2018 Midterm Preview

Kristian Evans, Senior News Editor

With plenty of focus on the national implications of the midterm elections. “The Echo” would like to highlight some of the smaller races at both the state and local level that do not receive the same amount of news coverage. Candidates listed first are the incumbents unless the race is listed as “open.”

County Commissioner District 4

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is the second largest form of government in the state with a budget of almost $2 billion. The Board is divided up into seven districts with Augsburg and the Cedar Riverside neighborhood falling into the fourth district. Commissioners allocate county resources for certain services such transportation or health programs.

Peter McLaughlin

Serving since 1992, McLaughlin has been a main force behind many of the transportation changes facilitated by the county including Light Rail expansion and rapid bus transit lines. McLaughlin says his transportation agenda affects everything from economic issues to climate change.

Angela Conley

A first-time candidate, Angela Conley would be the first woman of color elected to the county commissioner race. A county employee currently, she has discussed the importance of experience receiving county services and how that would influence her agenda.

Hennepin County Attorney

The County Attorney is the chief legal officer in the county. They are in charge of prosecutors of the county and defend the county in civil suits. The direction of the criminal justice system in the county is established by their office.

Mike Freeman is a former state legislator who was first elected County Attorney in 1991 and after a run for governor, was elected again in 2006. Freeman has served in the position, running opposed in the past three elections. He has focused his attention on reducing gun violence in the county and adding diversity to the county attorney’s office.

Mark Haase is the co-founder of the second-chance coalition and a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard. A native of Brooklyn Park, Haase says his experience with the criminal justice system as a youth have inspired him to run and reform a system he sees in need of serious changes.

Hennepin County Sheriff

The County Sheriff is in charge of enforcing the laws of the county and coordinates policy with the various law enforcement agencies within county jurisdiction. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s website defines the  role as “managing the county jail and providing security to the district court creates… [as well as] initiatives including undercover narcotics investigations and homeland security activities in line with the office’s mandate to ‘keep and preserve the peace of the county.’”

Rick Stanek has emerged on the national landscape for his conversation with President Trump regarding both the opioid crisis and travel ban. Stanek has expressed open support for Trump policies and has cooperated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigration matters.

Dave Hutchinson is Metro-Transit police officer who currently works with community engagement on the North side of Minneapolis. Hutchinson has expressed a desire to end cooperation with ICE. If elected, Hutchinson would be the first openly gay man to hold the position of County Sheriff in the Midwest.

State Representative 60B (Open Seat)

The State Representative serves as one of 134 legislators in the Minnesota House of Representatives. State District 60B includes Cedar Riverside, a majority of Dinkytown and a portion of Northeast Minneapolis

Mohamud Noor is a former executive director of the Confederation of Somali Communities and a former director of the Minneapolis School Board. Moor, who also ran for the seat in 2014, has focused on economic inequality and how it has impacted the Cedar Riverside community.

Joseph Patiño is an Operations Manager at Headway Assets LLC. Originally from Minnesota, Patiño is a recent college graduate who has focused his campaign on affordable housing for college students in the district and plans to reform section 8 housing.

Congressional Representative District 5 (Open Seat)

The Congressional Representative serves the district in Washington DC. Augsburg sits in the 5th Congressional Distrct of Minnesota that takes up most of Minneapolis and the first ring suburbs from as far south as Bloomington to as far north as Spring Lake Park. 

Ilhan Omar is the current State Representative for Distrcit 60B who joined the race after current representative Keith Ellison declared he was running for State Attorney General. Since being elected Omar, who is the first Somali-American elected as a legislator, has gained national attention. Her platform includes many ideas that have become standard with the progressive wing of the Democratic party including a single payer health care system and an abolishment of

Jennifer Zielinski is a health care professional from South Minneapolis and a longtime Republican activist. Her main platform issues revolve around making sure business growth continues to flourish, reducing the cost of health care and protecting first and second amendment rights for the district.

Voting Information

Any students who reside on campus can vote in the Marshall room in the Christiansen Center with their student ID. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Off campus residents can look search their polling place on the Minnesota Secretary of State website and Minnesota same day registration policy allows for residents with a valid proof of residence to vote with their form of ID. Identification must match area of current registration, for voters living at home, that usually means a driver’s license. For students who are renters and are registered at their rental address, a utility bill or lease with a photo ID would suffice.

This preview highlights only local and county races. There are many other high profile races happening all over the state including governor, two U.S. Senators some of the most high profile U.S. House of Representative races in the nation.

For a complete guide to these races around the state, check out the Star Tribune’s 2018 Election Guide:

This article was originally published in the Nov. 2, 2018 issue.