Education Minnesota endorses Stu Lourey in Senate special election


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Chris Williams
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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Jan. 21, 2019 – Education Minnesota has endorsed Stu Lourey in his campaign for the state Senate from the 11th Senate District, which is generally located southwest of Duluth. 

Lourey takes the endorsement of the largest labor union in the state into the DFL primary on Tuesday, Jan. 22. 

“Working families need more people to fight for them in the state Legislature,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “From expanding access to high-quality pre-K programs in schools to reducing the cost of a post-secondary degree, Stu Lourey understands the challenges and is committed to solving them. We are proud to endorse him.” 

Education Minnesota joins at least nine other labor unions in endorsing Lourey’s campaign.  

Lourey was one of three candidates to screen with a committee of educators from the district. Based on his answers in a face-to-face interview and a questionnaire, the local educators recommended the Education Minnesota PAC endorse Lourey over DFLer Michelle Lee and John “Sparky” Birrenbach of the Legalize Marijuana Now party.  

The PAC followed the recommendation of the local educators. 

“Stu is open, enthusiastic and a great communicator, but what separated him from the other candidates was his command of the issues,” said Joanne Unzen, a teacher at Moose Lake Community School and a member of the screening committee. “His policy knowledge was really impressive.” Coincidentally, Unzen was Lourey’s 2nd-grade music teacher. 

Republican candidate Jason Rarick declined an invitation to meet with the group of educators from the district. He also did not fill out a questionnaire about his positions on education issues. 

Lourey will face Michelle Lee in the DFL primary Tuesday. The winner will face Rarick and Birrenbach in a special election scheduled for Feb. 5. 

The seat opened when Gov. Tim Walz appointed Sen. Tony Lourey to lead the state Department of Human Services. The special election will decide who will fill the final two years of Tony Lourey’s term. 

Stu Lourey is Tony Lourey’s son.

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.