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Author Archives: Briana Bierschbach

New coalition chases transportation funding

Advocates of increased funding for roads, bridges and transit projects across Minnesota hope to recreate a formula that worked once before. In the wake of the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, a broad coalition of groups, which included the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce as well as labor unions, joined hands to push for a 5.5 cent gas tax increase in the 2008 session.

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Westrom launches campaign for 7th District

Westrom made stops in Moorhead and his hometown of Elbow Lake on Thursday to announce the campaign, which he had been mulling for weeks. National Republicans have been eager to field a strong candidate to run against Peterson, who they say is vulnerable in 2014 over the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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MAPE endorses Dayton, Otto and Swanson for re-election

The union endorsed the three Democratic constitutional officers on Wednesday, almost one year ahead of election day. Currently six Republicans are vying to take on Dayton in his bid for a second term, and Otto has a Republican challenger in businessman Randy Gilbert. There are no announced candidates yet to challenge Swanson in 2014.

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Otto’s mining move riles Rangers

Otto shook up both her role as state auditor and her campaign for re-election last month when she cast the lone “no” vote as the state’s Executive Council took up 31 exploratory nonferrous mining leases in northeastern Minnesota. The leases went ahead anyway, but in voting against them, Otto became the first statewide elected official to express concern about the state’s move toward the new process of nonferrous mining

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TakeAction’s Greta Bergstrom launches bid for St. Paul House seat

Bergstrom said Sunday she will seek the DFL endorsement to run for House District 64B next fall, which covers the Highland Park and Macalester-Groveland neighborhoods of St. Paul. She joins three other candidates in the race, including former House staffer Melanie McMahon, St. Paul mayoral aide Matt Freeman and longtime activist Gloria Zaiger. Paymar recently announced he would not seek re-election to the seat.

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Fenton will step down as RPM deputy chair

Fenton, of Woodbury, said Monday that her last day as deputy chair will be Jan. 1. She is running for the House District 53B seat next fall after incumbent GOP Rep. Andrea Kieffer announced she would not seek re-election. Fenton initially said she would continue as deputy chairwoman during her run for the House.

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Chamber’s Blazar pushes immigration reform

The cause of immigration reform has led Bill Blazar a bit outside his organization’s usual comfort zone. The second-in-command at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has been with the organization for two decades, but his position advocating in favor of comprehensive immigration reform in Washington, D.C. represents the first time he’s undertaken a major role on a federal issue.

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DFLers flock to rare open seat in 64B

Minnesota House seats like one now represented by St. Paul DFL Rep. Michael Paymar don’t open up that often. Like many urban districts, it’s a safe haven for Democrats — and the sort of prize that is rarely put up for grabs. Paymar has represented House District 64B for 17 years, winning re-election with margins around 70 percent or higher in the last four cycles.

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Marty 2.0: Seifert joins governor’s race

For his encore, Marty Seifert doesn’t want to talk as much about politics. The former Republican House minority leader launched his second bid for the governor’s office on Thursday, more than three years after activists denied him endorsement in the 2010 race. At kickoff events, he highlighted his work with the Avera Marshall Foundation and selling real estate in the years since that failed campaign.

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