My Point of View: Election season is upon us

Published 9:22 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

My Point of View by Robin Brown

Robin Brown


With the State DFL convention scheduled for June 1-3, we have completed two of the three endorsing conventions. Some of the most interesting and important political work to be done during the State DFL Convention will be the selection of our endorsed candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor and U.S. Senate (check out Although I have my personal favorites, my biggest hope is that we come out of the convention with endorsed candidates and a unified party ready to fight for Minnesota values that will prevail in the November general election.

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If you are not a delegate or an alternate, I invite you to attend Saturday for a close-up view of politics in action. The convention is in Rochester this year, so the trip is manageable. And who knows, the experience may prepare you for participation in the next election cycle. Engagement early in the process is where the action is.

The first of the endorsing conventions took place April 21.  Dan Feehan was endorsed for Minnesota First Congressional District (currently held by Tim Walz) after just two ballots — evidence of the strength of support for the endorsed candidate. And, in the spirit of unity, the other candidates joined together in support of Dan Feehan, as well.

I’m confident in Dan Feehan’s ability to both win the election and to serve the district with honor. His experience as an Iraqi war veteran, teacher and his service in the Pentagon under the Obama administration give him an understanding of issues people care about, hard work and policy. His positive campaign is the demonstration of his strong character — even in difficult situations. I’ll be proud to vote for Dan Feehan in November.     

Just about two weeks ago, on May 6, the Senate District Endorsing Convention was held.  On that beautiful Sunday (after such a long winter) most Minnesotans enjoyed working in the yard, prepping the garden, walking the dog or just getting outside to enjoy the weather. On that beautiful Sunday, delegates gathered to do the work of the people. In fact, delegate attendance at the convention was higher than I had seen in recent years. The convention floor was animated and the forum passionate and civil — yes, two qualities that can inhabit the same space.

It could be that attendance was high because this was the first time in years we had three candidates vying for the District 27A seat. It could be the candidates were all well-known and well liked in their community. Or, it could be delegates understood the importance of this race and what the endorsement means as we prepare to take back the seat in November. I believe the high attendance can be attributed to all of the above.

Thank you to those who helped make the event possible — Cristina ,who opened the building for us and made us feel welcome; Nancy and Rose, who oversaw credentials; everyone who helped set up and put away tables; our Senate District DFL chair and the delegates.

And thank you to all the candidates: Terry Gjersvik, Thomas Martinez and Colin Minehart. I especially appreciated the respect with which the candidates treated each other and the graciousness they displayed when a candidate was endorsed.  All had hopes for the endorsement. All were invested in the process. All are good people who care about their district. And all have something to offer our community. You are all appreciated.

Now, with the endorsement decided, it is time to concentrate on the general election. I am confident that our DFL candidate, Terry Gjersvik, will win in November. I believe this because he has a lifetime of experience working collaboratively with people. His experiences as a farmer, in business, as a teacher and working on the Mayo Patients and Family Advisory Council have given him a depth and breadth of knowledge of our district and the people who live here.

As a candidate, Terry Gjersvik seeks input from community members. He is naturally curious and is committed to fully understand the challenges we face. Terry Gjersvik thoroughly researches possible solutions to issues brought to him in preparation for the work to be done as our soon to be newly elected legislator. He knows that collaborative, research-based decision making is necessary to solve the big issues of District 27A and the state of Minnesota. He knows that working together gets things done. These traits will serve him well as he serves District 27A.

There will be many opportunities to meet Terry Gjersvik in the coming weeks, and I hope you are able to get to know him. I know he is looking forward to getting to know you.

Check out his website at or on Twitter @Gjersvikfor27A.

Robin Brown is a former DFL District 27A representative.