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Tarryl Clark’s statement on running in DFL primary

Here’s the statement Clark released March 8.

Dear ____-

Since I announced my candidacy for the 8th Congressional seat, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across this district, from Chisago City to International Falls; from Park Rapids to right here in Duluth.  Everywhere I go, I hear the same message over and over again – Congress isn’t working for our families and communities.

It is the voices of the thousands of Minnesotans I’ve met that keeps me going in this campaign – Minnesotans who are struggling to pay a mortgage or find a job, or who are worried that their kids will have a future of smaller dreams.

The stakes are too high to let politics and process override the voice of the people. Today, I’m announcing that I will let the people decide who will be the DFL nominee in the election this year. As a former party leader – a former Associate Chair of the DFL, I vow to work with all DFL’ers to organize and bring more people into the party – to reach out to those who feel disenfranchised and disillusioned.  It’s critical that we engage each and every voter in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District to take part in the decisions that affect our futures.

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In the tradition of many of Minnesota’s great DFL leaders, from Congressman Jim Oberstar to Governors Rudy Perpich and Mark Dayton, I will be seeking our party’s nomination in the DFL primary.  By going directly to the people in the primary, I will encourage every senior, every student, every teacher, every veteran and every Minnesotan from the 8th district who cares about restoring the priorities of our families and communities to vote this August.

The consequences of our upcoming elections are enormous – and they affect all of us. We must ensure that all citizens engage in this important debate, and that is why I’ve chosen to partake in a more inclusive process this election cycle – one that will energize over 100,000 voters in the district, along with the 3,000 already engaged who attended the caucuses. 

I deeply respect the tremendous work done by members of the local units of the DFL to help advance our priorities at the local, state and federal level. Their passion and dedication to improving the quality of life for all Minnesotans is truly inspirational. Together, we can engage tens of thousands more citizens in this election to augment the DFL’s tireless efforts to make our families the priority in Washington and in St. Paul.

Congressman Chip Cravaack has already shown us his priorities. He’s willing to take thousands of dollars from the likes of the Koch Brothers and Big Oil—the same Super PACs and special interest groups that are corrupting our political system.  

Cravaack, his big corporate allies, special interest groups and the Super PACs want to silence our voices and buy this election. They want to dismantle the labor movement and put seniors on a voucher system by ending Medicare and Social Security.  They want to continue enormous tax breaks for companies to send American jobs overseas, while we’re left picking up the pieces.  They even want to take away access to mammograms and contraception, placing politics ahead of the health and safety of women everywhere. They don’t believe in shared sacrifice to help our country move forward, and their agenda will leave more middle class families behind.

Unlike Congressman Cravaack, I don’t think that a small group should determine who represents the more than 600,000 people of the 8th district. 

I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of leaders like Congressman Oberstar and Governors Perpich and Dayton. They helped make Minnesota the great state by trusting its people. I know that we can trust the people of the 8th to send a true Champion for our families and communities to Washington.

I’ve spent my entire career fighting to improve the quality of life for seniors, kids, veterans, our families and communities. I’ve worked as a Senior Citizens Law Project Attorney, policy director for Minnesota’s Children’s Defense Fund, founded the Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, and led the Minnesota Community Action Partnership. And I fought for Minnesota families everyday as a State Senator. 

I’m running for Congress because the people of the 8th district deserve an energetic representative who is going to put your priorities ahead of the petty political games that are dominating Washington right now. I’m excited for the people to make their voices heard – loud and clear – in this election.  I ask for your help, your support, and your vote in August and in November.  Together, we’ll put our families first in Washington and get our country back on track!

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Thank you,

Tarryl