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. 

DFL Environmental Caucus 

2020  Endorsements

The Environmental Caucus has active members from every portion of our state, and many have been involved in the endorsement process.  We seek to understand the positions and the candidate's processes for reaching those positions, as well as their ability to campaign effectively.  Our endorsement process involved several steps, including the evaluation of candidate environmental positions on transportation, climate change, water, agriculture, mining, pipelines, legislation and local issues.   

The 2020 Endorsed Candidates endorsed as of 2/18/20 include  


Suzie Nakasian SD20

Sara Flick  SD25

Aleta Borrud  SD26

Josiah Hill  SD39

Rep Mary Kunesh-Podein SD41

Senator Steve Cwodzinski SD48

Senator Melissa Franzen SD49

Senator Jim Carlson SD51

Senator Greg Clausen  SD57

Senator Scott Dibble  SD61

Erin Murphy  SD64

Senator Sandy Pappas  SD65

Senator John Marty  SD66


Ben Schirmers  12B

Rep Todd Lippert  20B

Matt Bruns 21A

Elise Diesslin 21B

Rep Tina Liebling  26A

Rep Kelly Morrison 33B

Rep Kristin Bahner 34B

Ann Mozey  39A

Rep Shelly Christensen  39B

Rep Connie Bernardy  41A

Amanda Koehler 41B

Rep Ginny Klevorn 44A

Rep Patty Acomb  44B

Rep Sandra Masin  51A

Rep Rick Hansen  52A

Rep Ann Claflin  54A

Kelsey Waits  54B

Jessica Hanson 56A

Kaela Berg 56B

Rep Robert Bierman  57A

Rep John Huot  57B

Erin Preese  58A

Sydney Jordan  60A

Rep Frank Hornstein 61A

Rep Jamie Long 61B

Rep Jim Davnie 63A

Emma Greenman 63B

Rep Alice Hausman 66A

Rep John Lesch  66B

Hoang Murphy  67A

Dan Feehan

Dan Feehan.jpg

Dan Feehan

CD 1

 Environmental Caucus has endorsed Dan Feehan for Congress in Minnesota’s First District. “We believe Dan Feehan will be a strong, clear voice for the environment and the communities of the First District ,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We therefore wholeheartedly endorse him as the DFL candidate for First District Congressman.” The district includes much of southern Minnesota. Kanitz highlighted Feehan’s positions on climate change and agriculture as important factors in the caucus decision. 

Angie Craig.jpg


Angie Craig

CD 2

The facts are clear: climate change is happening. Here in Minnesota, we can feel the effects in increasing temperatures and increased flooding, which threatens our infrastructure, costs taxpayer dollars, and hurts farmers’ ability to harvest their crops.

I believe we can find bipartisan solutions to make progress for our environment, our economy and for future generations. Common sense initiatives like instituting a fee and dividend program to reduce our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and other market-based solutions like the new E-15 rule are opportunities for us to adapt and harness economic growth while also combatting climate change.

Dean Phillips.jpg


Dean Phillips

CD 3

Congressman Dean Phillips, CD3.

Dean Phillips has represented the western Twin Cities suburbs since 2019, after he unseated Republican Erik Paulsen by an 11% margin. He previously worked as president of Phillips Distilling. In Congress, Phillips has had reasonably strong positions on clean energy, carbon taxation, clean water protection, and environmental regulations. In 2018, he was endorsed by the DFL Environmental Caucus, Clean Water Action Alliance of Minnesota, Environment America, League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club.



Betty McCollum

CD 4

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Fourth District Congresswoman Bettty McCollum reelection.“Betty McCollum is a strong, clear voice for the environment and the people of Minnesota,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We therefore wholeheartedly endorse her reelection to Congress.” Kanitz highlighted McCollum’s role as a national leader on environmental issues. “She sets the gold standard for environmental leadership in this nation,” Kanitz said. 


Suzie Nakasian

SD 20

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Suzie Nakasian for Minnesota State Senate in District 20.“We believe Suzie Nakasian will be profoundly strong voice for the environment and the communities of District 20, with particular strength in climate change and transit" said Veda Kanitz, Chair of the DFL Environmental Caucus. District 20 is encompasses the  Northfield area. 

Sara Flick.jpg

Sara Flick

SD 25

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Sara Flick for Minnesota State Senate in District 25. “We believe Sara Flick will be a strong, clear voice for the environment and the communities of District 25,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “Ms Flick's positions on transportation, climate change, water, agriculture, mining, pipelines, legislation and local issues are science based and reasonable and we are proud to endorse her." Kanitz highlighted Flick’s positions on climate change and transportation as important factors in the caucus decision.

Aleta Borund.jpg

Aleta Borrud

SD 26

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Aleta Borrud for Minnesota State Senate in District 26. “Aleta Borrud will be a wonderful senator for her district and for the environment.” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We happily endorse her as the DFL candidate for State Senate in District 26.” The district is in the Rochester area. Kanitz highlighted Burrud’s positions on water quality and agriculture as important factors in the caucus decision. 


Josiah Hill

SD 39

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Josiah Hill for Minnesota State Senate in District 39. “We believe Josiah Hill will be a strong, clear voice for the environment and the communities of District 39,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “The DFL Environmental Caucus proudly endorses him as the DFL candidate for State Senate in District 39.” The district includes Stillwater and Forest Lake. Kanitz highlighted Hill’s positions on climate change and water quality as important factors in the caucus decision. 



Mary Kunesh-Podein

SD 41

Protect our environment for future generations. 

Climate change is a global threat with real consequences for our shared future. The stakes are clear and the moment demands clear, decisive action to advance solutions at the scale of our problem and advances a just transition to a clean energy future. Minnesota can and must be a leader on this front by achieving 100% Clean Energy by 2050, building a clean energy economy with high-quality jobs, safeguard pollinators, and protect our natural environment. Mary opposes building Line 3 because it is unnecessary and more pipelines do not move us closer to the clean energy future we must achieve. Mary also opposes PolyMet and the proposed Twin Metals mine



Steve Cwodzinski

SD 48

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and a natural beauty that we all can enjoy. But, our natural resources are under real threat. Climate change is real; it is caused by human behavior. We need to take immediate action to protect our global and local environment. The answers aren’t always easy, but future generations are depending on us.

Melisa Franzen.jpg


Melisa Franzen 

SD 49

Senator Melisa Franzen, SD49

Melisa Franzen has represented Edina since 2013, after she defeated Republican Representative Keith Downey in the election for a newly-drawn district. She is an attorney and serves on the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. She has been a strong advocate of safe, clean, and public transportation for Minnesotans. She has previously been endorsed by Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club, and Conservation Minnesota.



Jim Carlson

SD 51 

Jim is honored to represent the people of Eagan and Burnsville in the Minnesota Senate.



Greg Clausen

SD 57

Greg Clausen, SD 57

Scott Dibble.jpg


Scott Dibble

SD 61

Senator Scott Dibble, SD61

D. Scott Dibble has represented southwest Minneapolis in the Senate since 2003, before which he was a Representative for one term and a community activist. He serves as the Ranking DFL Member of the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee and also serves on the Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee and the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee. He has been one of the Senate’s strongest champions of renewable energy, clean transportation, and natural resources protections.


Erin Murphy

SD 64

Climate change is a fundamental threat to Minnesotans. We must ensure a transition to 100% clean energy, end pollution, protect our air and water, and create a future that is sustainable for all Minnesotans no matter where they live.

Indigenous communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by pollution and environmental degradation — we must take corrective action immediately. This means respecting Indigenous sovereignty and divesting from pipelines that only fortify dirty fossil fuel infrastructure.

I oppose the building of Line 3. I don't believe it is needed and I hope we never build another pipeline. The climate crisis we are facing demands a clear, serious, bold, urgent, and committed response. We won't get there if we keep building fossil fuel infrastructure.

For years I have said that projects like PolyMet should be held to very high standards and judged through a fair process. It's clear that hasn't happened, and we cannot allow PolyMet to proceed. I have always opposed the proposed Twin Metals mine. The threat to the BWCA is too great and not worth the risk.

We also need to invest more to protect and restore the health of our water, our soil, and our land. This includes investing in the development of perennial crops to help farmers grow crops that have a market, and working towards saving the habitats of bees and pollinators.



Sandy Pappas

SD 65

A champion for families, women, workers, students, consumers, and the environment.



John Marty

SD 66

Senator Marty has been the Senate leader in fighting climate change. Because it is the biggest single threat to the future of society, He continues pushing for legislation to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen our renewable energy standards and to keep fossil fuels in the ground, including opposition to the unneeded pipeline expansion for the dirtiest tar sands oil. John has worked tirelessly to show the sense of urgency that is needed on the issue, and to push the political system to act boldly.


The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Ben Shermers for House 12 B 

Ben is a fantastic candidate for the Mn House of Representatives, and the caucus is excited to be able to endorse him.  Please support Ben, his knowledge and understanding of the issues facing his community and our planet are going to play an important role in moving forward.   


The transition to clean energy is already resulting in good jobs. Responding to climate change creates new jobs that are opportunities for small communities and rural areas.

H26A - Liebling.png


Tina Liebling

HD 26A

We need not choose between jobs and protecting our environment. Minnesota cannot let corporate greed steal our children’s inheritance. Before we allow corporations to exploit our natural resources, we must make sure the environment is protected and that sufficient financial guarantees are in place to pay for any cleanup. After the fact, we must hold them accountable for any harm they caused. Too often, polluters have made their money and left the cleanup to the taxpayer. We Minnesotans love our natural resources and will have to stay vigilant to make sure we keep them.

Climate change has advanced rapidly in recent years. Reducing greenhouse gases to reduce climate change must be an urgent priority. In 2007, Minnesota passed a renewable energy standard of 25% by 2025. Many utilities are close to achieving the goal, but we can and must do even better. I support the current proposal for 50% of our energy to come from renewables by 2030. This is not only better for our environment and Minnesotans’ wallets, it creates good paying jobs. Clean energy jobs grew 78 percent from 2000 to 2014, compared to total 11 percent for total employment in the state.

Our children deserve to grow up in a healthy environment, whether they live in the city, the country, or somewhere in between. Clean water, clean food, and clean air should be their birthright. 

Kelly Morrison.jpg


Kelly Morrison

HD 33B

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Rep Kelly Morrison for House 33 B. Kelly Morrison has represented the Lake Minnetonka-area suburbs since 2019, after she unseated Republican Cindy Pugh by slightly more than 200 votes. Morrison is a physician and serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division and the Water Division in the House. Representative Morrison has been a legislative champion on various environmental issues including sulfide mining and climate action. In 2018, her endorsements included the Sierra Club and Conservation Minnesota. She is a member of the Climate Action Caucus.

Kristin Bahner.jpg


Kristin Bahner

HD 34B

The DFL Environmental Caucus today announced its decision to endorse Kristin Bahner, for has represented most of the city of Maple Grove since 2019, after she unseated Republican Dennis Smith by more than 1000 votes. Bahner is an IT consultant and does not serve on any environment-focused committees, but she has sponsored positive environmental bills including strong clean energy legislation and the Minnesota Green New Deal bill. In 2018, she was endorsed by Conservation Minnesota and the DFL Environmental Caucus. She is a member of the Climate Action Caucus.


Ann Mozey

HD 39A

“Ann Mozey will be a terrific, clear thinking and compelling voice for District 39A, as well as our planet.” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We proudly endorse her as the DFL candidate in House District 39A.” The district includes the Stillwater and Forest Lake areas. Kanitz highlighted Mozey’s positions on climate change and water resources as important factors in the caucus decision.



Shelly Christensen

HD 39B

Minnesota has a tradition of environmental stewardship. We are proud of being “The Land of Sky Blue Waters”. The 2017 legislature voted to dismantle and defund well established programs that provide common sense policy to protect Minnesota’s natural resources. For example, Kathy Lohmer voted to weaken water quality standards, undo buffer rules designed to protect waters from runoff and to allow corporations to prepare their own environmental impact statements without transparency. 

Shelly is a director on and endorsed by the DFL Environmental Caucus. As your state representative she will promote policy that will protect our natural resources and influence investment in renewable resources. Shelly believes clean air, water and land is a right for all people.  She trusts evidence-based science and she supports a carbon tax/dividend initiative. Shelly also believes the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizen Board should be restored. Shelly and her family appreciate the unique beauty of Minnesota and vow to preserve and improve its natural beauty for the future.

Rep Connie Bernardy.jpg

Representative Connie Bernardy

HD 41A

Connie Bernardy has represented two different districts in the New Brighton-Fridley area since 2001. She has worked for Ramsey County Public Works and serves on the Transportation Finance and Policy Division. She has been an environmental champion on issues including clean transportation, sulfide mining, pollinators, and other issues. She is a member of the Climate Action Caucus.

Ginny Klevorn for Minnesota House.jpg


Ginny Klevorn 

HD 44A

Representative Ginny Klevorn, HD44A

Ginny Klevorn has represented most of Plymouth since 2019, after she unseated Republican Sarah Anderson by more than 1800 votes. She is a professional mediator and serves on the Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division. She has been an environmental champion on issues including clean energy and clean agriculture, including the Forever Green Initiative. In 2018, she was endorsed by Conservation Minnesota and MN350 Action. She is a member of the Climate Action Caucus.

Patty Acomb.jpg


Patty Acomb

HD 44B

Representative Patty Acomb

Patty Acomb has represented parts of Minnetonka and Plymouth since 2019, succeeding DFLer Jon Applebaum. She has served in various natural resources agencies and advisory boards and now serves on the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division and on the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee. She has been an environmental champion, especially on climate issues and pollinator protection. In 2018, she was endorsed by the Sierra Club, Conservation Minnesota, and Clean Water Action. She is the founding Chair of the Climate Action Caucus.



Sandra Masin

HD 51A

The wonders of this Earth are amazing. Unfortunately, the destruction of our natural treasures is happening before our very eyes, due to the land use choices we make and the effect of air pollutants on climate change. I want my grandchildren to inherit a world better than the one I came into, and that means fighting for a better environment with measures that also make sense economically. 

Everybody deserves to breathe fresh air and drink clean water, and I promise to continue to work for both, if re-elected. Ethanol is a start, but I believe we need to move from corn-based to cellulosic ethanol, that is ethanol made from native prairie and other fiber-rich plants. I will continue to work to ensure new technologies are discovered here in Minnesota, bringing jobs and prosperity to the region along with cleaner air, purer water, and decreased dependence on fossil fuels.



Rick Hansen

HD 52A

Rick was named Legislator of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts in 2008. Rick also received an award from the Sierra Club in 2011, special recognition from Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists in 2012, and the 2013 Merit Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. In 2017 he received the Willard Munger Award for Distinguised Environmental Stewardship from the Minnesota DFL, and the River Heights Chamber of Commerce Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award in 2018. Most recently, he was the 2019 recipient of the Public Service Award from the Recycling Association of Minnesota.



Ann Claflin

HD 54A

Protecting clean, safe drinking water and a healthy environment is my highest priority. As an environmental scientist, I will ensure cleaning up our water happens now and happens right. I will act to protect our waters; hold those responsible accountable; and make sure this never happens again. We have a right to a healthy environment - clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, natural areas for people and wildlife. A clean environment supports Minnesota’s vibrant economy and helps create good jobs that can’t be sent overseas: jobs in clean energy and our great natural heritage - hunting, fishing, and the outdoors industry.

kelsey waits.jpg

Kelsey Waits

HD 54B

“Kelsey Waits will be an intelligent and wise voice for the environment and the communities of District 54B,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “The DFL Environmental Caucus is thrilled to support her candidacy for House District 54B.” The district includes the Hastings area. Kanitz highlighted Waits’ positions on climate change and groundwater issues as important factors in the caucus decision. 


Hi, I’m Jess Hanson, and I am running to represent the residents of MN House District 56A, which includes all of Savage and the Northwest part of Burnsville, in the Minnesota House of Representatives!

I believe in responsible government that works for everyone in our community. I am looking forward to listening to you about the issues you care about, and working together to build a better Minnesota.


Kaela Berg

HD 56B

Protecting our environment from pollution

Preservation of our state’s natural treasures, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we rely on for healthy food for generations to come is one of my top priorities. We have a responsibility to future generations of Minnesotans to protect our environmental areas from harm.

Transportation options and an energy-independent future

Move away from fossil fuels, and transition to a modern energy infrastructure that relies increasingly on renewable energy to power our state. We will work together to grow Minnesota’s energy independence, reduce inefficiencies in current energy use, and expand public transit/transportation options for our community.

Clean energy jobs to grow our economy

Create good jobs with fair wages in the clean energy economy that focus on reducing waste while powering the needs of our community. As the growth of our state economy begins to slow down, we can continue to create jobs in the clean energy sector to provide for the needs of our families and our state.



Robert Bierman

HD 57A

Climate change presents major challenges to both us and our environment. However, there are simple things we can do to make a difference. Since 2014 the research group Project Drawdown has been compiling a list of the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and some are more effective than you’d think. 

#1 Reduce Food Waste

#2 Rooftop Solar Panels

#3 Electric Vehicles

#4 Household Recycling



John Huot

HD 57B

John Huot is proud to represent the communities of Rosemount, Apple Valley and Coates in the Minnesota House of Representatives, District 57B. 

Now, more than ever, the Minnesota legislature must step up to protect our natural resources and waterways in the wake of efforts to weaken environmental protections nationally. It will be up to the legislature to ensure that every citizen has clean water, clean air, and safe food. We need to encourage reasonable, sustainable sources of renewable energy and embrace efforts to conserve water quality, reduce usage, and protect natural sources of water. To move Minnesota forward, we need to continue to cut down on carbon emissions and look towards cleaner sources of energy. We must also find safer ways to transport oil and gas. As a member of the Community Advisory Council to Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend Refinery, I represented our shared interests in protecting the environment and increasing safety. This experience of working with energy producers to promote cleaner production has informed many of my votes at the Capitol.

Erin Preese.jpg

“Erin Preese has shown herself to be a strong and capable candidate for the MN House of Representatives representing District 58A,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz.  The 58 A district includes the Lakeville area.  Kanitz highlighted Preese’s positions on climate change and water quality as important factors in the caucus decision.

Sydney Jordan for MN House 60A.jpg

Sydney Jordan

HD 60A

“Like Representative Loeffler, we believe Sydney Jordan will be a strong, clear voice for the environment and her community,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We therefore wholeheartedly endorse her as the DFL Candidate for Minnesota House in the district 60A special election.” "While several well-qualified candidates sought the DFLEC's endorsement, we believe that Sydney's ideas, experience and knowledge position her to be a strong advocate for the people of Northeast Minneapolis and for environmental progress at the State Capitol," Kanitz said. "She is fully committed to bold climate action to protect Minnesota's communities and our natural resources for future generations." Jordan is the State Director for the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and served as an organizer with MPIRG. Jordan expressed her appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “I’m delighted to receive the endorsement of the DFL Environmental Caucus. The caucus is an important advocate for the environment and I thank them for the work they do. I look forward to working with them, our citizens willing, as the next representative of Minnesota House District 60A." The Environmental Caucus endorsement process involved several steps, including the evaluation of candidate positions on climate change, clean water and environmental justice, among other issues. The caucus evaluated seven candidates for endorsement in the race.  Learn more about Sydney on her web page :



Frank Hornstein

HD 61A

Addressing the climate crisis by promoting safe, clean renewable energy, and lessening our reliance on fossil fuels are high priority in my legislative service. I am a strong proponent of the Green New Deal, which I developed in consultation with Minnesota climate justice advocates including many students. I have authored legislation to increase the state's renewable energy standard, and incentivize the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. I will continue to support Minnesota's moratorium on building additional nuclear power plants.

I support efforts to promote clean water by reducing agricultural runoff through buffer strips, and reducing the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides. I support efforts to protect pollinators. I oppose the Line 3 dirty oil pipeline and copper-nickel mining.



Jamie Long

HD 61B

We must move beyond dirty energy and tackle the serious threat of climate change. Minnesota can achieve 85% renewable energy by 2035. We need to expand the use of electric cars, promote walking and biking with complete streets, and invest in transit. We should oppose projects like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, which will disproportionately impact indigenous communities in Minnesota.  We must protect special places like the Boundary Waters from damaging mining practices. 



Jim Davnie

HD 63A

Minnesota’s natural resources are what make living here unique and are a major contributor to our quality of life. Respecting and preserving those resources, while assuring Minnesotans access to them, needs to be a priority in the state.

  • Stop politicizing the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources while also holding it to the highest standards of ethics and transparency.

  • Provide funding for both state and metropolitan regional parks equal with their use by Minnesotans assuring access and preservation.

  • Balance economic development with the needs to protect fragile natural resources.

  • Continue to monitor and act aggressively against the new generation of invasive species.

  • Utilize bonding to build wastewater treatment plants, secure easements on and around fragile lands and waters, and other efforts to preserve and improve the quality of Minnesota waters.

Alice Hausman.jpg


Alice Hausman

HD 66A

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Representative Alice Hausman for reelection to Minnesota House of Representatives in District 66A. “Representative Hausman is a brilliant, leading voice for the environment and the communities of District 66A,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “The DFL Environmental Caucus proudly and gratefully endorses her reelection effort.” Kanitz highlighted Hausman’s role as a major environmental leader in the Minnesota Legislature as an important factor in the caucus decision. 

John Lesch.jpg


John Lesch

HD 66B

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Representative John Lesch for reelection in Minnesota State House in District 66B. “We believe Representative Lesch will be an effective and rational voice for the environment and the communities of District 66B,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. The district covers part of the northeast side of St. Paul. Kanitz highlighted Lesch’s positions on transportation and land use as important factors in the caucus decision. 


Hoang Murphy

HD 67A

The DFL Environmental Caucus has endorsed Hoang Murphy for the Minnesota House in District 67A.“We believe Hoang Murphy will be a strong and science based voice for the environment and the community of District 67A,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We therefore endorse him as the DFL candidate for State House in District 67A, and give him our strongest support.”Kanitz highlighted Murphy’s positions on climate change and transit as important factors in the caucus decision. 




To be considered for endorsement by the DFL Environmental Caucus you should fill out the following Google form.  You will be contacted by the caucus.