Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, announced Monday morning that he has secured the endorsement of 32 fellow legislators in his bid for Secretary of State. Simon’s endorsers include some of the most senior members of the House and Senate, as well as the chairs of several of the Legislature’s most powerful committees. On the Senate side, Simon has the backing of DFL Sens. Richard Cohen (St. Paul) and Ron Latz (St. Louis Park), chairs of that chamber’s Finance Committee and Judiciary Committee, respectively.
Endorsements from within Simon’s own House DFL caucus include Reps. Ann Lencewski (Bloomington) and Michael Paymar (St. Paul), the chairs of the House Taxes Committee and the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
In a statement, Simon expressed gratitude at having received the support of so many legislative colleagues.
“They know that I’ve shown passion, commitment, and results on elections issues for many years,” Simon said. “And they trust that I’m the person who can best protect voting rights, expand voting access and participation, engage communities of all kinds, and create the next generation of election leaders.”
Simon highlighted the endorsement of Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, who had also thought about seeking the office, which will be vacated next year by retiring Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
“I have worked and served with [Simon], and know him personally to be a transparent and ethical leader,” Reinert said. “That’s exactly what we need in our next Secretary of State and exactly why he has my support.”
Simon, now in his fifth term in the Legislature, chairs the House Elections Committee, and was chief House author of an elections reform bill that passed earlier this year.
Also running for the Democratic nomination is Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center.
Among Republicans, only one candidate has so far confirmed a run for the office. Investment executive Dennis Nguyen, chairman at Minneapolis-based financial firm New Asia Partners, registered his candidacy with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board last week. Nguyen co-founded the venture capital firm more than a decade ago, and was a delegate on a recent trade mission to China led by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Below is the full list of the DFL legislators who have endorsed Simon:
Sen. Terri Bonoff (Plymouth); Sen. Richard Cohen (St. Paul); Sen. Kent Eken (Twin Valley); Sen. Melisa Franzen (Edina); Sen. Barb Goodwin (Columbia Heights); Sen. Ron Latz (St. Louis Park); Sen. Roger Reinert (Duluth); Sen. Ann Rest (New Hope); Sen. Tom Saxhaug (Grand Rapids); Sen. Bev Scalze (Little Canada); Sen. Charles Wiger (Maplewood); Rep. John Benson (Minnetonka); Rep. Connie Bernardy (Fridley); Rep. Kathy Brynaert (Mankato); Rep. Karen Clark (Minneapolis); Rep. Peter Fischer (Maplewood); Rep. Frank Hornstein (Minneapolis); Rep. Thomas Huntley (Duluth); Rep. Jason Isaacson (Shoreview); Rep. Carolyn Laine (Columbia Heights); Rep. Ann Lenczewski (Bloomington); Rep. Leon Lillie (North Saint Paul); Rep. Tim Mahoney (St Paul); Rep. Jerry Newton (Coon Rapids); Rep. Michael Paymar (St. Paul); Rep. Paul Rosenthal (Edina); Rep. Yvonne Selcer (Minnetonka); Rep. Erik Simonson (Duluth); Rep. Linda Slocum (Richfield); Rep. JoAnn Ward (Woodbury); and Rep. Ryan Winkler (Golden Valley).