Bergeron works as a committee administrator on the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee, and the press release signaling his candidacy includes an endorsement from committee chair Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester.
“Matthew’s experiences as a lobbyist and a legislative staffer have prepared him to step in right away and be an effective legislator on a broad variety of important issues,” Liebling said.
Bergeron also works with the Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs, and has received similar support from that panel’s chair, Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, who praised Bergeron’s “strong understanding of the economic issues facing Minnesota families.”
Prior to his work with the House DFL caucus, Bergeron ran his own lobbying and public affairs shop under the title Bergeron Strategies Group. He also has experience working on legislative and other campaigns, and was a member of House Speaker Paul Thissen‘s gubernatorial campaign team in 2010. Bergeron’s press release also drew attention to his familial roots in the St. Paul neighborhood, writing that his father was a union steward at the Highland Park Lunds for more than two decades.
In his statement, Bergeron said he decided to run for the office “because our state faces some very significant issues, many of them not glamorous enough to elicit widespread attention,” and argued he was well prepared due to his work inside and outside the Capitol.
“I have a broad base of private sector and legislative experiences that will allow me to begin delving into the important policy issues of the day immediately,” Bergeron said.
The four DFL candidates already running for the seat are Melanie McMahon, another former committee administrator in the House who now works as an attorney, Matt Freeman, an aide to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, TakeAction Minnesota communications director Greta Bergstrom and DFL activist Gloria Zaiger. So far, no Republican candidates have announced a bid.
Paymar, who won re-election with 70 percent of the district vote last year, has yet to endorse a candidate as his replacement.