endorsement from TakeActionMN.  While supporting Bernie’s call for a revolution in 2015, she also pressured Hillary Clinton to commit to more on immigration.  Another standout issue for her is the call for ending industrial tax free zones.  She joined us and offered rides and help to get out the vote for our endorsed candidates at OurRevMN’s first meeting.

Shawn Olson – SD 8 (Douglas, Otter Trail)

Born and raised in Alexandria MN, Shawn has been a Field Archaeologist for 15 years traveling through the US, Europe and the Middle East.  Strong Berniecrat that continues to actively seek out and connect with other Berniecrats in his district.   Supports Ranked Choice Voting,  Debt-free college,  Increasing the minimum wage, single payor health care (MN Health Plan), aggressive infrastructure investment.

James Kanne – SD 16 (Brown, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville, Yellow Medicine)

James is longtime voice for organic and sustainable farming, serving on multiple boards and testifying frequently in the MN Legislature. He organized fundraisers and phonebanks for Bernie. His roots run six generations deep in Minnesota farming: starting in Waseca in 1854, then out west to the Ortonville area and now in this region. James continues the fight to keep families on the farm, out of corporate control, and making sure the land remains healthy and water clean for generations to come. The family farm has passed to the next generation to his daughter, Linda, and her husband.

img_0296.jpgBrian Abrahamson – SD 22 (Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock)

Brian Abrahamson caucused and was a precinct leader for Bernie Sanders. He has adopted his platform. It’s the most progressive platform in his conservative area…but he calls it: Common Sense. A call for a livable wage, healthcare as a right, affordable college, and repairing and replacing crumbling infrastructure. A call to keep our rivers, lakes, and environment clean. A call for a government that is for the people over politics…for the people over corporations and the wealthy few. The people of Minnesota is what makes this state great. My moto is “Progress. Compassion. Strength. And Unity. That is my dream for Minnesota families, farmers, and union workers.” This is OUR Revolution!

Steve Cwodzinski – SD 48 (Eden Prairie and Southern Minnetonka)

A well-known public school teacher of government for 30+ years, “Cwod” has Clean Water Action and Sierra Club endorsing him in addition to MNA.  Like Bernie, he’s clear on the issues:  “We need to take immediate action to protect our global and local environment”, “provide full-time workers earned sick time and paid family leave”, “supports a comprehensive transportation plan that includes the South West Light Rail”.

Sherrie Pugh – SD 33 (Carver, Hennepin)

Endorsed by MNA, more public education and better wages are 2 of her top issues:  “a right to excellent education at equitable schools of excellence”.  But infrastructure, safe water, and the environment are far from just talking points:  “our lakes and rivers are in jeopardy & we must take steps now”.

John Marty (Incumbent) – SD 66 (Falcon Heights, Roseville, Lauderdale)

John has been a state senator for 29 years and has proven to be one of Minnesota’s most vocal and influential progressive member during that time.  He is a strong advocate for government ethics, campaign finance reform, environmental protection and health care reform.  Senator Marty is the chief author, literally, of the Minnesota Health Plan, a statewide single payer  health care program.  A 1978 graduate from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Ethics, John authored landmark legislation the prohibited lobbyists and interest groups from giving gifts to public officials.  He co-chaired the Legislative Commission to End Poverty and works for legislation to ensure that all workers receive a living wage.  He was one of the earliest advocates in the Minnesota Legislature for marriage equality in Minnesota.   He also authored the IRV Ranked Choice Voting legislation in Minnesota.


Reva Chamblis – Brooklyn Park City Council, East Ward

“Prosperity and Equity for All.”  In 2014, TakeActionMN endorsed her for the City Council, and did so again early in 2016, one of only two City Council members they endorsed.  Reva has been a constant in Brooklyn Park.  She needs a real vote on the City Council as opposed to the huge amount of time she volunteers on the city’s Human Rights Commission and Core Planning team plus a variety of other Brooklyn Park and Northern suburb NGOs while also being a member on Transit for Livable Wages.  During the election, she supported the DFL platform changes calling for the elimination of financial and corporate influence in elections and ending wealth-based discrimination.

Andrea Bejerano-Robinsonimg_0251.jpg – Robbinsdale Area School Board

Andrea was a SD45 Sanders Delegate, worked with the Wellstone Campaign, a member of the LGBT community, and a nationalized citizen from Columbia who hopes to better represent minorities in her district on the school board. Working with her Board, Andrea helped create the Unified District Vision, a guiding document used to ensure kids are ready to go into Trade or College.  She also worked with the Superintendent on the Early Childhood Task Force and served as the past chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee. She has further experience as a president of a non profit and a Certified Family Peer Specialist in the Mental Health Field.

Melissa Roach – St. Louis County District 2142 School Board (representing North Woods School, District 1)

Melissa is a farmer and member of the Minnesota Farmers Union. She helped start the Cook Area Farmers Market and has been active with the MN Right to Know-Label GMOs campaign, advocating for school farms and developing local food infrastructures. She also understands the importance of STEM+Arts education, enrichment programs, trade skill education, college credit opportunities, integrated classroom studies, as well as strong civics education. She is also a founder of the newly formed Northern Progressives, a group whose goals are to inform elected officials about issues of concern to constituents, and to increase public awareness and education to help people become politically and civically involved. Melissa was a strong voice for Bernie, organizing meetings in Northern Minnesota.

Jesse Winkler – Osseo School Board

Jesse’s two decades of experience as a community advocate and mentor have provided him the foundation to support our students. Jesse and his partner Thomas are adoptive parents to 5 children ranging in the ages of 5 to 17. Central to Jesse’s campaign is focusing on the achievement gap, which he says is about more than just education. He says, “to end the achievement gap, we need better housing options, to raise the minimum wage, and to increase access to parks, etc.” He also wants to focus on equity of resources, including making sure all school buildings are well maintained. He will work to make sure athletic programs are accessible for all students.

Maria Regan Gonzalez – Richfield City Council

Maria has spent several years working in the non-profit and government sectors before getting a Masters in Public health from UofM and has dedicated her life to supporting community in building their own voice and power to improve health, inspire transformational change, and achieve prosperity. Endorsed by Keith Ellison to represent Richfield, she is committed to preserving the environment, parks, multimodal transportation throughout Richfield.

Chelsea Skog – Soil and Water District 3 District Supervisor

A millenial progressive and Sanders supporter who sought to be National Delegate from CD 2.  Attended School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley and Northland College in Ashland WI where she graduated with a degree in Sustainable Community Development.  She has been active in local progressive politics for several years as part of a group of south metro progressive activists supporting strong climate change initiatives.

Holly Jenkins – Dakota County Commissioner District 4

Holly caucused for Bernie and is determined to improve the status quote by increasing transparency, improving community engagement, and rebuilding a trusting relationship between our County Board and general public.  She served on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Boundry Waters Wilderness and is the founder of Wilderness in the City advocating for the protection of Lebanon Hills Regional Park and natural areas across the 7-county metro region.

Bob Walser – Minneapolis School Board District 4

Bob and his family were strong early and active supporters of Bernie and his message. A Minneapolis Public Schools parent and husband of a veteran educator, Bob believes in student-centered (as opposed to data-driven) education and democratic sustainable community schools accountable to their communities.  He vows to fight for equity across all schools to provide resources every student needs to survive. School Board races across the country are increasingly being shaped by billionaires and Bob says “I’m on the side of students, teachers (endorsed by MFT local 59) and our community – not billionaires!”

Questions? Email [email protected]