Education Minnesota congratulates primary winners Walz, Smith


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ST. PAUL, Minn. Aug. 15, 2018 _ Education Minnesota congratulates endorsed candidates Tim Walz and Tina Smith on their primary victories Tuesday, and union members look forward to a general election that will feature clear choices between candidates for governor of Minnesota.

“Tim Walz campaigned for ‘one Minnesota’ - a hopeful, united, state that works for people of different races and from different places no matter how much money they have,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “Although we can’t say that of Jeff Johnson, there’s still time for him to explain how he will bring all Minnesotans together.”

Specht said educators would closely watch the tenor of the campaign this fall. The nasty rhetoric in the presidential race in the fall of 2016 led to an ugly outbreak of racially motivated bullying and harassment in Minnesota schools.

“We expect the tone of the campaigns to be reflected in the learning environments in Minnesota schools,” Specht said. “Campaigns that join Minnesotans together across differences in race, religion and background will promote peaceful schools, but campaigns that use tactics to divide us, and to distract us with fear mongering, will enviably lead to more bullying and harassment among the students. Educators went through this in 2016. We don’t want to see it again.”

Education Minnesota’s endorsement of Walz and Smith will stand through the general election. The union’s political action committee will announce endorsements in other races over the next few weeks.
Specht congratulated Walz and Smith.

“Education Minnesota’s PAC board unanimously endorsed Tim Walz after the most intensive and engaging selection process in our union’s history,” Specht said. “Tim is an educator who cares about families and who brings people together for the common good. He’s one of us and we’re ready to work with him all the way to the governor’s residence.”

“Senator Smith is committed to protecting the rights of all workers to join unions, expanding economic justice and making smart federal investments to close opportunity gaps, including in early learning and after-school programs,” Specht said. “We need more people in Washington with the intelligence and competence of Tina Smith. We’re proud to support her.”

About Education Minnesota 
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.