Regarding 2018 endorsement process

This note was sent by Associate Chair Rick Varco to the SD64 DFL Central Committee. We wanted to share this on our website so that everyone would be on the same page with regard to how we are approaching the upcoming race for the 64A house seat.

You almost certainly saw that one of our State Representatives, Erin Murphy (64A), has announced that she is running for Governor and will seek the DFL endorsement in the summer of 2018. You may not have noticed, but our current SD64 DFL Chair, Liz Wefel, is listed as her campaign treasurer. This is no surprise since, for many years, Liz has served as the Treasurer of Erin’s State Representative campaign commitee. It is both allowable under the rules and common practice for SD Chairs to endorse candidates for office above the SD level. In the interests of transparency, we did, however, want to make sure central committee members were aware. As usual, we expect to run a 2018 Senate District convention that is a model of an open, fair, and efficient delegate selection process.

If Representative Murphy wins the DFL endorsement for Governor at the state convention, she would not be able to run in the DFL primary for her State House seat. On the other hand, if she were not endorsed, she would be eligible to run in the primary for State Representative. The Senate District officers have discussed this situation and our plan is to follow the practice of most other SDs in similar situations. We would expect to endorse a candidate for the other House seat (64B) at our normal SD convention before the state convention, but we would recommend deferring endorsement for 64A until after the state convention. It is likely that several ‘conditional’ candidates will emerge who say they are seeking the endorsement, if Rep. Murphy does not seek it.

We wanted to share this information early, so that if any Central Committee members had questions, concerns, or objections they would have the opportunity to share them with the Senate District officers. Feel free to email me at this address or the leadership team at This email encapsulates the information I shared verbally at the Central Committee meeting/Holiday party earlier this month.

SD64 Constituent Luncheon – April 28

Each year, the representatives of SD64 like to hold a luncheon to meet with their constituents (that’s you!). This year is no different, and Senator Cohen and Representatives Pinto and Murphy have invited the district to lunch on Tuesday, April 28. The event will run from 11:30am to 1:00pm, and will be held in Room 200 South of the State Office Building (note: this is a different room from prior years).

If you are interested in attending, contact Josh Ney in Senator Cohen’s office at to RSVP and order your lunch* (please place your order by Thursday, April 23).

*Box lunches are being ordered from Cecil’s Deli, though attendees are free to bring their own lunch. Box lunches are $10, with checks payable to the Cohen Volunteer Committee on the day of the luncheon.

Town Hall Meeting – April 12

Our SD64 legislators are having a town hall meeting on Sunday, April 12. Senator Cohen and Representatives Murphy and Pinto will be on hand to tell you what they’ve been up to at the Capitol. They also want to hear from members of the community on the issues that matter to you. This is a non-partisan event, but DFLers should definitely show up to hear what our excellent legislators have been working on!

Where: Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Road
When: 1:30-3:00pm
Sunday, April 12

Congratulations Dave and Erin!

Representative Erin Murphy, our DFL endorsed candidate in 64A, has been re-elected! Joining her in the next legislative session will be Dave Pinto, our DFL endorsed candidate in 64B. Congratulations to Erin, Dave, Betty, Al, and all the other victorious DFLers up and down the ballot today!

Thank you to everyone who knocked on doors, made phone calls, pounded in lawn signs, and helped in every other way imaginable. Democracy depends on dedicated volunteers like yourselves.

Representative Paymar Retirement Party – September 30

paymar-fundraiserRepresentative Paymar has done a wonderful job representing our district over the years, and we’re honoring his career with a retirement party and fundraiser this month. We’ll be celebrating at the home of Charles Stander, 574 Summit Avenue, here in St. Paul on Tuesday, September 30, from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Some previous communications had a different address, but 574 Summit is the correct address.

We have a long list of co-hosts who will be coming out to help us celebrate Michael Paymar, including:

Senator Dick Cohen
Speaker Paul Thissen
Majority Leader Erin Murphy
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi
Dave Pinto
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Howard Orenstein
Ray Faricy
Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega

The planning committee is in the process of finding party sponsors. If you’re interested in being a sponsor, please contact Chris Haas at or Max Milstein at

Current platinum level sponsors include:

Bill Struszinksi
Christine Almeida

Other sponsors include:

Marcia Avner and Wy Spano
Doug Carnival
Ken Iosso
Andrea Sachs
Sharon Sudman
Rachel Nelson and Bill Totten
Elizabeth Wefel
Eric Celeste
Ellen Perrault
John Kavanaugh
Kevin Walli
Kelcey Johnson
Rich Ginsberg
Rolf Westgard
Christopher and Monica Haas