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Hillary Clinton releases star-studded list of Minnesota backers

The Democratic presidential candidate’s list begins with both U.S. senators, the governor, the lieutenant governor and the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Hillary Clinton speaking to supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The Hillary Clinton campaign this morning released the names of what it calls its Minnesota Leadership Council, a politically star-studded roster that starts with both of Minnesota’s U.S. senators, Gov. Mark Dayton and his lieutenant governors from both his first and second terms, and the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Of the five DFLers in Minnesota’s delegation to the U.S. House, only one, Tim Walz, is on the list. The top two leaders of the DFL in the state House of Representatives signed up, plus six other DFL state reps and seven state senators, the chair of the state DFL Party organization plus other officials of the party, some union leaders, some college campus organizers and — notably — well-known (and deep-pocketed) political donors Vance Opperman and Dean Phillips.

Some of the names are folks who have long been publicly supporting Clinton’s bid, some are new. I’ll append the best-known names at the bottom, but it’s an impressive list of present and former elected officials, and big names in campaign finance circles.

According to this story in today’s New York Times, the release is part of a group of such lists in what the campaign calls “crucial March states,” including many, like Minnesota, that use caucuses rather than primaries to choose their delegates to the national nominating convention. Minnesota’s caucuses are set for March 1, which is also “Super Tuesday.”

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Here are the best-known names on the Minnesota list:

U.S. Sens Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Gov. Mark Dayton,  current and immediate past Lt. Govs. Tina Smith, and Yvonne Prettner-Solon, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Former Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe, Former state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Diane Sims Page, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and Executive Director Corey Day, Democratic National Committee Member Nancy Schumacher, state Sens. Melissa Franzen, Jeff Hayden, Sandy Pappas, Kathy Sheran, Katie Sieben, Terri Bonoff and Ann Rest, Minnesota House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Deputy Leader Erin Murphy,  State Reps. Linda Slocum, Rena Moran, Cheryl Youakim, John Lesch, Dan Schoen, Jon Applebaum, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Minneapolis City Council members Jacob Frey and Abdi Warsame,  Former State Department official and current dean of the U of M’s Humphrey School Eric P. Schwartz,. Hubert “Buck” Humphrey, Ellen Goldberg-Luger, Vance Opperman, Dean Phillips, former  (Independence Party) congressional candidate Tammy Lee Stanoch, Former Iowa Democratic Chair Sheila McGuire Riggs, Former St. Paul Councilman Melvin Carter, Mary Ricker, National Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers, President Denise Specht, Education Minnesota, gun control advocate Sami Rahamim.

Other less-well-known names include several with labor union titles and several who are in charge of organizing volunteers for various college campuses or geographical districts.

It is notable that several on the list — members of Congress, the governor, top party officials, are also “superdelegates” who are guaranteed a vote at the Democratic convention even if they are not chosen by the normal delegate-selection methods. Clinton is actively courting superdelegates and seems to have locked up quite a few.