Five running for St. Paul City Council gain labor endorsement

FederationLogoCOLOR-WEBFive candidates for St. Paul City Council, including one in the contested Ward 2 race, will take labor endorsements from the East Metro’s largest union federation into precinct caucuses Feb. 3.

Delegates to the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, voted Jan. 14 to endorse Darren Tobolt in Ward 2, where Council Member Dave Thune is not seeking another term.

Tobolt lives in the West 7th neighborhood, works as an aide to Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt and is a former chair of the St. Paul DFL.

“I grew up in a union household, and I look forward to being a champion for working families on the council,” Tobolt said. “I will not only respect public workers and the service they provide, but I will make sure that all of my work supports our community’s values of respect for workers and their families.”

The St. Paul RLF also endorsed four incumbents seeking re-election in 2015: Dai Thao in Ward 1, Chris Tolbert in Ward 3, Russ Stark in Ward 4 and Dan Bostrom in Ward 6.

“St. Paul’s union workers are fortunate to be represented by council members who share our values, welcome our feedback and treat us as partners in building a livable, just and prosperous community,” St. Paul RLF President Bobby Kasper said. “These council members have earned labor endorsement, and they can count on our support.”

DFL precinct caucuses are open to anyone 16 or older, although only those who will be 18 or older by the Nov. 3 election can vote or run to be a delegate. Click here to learn how and where to caucus Feb. 3.

Kasper said the RLF’s endorsement process would continue in advance of elections for St. Paul City Council and St. Paul Board of Education this year.

Candidates seeking labor endorsement screen before the St. Paul Labor Assembly, a grassroots organization open to rank-and-file members of unions affiliated with the St. Paul RLF who live or work in Ramsey County. The assembly then makes recommendations for endorsement to the St. Paul RLF.

The St. Paul Labor Assembly will screen St. Paul school board candidates Feb. 2, and the RLF may consider recommendations for endorsement at its February or March delegate meetings. For more information, call 651-222-3787.

More than 100 affiliate unions make up the St. Paul RLF, representing more than 50,000 union members who live or work in Ramsey, Washington, Dakota and Chisago counties.

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