DFL Endorsed Jen McEwen Senate SD 7

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The mission of the  Environmental Caucus is to educate and mobilize  the citizens of Minnesota​ ​to protect, preserve and  restore the natural environment
​ ​while increasing  participation in the DFL

Candidates in the News

For Immediate Release

Veda Kanitz, Chair

DFL Environmental Caucus


August 12, 2020


Environmental Caucus Candidates Score Significant Primary Wins


Candidates endorsed by the DFL Environmental Caucus won by significant margins in Tuesday’s primary. “It was a great night for environmental justice, a livable climate, public health, and progressive candidates all across Minnesota,” stated Caucus Chair Veda Kanitz. Fifteen of sixteen caucus-endorsed candidates facing a primary race won their elections.


In Duluth, lawyer and Environmental Caucus Executive Committee member, Jen McEwen, beat incumbent Senator Erik Simonson nearly three votes to one, winning 73-27%. “We are part of a movement much larger than just this campaign,” McEwen said in a message to supporters Tuesday night. “And what that movement represents is a shift in our politics toward caring for one another.” Omar Fateh also beat incumbent Senator Jeff Hayden in SD62. Other big wins in the Minnesota Senate include Bonnie Westlin in SD34, Josiah Hill in SD39, Ann Johnson Stewart in SD44, Lindsey Port in SD56, and Senator Sandy Pappas in SD65. 


In the Minnesota House, lawyer and Environmental Caucus Executive Committee member Ann Mozey had a resounding win, as did Liz Reyer in 51B, Rep. Sandra Masin in 51A, Emma Greenman in 63B, and Rep. Jim Davne in 63A.  Esther Agbaje beat incumbent Ray Dehn in 59B.  Representatives Betty McCollum and Dean Philips also won their primary races. 


“These primary results reflect a material shift in DFL politics in a direction that gives us hope for real action on many environmental issues,” Kanitz said. “Retaking the Senate is fundamental, but that’s not enough. These candidates know there is no time to waste. They will make a big difference in advancing the legislation Minnesota needs now to fight climate change, reduce racial disparities, and protect our waters.”  


The DFL Environmental Caucus is one of the largest and fastest growing constituency groups in the DFL party, and the results last night demonstrate its growing strength. "Our work is far from done," concluded Kanitz. "It's on to November, and the DFL Environmental Caucus will work hard to elect DFLers across Minnesota."












DFL Endorsed Candidate for Senate in SD 7, Jen McEwen was on Almanac North on July 24th, the program is linked here  


DFL Endorsed Candidate for Senate in SD 7, Jen McEwen was on Almanac North on July 24th, the program is linked here  

Candidate McEwen, an attorney living in the Morley Heights neighborhood, shared that she is running for Minnesota Senate because of her increasing awareness of the urgency of pressing local issues including healthcare, affordable housing, and the climate crisis. McEwen demonstrated a keen grasp of issues and the legislative system. Her background and experiences make her well suited to represent Duluth residents. She grew up in Duluth. Her father was a public school teacher and her mother was a nurse. In her law practice, she represents individuals fighting for disability claims from insurance companies. She has served as chair of the Damiano Center's Board. 

She's followed our current senator and she wants a Representative for Duluth SD 7 who is a strong advocate for a clean energy economy, the MN Health Plan and to work to end the housing crisis. 

Ms. McEwen explained in detail the very careful and detailed manner in which the DFL endorsement process was conducted, in particular the large participation.  The process allowed candidates to reach out to DFLers for two weeks and allowed the members to vote over days rather than just in one short time period - allowing more thoughtful and inclusive participation.  The incumbent lost that vote and felt it was unfair in this instance while he felt it was when he won.  

Allegations of misconduct were brought up regarding the incumbent, Simonson's, conflict of interest.  His seeking funds for both the Lake Superior Zoo and Lake Superior College - he is used to things getting thrown at him and has thick skin.  He says he recuses himself when necessary. 

When it comes to the issues Jen McEwen says having our health care system connected to employment is absurd.  Jen points out that people lose their jobs they also lose health care and security.  Now is the time for MN to move forward on the MN Health Care plan brought forward by Senator John Marty.  Minnesotans recognize we need to make fundamental shifts and it is Jen's intention to fight vigorously for the MN Health plan, we may need to take compromise measures as we fight for the plan but we need to work on this now.  

Senator Simonson agrees but has not been able to get a hearing, he feels republicans see this as socialism but it's not.  He hopes we can at some point in time get the bill in front of a hearing but has not been able to thus far. 

Jen and Simonson agree that to reinvigorate the state's economy will be important in the immediate future. Jen says we must move to lean in to our economic situation and make investments, she says it’s not the time to pull back and make draconian cuts.  We may need to increase revenues from those most wealthy, and the most prosperous corporations.   

When asked about clean reliable energy Simonson points out NE Mn has the  challenge of large industrial load on our electrical system and keeping rates affordable, both for corporations and individuals, is important.  Jen says now is the time to transition to a clean energy economy and by doing so provide good living wage jobs.  Our workforce is vulnerable as we are tied to extractive industry in the form that is tied to fossil fuels.  In this time of Pandemic and crisis, when we face recession and depression, it’s not the time to pull back and force austerity on the population.  Now is the time to be caring for one another and invest in the clean energy economy.

Copyright © 2018 DFL Environmental Caucus  255 Plato Blvd, St Paul, MN 55107. Veda Kanitz, Chair.

Prepared and paid for by DFL Environmental Caucus.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.